La route de l'érable a year round gourmet escapade

    LONGUEUIL, QC, March 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The Fédération des producteurs
acéricoles du Québec (FPAQ) is proud to present to both Quebecers and tourists
alike the all new and unseen Route de l'érable, available year-long. It
features around thirty establishments in 5 Québec regions - Montréal, Québec
and Charlevoix, the Laurentians, Montérégie and the Bas-Saint-Laurent - who
will open their doors for visitors to discover a variety of innovative
gastronomic products and dishes, concocted from syrup, sugar, butter, taffy or
maple flakes throughout the year.
    The Route de l'érable is yet another creative FPAQ initiative, which aims
to prolong the pleasures of maple all year long. The innovation and quality of
dishes prepared by certified La Route establishments will allow amateurs and
fins gourmets to experience a new world of flavours and to maximize the
culinary and gustatory potential of maple products.
    "The Route de l'érable is an invitation to discovery, and thanks to this
new concept it will be possible for restaurants, bistros, ice cream makers,
butchers, bakers and pastry chefs, who are able to combine imagination and
rigor, to compete, throughout the year, in creativity and allow for the
discovery and appreciation of maple products' multiple facets. It is the
perfect time to discover the unique charm of this local, authentic and natural
product," mentioned Federation president Mr. Pierre Lemieux.

    Select partners

    Grouped according to a precise and reputable Federation criterion list,
the "Créatifs de l'érable" first category of establishments in La Route de
l'érable, differentiates themselves outright with their ability to use maple
syrup in ways often never seen before. Among them, we find great chefs, pastry
cooks, bakers, butchers, ice cream makers and other proud representatives of
Québec's gastronomic culture. Men and women of passion who, within their
respective establishments, know how to showcase the flavour of syrup with a
refreshing creativity.
    Symbols of nature and purity, syrup and other maple products are now part
of the most sophisticated terroir products. La Route de l'erable's objective
is to open a creative window into this full swing gastronomic trend. From the
creations of crafty bakers to trendy cocktails in bars, "these authentic
culinary artists invite you to a gastronomic festivity of tradition and
modernism, to which will now be added a hint of maple-based springtime magic,"
added Mr. Pierre Lemieux.

    Identification of participating businesses

    Symbolic link uniting these varied proposals, the logo displayed inside
the participating businesses is a testimony of consistency, evoking respect
for the highest criteria of quality. Well displayed within view in the window
or on each participants storefront, La Route de l'érable logo combines
modernism and tradition. Inspired by the drip of syrup on snow, this logo,
representing the visitor's steps, facilitates the identification of members of
Québec's maple syrup network.
    The drop that makes up the distinctive logo for the "Créatifs de
l'érable"; i.e. those who transform the nectar into various mouth-watering
products and dishes, is inspired by the decorative touch added by culinary
artists when the time comes to put the final touches on their dishes. This
drop reflects its origins, the maple syrup, while its modern preparation and
orange-like coloration makes it the ideal emblem for these first partners.
    "The Route de l'érable represents in some way the embodiment of pride
that Quebecers draw from this unique product to which they identify
themselves. A legitimate feeling, given our province ranks first in the world
with close to 80% of maple syrup production," reminded Mr. Pierre Lemieux.
"The worldly attraction to maple products is on the rise and represents an
important source of revenue for our regions. Now, thanks to Route de l'érable,
whether it be through exports or through revenues generated from tourists,
maple products continually contributes to the strengthening of our regions
economy," he underlined in his conclusion.

    A new program in recognition of the food service industry

    In parallel with the creation of Route de l'érable, the Federation is
setting forth a program of recognition intended for the restaurant sector. The
program "Ici, on sert du vrai sirop d'érable" allows to recognize the
establishments who chose to differentiate themselves by offering clients, free
of charge, 100% pure maple syrup to accompany dishes. This program will help
customers in spotting the restaurants where only 100% pure maple syrup is
served at the table, free of charge. Restaurants are invited to join
voluntarily the federation's program and to display the logo in their
storefront and in their menus. To register, restaurateurs are invited to
communicate with the Federation (450-679-7021), who will handle all necessary
verifications as well as deliver the accreditation if all admissibility
criteria's have been respected.

    About the FPAQ

    Founded in 1966, the Fédération des producteurs acéricoles du Québec has
a mission to develop the economic, social and ethical interests of its
7,300 member companies. It represents men and women who have chosen to work
together by adopting a collective marketing approach for their product. Thanks
to their dedicated efforts, Québec is now responsible for 80% of maple syrup
production worldwide. Québec maple syrup is recognized the world over for its
quality and authenticity.
    The Federation conducts promotional and market development activities to
make Québec maple products more competitive on national and international
markets, to support the growth of the maple syrup industry and encourage the
year-round use of maple products.

For further information:

For further information: Micheline Vallée, (514) 344-9528,

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