Food & Terroir

Charlevoix on a Checked Tablecloth

Read the article
Video
Shop and contact
Grab your rustic wicker basket, or ice packs and a cooler: we’re taking you for a delicious luncheon on the grass, where you’ll taste Charlevoix.

“Luncheon on the Grass”

The title of the famous Manet painting alone whets the appetite; truth be told, eating outside makes everything taste better! It’s a well-known fact: the sun and the breeze heighten the flavours! Cutting your sausage with a pocketknife, breaking your bread (baguette, of course) with your hands and drinking wine from shatterproof glasses has the same super-power salt does: it enhances the flavours of your food. In a nutshell, here’s your Charlevoix shopping list, helping you turn the gourmet fantasy of the terroir picnic in and amongst our fabulous landscapes, into reality.

Time for a picnic: But where?

Whether you prefer a picnic table or a blanket on the grass, there are many potential spots; there's no shortage of nature, around these parts! In the fields, mountains, towns, or at the riverside, choices abound. Below is an entirely subjective and only partial list, of 6 perfect  places to picnic for free, throughout Charlevoix:

  1. The allée des soeurs [Sisters’ Lane], behind Maison-Mère (the former Petites-Franciscaine-de-Marie nuns’ convent) in Baie-Saint-Paul. Beautiful green spaces and vintage outdoor furniture in the shade of big oak trees where the squirrels play. Garbage cans, recycling, coffee shop and washrooms on-site.
  2. The rest stop with a view of the back-country’s big mountains, located at Notre-Dame-des-Monts, behind the village church. Also overlooks la noyée [The Drowned Woman], a chain of mountains that forms the silhouette of a woman, and inspires legends.
  3. The beach at Saint-Irénée: a wide beach; sand, sand, and still more sand… Enough said! Are you brave enough to try a swim?
  4. The Parc du Havre has modern street furniture, a fountain that doubles as a water play area, a play structure, brand-new washroom facilities, all just a few metres from the St. Lawrence River.
  5. The Jardins du Cap-à-L’aigle, also called the Jardin des lilas [lilac garden], waterfall, stream, park, washrooms, flower beds, and a lookout providing a number of smaller, more private areas to settle down to a good meal.
  6. The wharf, and park at the waterfall in Port-au-Persil (one of the nicest villages in Quebec, with good reason!) Washrooms available at the rest stop, double swings on the wharf, and picnic tables just about everywhere… Beluga sightings extra!

What goes in our little basket

We could go on and on because, of course, we’re foodies, but also because we live in a “Disneyland” of terroir [regional products]! But we’ll limit ourselves to one mention and one product per business, to provide you with a substantial selection of local producers to choose from!

You’ll find many of these products on grocery store and bakery shelves, as well as on the shelves of other specialty food shops in the area, as well as on the Maturin Charlevoix website or, better yet, at our public markets (schedule). But visiting a farm is so much fun that we encourage you to buy directly to the producers as much as possible, travelling our country roads and stopping to pick up each little treasure that you’ll eat for your gourmet picnic a little later on!

 

Pork and more

Vegetarians can skip this section. Meat lovers can go for it, and fill their picnic baskets here!

 

Wild mushroom dry sausage - Les Viandes Bio de Charlevoix

Emu rillettes - Austravoix (Centre de l’émeu de Charlevoix)

Espelette chili pepper foie gras - La ferme basque

Pork and pistachio terrine - Charcuterie Charlevoisienne

Smoked veal (smoked meat-style) - Ferme Jean-Robert Audet

Savour the sea

When we’re down by the river, we also like to enjoy the taste of seafood!

 

Smoked salmon and smoked trout - Fumoir St-Antoine

Smoked black sturgeon (frozen) - Pêcheries Charlevoix

 

Master cheesemakers

Keep a sharp lookout for Mr. Crow perched high in his tree, and an even sharper eye out for Mr. Fox: they’ll certainly be attracted to this cheese plate!

