A Royal Feast - 2017 Maple Festival Celebrates Breakthrough of Maple Products from Quebec to United Kingdom

  • In 2015, exports of Maple Products from Quebec to the United Kingdom rose 36% over the previous year.
  • 94% of the Canadian maple products exported to the UK in 2015 came from Quebec. That's 4.73 million pounds.
  • More than 12,300 stores in the United Kingdom now sell maple products.
  • Maple is the first-ever foreign product to be accepted for use by the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts.

LONGUEUIL, QC, Feb. 7, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - At the 2017 Maple Festival, the prestigious annual kickoff to the new maple season, Maple Products from Quebec celebrated a tremendous record of export success in the United Kingdom. The 36% increase in 2015 over the previous year stemmed from the joint efforts of the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (FPAQ) and the Conseil de l'industrie de l'érable, while providing a joyous backdrop to the 2017 Maple Festival.

"The statistics reveal a virtual invasion of maple products into the British marketplace," stated FPAQ president Serge Beaulieu. "They show that more and more Britons are buying our products. Maple syrup is their favourite but it's just a matter of time before other products like maple water, maple sugar and maple butter also gain popularity."

"And don't underestimate the British influence on our cuisine," added Eliott Levasseur, president of the Conseil de l'industrie de l'érable. "Our culinary traditions, like our common history, share many deep roots. The British don't only see maple as a quality product but a symbol of Canadian heritage, imbued with tradition and culture. That point of view works as an asset in our export efforts."

Ninety-four percent of Canadian maple products exported to the United Kingdom in 2015 came from Quebec, representing 4,730,000 pounds. In the UK today, maple products are available at more than 12,300 stores, including the iconic retail chain Marks & Spencer, as well as Sainsbury's which has Maple Products from Quebec on offer in every one of its 1,374 locations. Many others, such as Co-op, Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, Asda and Morrisons, have also gotten onboard.

A Not-so-Traditional High Tea at the 2017 Maple Festival: A Gourmet Maple Menu … that shakes up traditions

Created by British chef Nathan Eades of the elegant Michelin-starred restaurant Simpsons in Birmingham, England, the menu for this memorable occasion revisits the age-old, tasty and comforting tradition of High Tea. Well-known for his ingenuity, Chef Eades enthusiastically accepted the challenge of recreating a British classic with a unique ingredient: maple.

"Presented with an approach that's both informative and humorous, the concept behind the 2017 Maple Festival underlines the incredible growth of maple in this market. We had the pleasure of sharing with our guests a British tea-time that was totally deconstructed, where tradition made way for innovation. Maple Products from Quebec will change the way to take tea," said Mylène Denicolaï, FPAQ Acting Director of Promotion, Innovation and Market Development.

The menu for this Royal Feast skipped the scones and jam, opting instead for a gourmet meal from the mind of a young British chef inspired by the unique flavour of maple:

  • Maple-Smoked Organic Wild Salmon, Cucumber, and Herring Caviar in a Horseradish-Maple Emulsion
    - A modern take on two classic British High Tea ingredients: salmon and cucumber.
  • Soup and a Sandwich... with a Hint of Maple
    Coronation Chicken served on a crispy rye cracker, dressed with curry cream and mushroom ketchup, served alongside a chicken broth with julienned mushrooms marinated in maple vinegar
    - This sandwich was originally created for the Queen's coronation banquet in 1953, in recognition of the United Kingdom's close ties with India.
  • Sunday Roast with Flavours of Maple
    Loin of Boileau Red Deer redolent with the aromas of maple, accompanied by game-stuffed cabbage, layered celery root, and maple-cranberry chutney
    - Britain's Sunday staple: the traditional roast with an array of side dishes that rival our holiday feasts.

"I discovered maple when I first came to work in this country. The taste and versatility of maple products were instantly appealing. It's been a few years now that maple's been gaining popularity in the UK. People are discovering that maple is a lot more than just syrup on their pancakes. So I'm really proud to have put together a menu that's based in British food tradition and putting a maple twist on it!", said Chef Eades. 

