Most famous for its tourtières, pea soup, baked beans, cretons, ham dishes, boulettes, stew of pig legs, maple desserts and St. Catherine's taffy, Quebec's traditional cuisine is today being rediscovered as rich and diverse as its immense territory.
The temps des sucres (sugar season) is one of the oldest of Quebec culinary traditions. During springtime, many Quebecers go to cabanes à sucre (sugar shacks) for a traditional meal that features eggs, baked beans, ham, oreilles de Christ, and bacon, which they then cover in maple syrup. Associated activities are a horse-drawn sleigh ride in the woods and tire sur la neige- boiled maple syrup dribbled over snow, which then hardens, and is eaten as a treat.
Many traditional dishes are intrinsic to holidays. Réveillon, the Christmas Eve (or New Year's Eve) "feast," usually features items like bûche de Noël and tourtière.
Contemporary Quebec cuisine is characterized by an innovative use of all things native to the land which are then prepared following all contemporary trends of the world.
Famous products of contemporary Quebec cuisine include poutine, Le Riopelle de l'Isle cheese, and whippet cookies. The Jewish community of Montreal has contributed Montreal-style bagels and smoked meat which is similar to pastrami.