Here are some of the most popular Quebec food items you may come across in Quebec.
1. Quebec Cheeses
One of the culinary thrills of visiting Quebec is the chance to taste many of Quebec's artisan cheeses that are not available outside of the province, as many of the producers are small-scale and do not export. Once known mostly for its cheddars and Trappist cheeses (Oka is popular across Canada), today there are hundreds of varieties, including raw-milk cheese aged less than 60 days, which aficionados claim to be more flavourful and healthful.
The Quebec Cheese Route totals 50 "cheeseries" in 14 regions where visitors can sample cheeses and even mingle with the goats, sheep and cows.
2. Maple Syrup
Maple syrup production is a rite of spring in Canada and draws thousands of people to sugar shacks in Quebec to sample the sweet sticky condiment. Quebec City and Montreal have stores devoted especially to maple syrup and maple products and restaurants feature maple syrup inspired menus, especially in early spring when the syrup starts to flow.
Pouding chômeur (pudding show-mer) is hands-down the most delicious dessert I've ever eaten. This maple-y pancake-y pudding-y dessert was once a "poor man's pudding," created to make use of everyday, inexpensive ingredients, like flour and sugar. Today, it's served in a wide range of restaurants. In Montreal, try pouding chômeur at Bistro Cocagne.
See the pouding chômeur recipe
6. Fèves au Lard
Baked beans, or fèves au lard, pronounced "fev-o-lar" are part of the traditional Quebécois cuisine. Like creton, feves au lard is a popular breakfast dish, as historically these foods gave trappers high amounts of fat and protein for energy to start the workday. In Quebec, fèves au lard often are infused with maple syrup.
Try them at The Binerie in Montreal's Plateau district, one of the best traditional Quebec breakfast spots.
Pea soup, thick and hearty made with a ham hock broth is a winter favorite. This soup is made traditionally with yellow split peas, salt pork, herbs and broth.
9. Paté Chinois
This delicious but unrefined culinary offering originated in Quebec. Poutine (poo-teen) is the counter-intuitive combination of french fries, gravy and cheese curds. Quebec restaurants - even fine dining ones - will serve poutine topped with any manner of ingredients, from tomatoes to foie gras. Fast food places and diners serve poutine right across Canada, especially to late night revellers, but poutine is most common and is most reliably delicious in Quebec.