Also contributing is Maple Master Yves Lévesque, head pastry chef and owner of Dansereau Traiteur, who had the honour of crowning the Royal Feast with a dessert he named Charlotte with Whisky and Candied Fruit, Maple Butter Caramel.

The FPAQ would like to make special mention of the talented Yves Lévesque who, in addition to creating dessert, stood shoulder to shoulder with Chef Eades in the building of this meal.

Maple, the first-ever foreign product to be accepted for use by the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts

In recognition of their unique character, Maple Products from Quebec have been accepted by the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA). In fact, the FPAQ is the first foreign organization to be named an associate member by this prestigious institution. More than a standard member, the FPAQ — and its brand Maple Products from Quebec — enjoy special status with the RACA, having sponsored its Annual Awards of Excellence in London during the spring of 2016. The FPAQ is equally proud to welcome to the Maple Festival RACA's representative, pastry chef and Westminster Kingsway College professor Yolande Stanley, as well as the three winners of a Maple Products from Quebec discovery trip:

  • Polly Chan, of the restaurant Yauatcha: RACA Young Pastry Chef of the Year.
  • Joel Gueller, of the hotel Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons: RACA Young Chef of the Year.
  • Alexander MacLeod, of the Balmoral Hotel: RACA Young Waiter of the Year.

"The RACA is very honoured to have been invited to the Maple Festival," stated Ms. Stanley. "It's a unique opportunity for our three award winners to learn more about the versatility of maple products and understand how to use them from the first course to the last in a gourmet meal."

Maple on the University Curriculum in the UK: a World First

In the fall of 2016, Maple Products from Quebec became the subject of a five-month course at the College of Food at University College Birmingham (UCB), one of Britain's largest culinary arts schools. It marks the first time the FPAQ has partnered with a university. The program has students undertake a theoretical exercise in which they create maple-based recipes. This prompted a number of concoctions for milkshakes, chutneys, cocktails, and desserts, but it was an innovative recipe for a maple samosa that stole the hearts of jury members. You can find the winning recipe online at welovemaple.co.uk.

Maple and British Women's Football: a Winning Combination

The benefits of maple as an all-natural athletic performance enhancer are gaining higher public profile in the UK. Maple Products from Quebec are now the official energy source of the British women's soccer team West Bromwich Albion Women Football Club and Girls Talent Club, and the sponsor of Birmingham City Ladies Football Club Regional Talent Center.

The Maple Masters, at Work in all the Culinary Arts

The Maple Festival is also a time of celebration for the FPAQ's Maple Masters, those who bring the flavours of maple in all its forms to the taste buds of people in all the regions of Quebec. Brimming with creativity, the 100 Maple Masters continually share and develop their talents as creative connoisseurs of good food — with a particular fondness for maple, one the our most delicious natural resources.

You will find the list, organized by region, of these one hundred artisans, meticulously chosen by the FPAQ from the greatest chefs living and working in our gourmet community at maplemasters.ca.

About FPAQ and Maple Products from Quebec
The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers was founded in 1966. Its mission is to defend and promote the economic, social and moral interests of some 7,300 Quebec maple businesses, as well as to develop initiatives that collectively market the products that flow from Quebec's 43 million taps. The quality work of these maple producers has made Quebec the source, on average, of 72% of the world's maple syrup production and 90% of Canada's maple syrup output. Together, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia contribute the other 10% of Canadian production.

FPAQ proudly promotes the reference brand Maple Products from Quebec in addition to coordinating the international promotion and value creation of Canadian maple products on behalf of Canada's maple industry. In this capacity, the FPAQ leads and directs the research efforts of the Réseau international d'innovation des produits d'érable du Canada.

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SOURCE Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers

For further information: Source: Danielle Pépin, Promotions and Communications Officer, Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, 450-679-0540, ext. 8539, dpepin@upa.qc.ca ; Information: Jeanne Le Cours-Hébert, Massy Forget Langlois Public Relations, 514-842-2455, ext. 23, jhebert@mflrp.ca

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