Our terroir

Video interview with Hélène Raymond about terroir.
Duration: 01:38
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The title Our terroir appears. Journalist and author Hélène Raymond speaks into the camera.



How can all these regional foods, all of this thought about the terroir, help to define what constitutes Québec cuisine? Well, it’s the addition, the distinctiveness, the sum of all the differences that make up Québec’s modern gastronomic heritage and the province’s gastronomy as a whole. If we take the example of the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, their cuisine is very typical: relying on the sea, counting on only themselves for food for so many years, having to find supplies off the islands…And then, since the end of the 1980s and early 1990s, there’s been this resurgence, this new insular production that is just remarkable. Cheeses, marinated smoked herring, local beers, coffee…sea spray coffee beans, veal, wild boar. All these producers who really heeded the call, helping someone who helps the next person in a long value chain. You could even call it a values chain, in plural. So people come together to define a food identity for the Îles-de-la-Madeleine. It’s happy tourists who visit the islands, it’s happy locals who recognize themselves in their cuisine, and they can access these products at home. This approach, along with what’s happening elsewhere, in Gaspésie, in Estrie, in Mauricie and everywhere else…All these elements are Québec. 

Our terroir is defined by a multitude of products created with care and skill by members of local communities. Hélène Raymond describes the special terroir of Îles-de-la-Madeleine.