The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 06.27.05


Ice Cider - Give this Quebec wonder a try

Every now and then I discover something worth bragging about. My latest discovery is ice cider or plutot cidre de glace produced here in Quebec.

Many of you will have heard of ice wine -- that wonderful concentrated picked-off -the-vine dessert beverage that goes well with cheeses.

When I travel I like to sample local products and chat about foods that are unique to our homeland. In the past, cheeses (Oka and St. Benoit) were touted, as was the usual pontification of the very best maple syrup in the world (Vermonters have traditionally protested the latter).

However, this time we have a jump on the competition so to speak and a je ne sais quoi reputation of culinary mystique. People from away seem to think that, because we hail from Quebec, we are all gourmets. Whether they make a connection to culinary talents of French chefs or not je ne sais pas.

I suppose our reputation as bon vivants is deserved as research reveals that we like food, wine, and sex more than any other province according to the Environics people.

I could have told you thatů

Alors, laissez moi parlez svp about apples and cold temperatures and the production of a truly unique digestif. (Aperitif is appropriate too). Inspired by the production of ice wine, apple growers happened on to the idea that leaving apples on the tree to freeze throughout the winter would concentrate sugars in a similar fashion to the grape and that a harvest in sub-zero temperatures hovering at minus 23 to 25 would be just right.

A pressing and further fermentation of roughly seven months produces un produit extraordinaire. Producers have been creative with le marketing and we now can boast many gagnants a travers le monde.

Do yourself a favor and visit the SAQ for a sample. Pair your purchase with a good nutty cheese such as the Trappist Oka and all will be delicieux.

Make sure you chill your dainty glasses and ice cider and preparez vous un bbq of hot coals to grill some meat avec une marinade de cidre de glace.

Ice Cider Marinade (Ideal for pork, duck, or poultry)

1/2 cup (125 ml) Ice Cider
1/4-cup (60 ml) vegetable oil
2 branches or pinches of thyme
2 apples, unpeeled, cut in half, cored


Using a knife, score the meat. Put in a freezer bag and add all the ingredients. Refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours. Remove the apples and the meat. Bring the marinade to a boil and simmer, reducing to a third. Grill the meat, basting with the marinade. Grill the apples too.

Serve with a glass of chilled ice cider.