 

Le Fleurmier de Charlevoix (soft cheese with a dry rind) - Laiterie Charlevoix

Le Migneron de Charlevoix cheese - Famille Migneron

La Belle Brune Swiss cheese (ripened in extra-strong beer) - Fromagerie St-Fidèle

Condiments and marinades

Les cornichons, les petits oignons, le poulet froid, et la moutarde… [“Pickles, little onions, cold chicken, and mustard”] Nino Ferrer himself sings about the joys of a picnic: it’s nice to put a little of this on that, and top it off with a little marinade!

 

Pleurotes du Verger marinated oyster mushrooms from Art Pur - Champignon Charlevoix

Marinated fiddleheads - Saveurs Nature Charlevoix

Pumpkin marmalade - Les Jardins du Centre

Pears in saffron and brandy syrup - Safran Nordique

Gorria pepper jelly - Le Jardin des chefs

Fall honey - M le Miel

Crunch-Crunch

Poussent poussent poussent les beaux gros légumes… [“Grow, grow, grow, big beautiful vegetables…”] now it’s Fardoche and Passe-Montagne’s turn to sing their refrain, and remind us that, when they’re in season, fruits and vegetables are really very good!

 

 

Organic pink, red, yellow, and black cherry tomatoes - Ferme la Résiliante (Côte des Bouleaux)

Colourful carrots and organic cucumbers - Les jardins Echo-Logiques

Radishes - Les Jardins de La Minga

Fresh strawberries and haskap berries - Les petits fruits de Charlevoix

Ground cherries - La Rustique Isle-aux-Coudres

 

At the bakery

Any place, any time, and in any shape, bread is a dietary staple. Butter it, make sandwiches with it, use it as a utensil, or sop up the rest of your meal with it!

 

La blanche de Charlevoix Bio organic baguette - À Chacun son pain (available at Les Bonyeuses)

Miso loaf - Pains d’exclamations!

Cheese bread - Boulangerie Bouchard

Glazed raisin brioche - Boulangerie Armand Bergeron

For drinking and toasting

Don’t forget your water, to keep well-hydrated in the sun. But, well, a little “Cheers!” in the great outdoors never hurt anyone!

 

Radisson Sainte-Croix Rubis 2021 (clear red wine to be enjoyed chilled, like a rosé) - Domaine Charlevoyou (Famille Migneron)

Rang 5 - Pet Nat (Sparkling blueberry-flavoured honey wine) - Hydromel Charlevoix

Rhubarbe (spirit made of rhubarb macerated in vodka) - Distillerie Menaud

WIPA Pamplemousse [grapefruit] (Belgian IPA) - MicroBrasserie Charlevoix

Carton rouge [Sour haskap-raspberry] - Le Country Club Micro Brasserie microbrewery

La Marée Rose (Pink Cider) - Cidrerie et vergers Pedneault cidery and orchards

Ready-made, ready-to-eat

No plastic plates or butter knives, nor any lettuce on hand, to wash and prepare? Make your lunch another time: this is easy, and doesn't sacrifice flavour!

 

 

Sandwiches, salads and bagels (vegetarian options) - Fork and Vinaigrette

Fondue en cavale [to go], or LaPoutnic - Ah la vache!

Tortillas, salads and brownies (vegetarian options) - Yé, Plats Exquis

Treat yourself, but watch out for Yogi Bear!

Soyons complètement tarte!
Text
Camille Dufour Truchon, Mark Lindenberg (translation)
Video
Patrice Gagnon
Photos
Patrice Gagnon, Sylvain Foster, Emmy Lapointe (EM photographie culinaire)

Your opinion matters

See also

Food & Terroir
Planche de charcuteries Les Viandes Bios de Charlevoix
Les Viandes Bio de Charlevoix
For the love of animals, fine products, tradition, the environment, and of family.

Read more

Accommodation
Au Bord de la Rivière Campground
Discover Au Bord de la Rivière Campground, nestled on the shores of the Malbaie River, just next to the mouth of the St. Lawrence.

Read more