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Home » Foodie Stop, Liquor Event

Canadian Crème de Cassis

Submitted by on October 12, 2010 – 12:21 amNo Comment

Black currants, harvested on Île d’Orléans just outside Québec City, Québec, Canada, are transformed into a variety of tasty products by Cassis Monna & filles. One is a Crème de Cassis that earned the 1995 Gold Medal Award at a contest in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The company also produces three aperitif wines as well as a wine jelly (pictured), a syrup, an onion jam, a black currant jelly, a mustard and other black currant delicacies.

The company is just across the Île d’Orléans bridge (turn left onto Chemin Royal). The wine cellar is open daily from May to November. You can also schedule a visit by appointment during the off season. Visitors are invited to enjoy a tasting of black currant products.

A native of Southern France and fourth-generation liquoriste, Bernard Monna is the first to produce black currant wines and Crème de Cassis in Québec. He first arrived on Île d’Orléans in the early ’70s and quickly settled into the area that was to become his home. The spot boasts the ideal microclimate for growing black currants: damp and well-drained soil protected from the spring frost due to its proximity to the river. Cassis Monna & filles currently cultivates 5 hectares of land and produces over 30,000 bottles per year. Heir to a long-standing family tradition, Bernard Monna is passing down his knowledge to his two daughters, Catherine and Anne, who plan to carry on the tradition.

The black currant, also known by Québecers as gadelle noire, is a fragrant, purplish-black berry. The first European settlers brought this delectable treasure with them when they came to the Americas. Cassis Monna & filles grows many varieties of black currants, including the Titania and the Ben Lomond, which have a strong aroma, are abundant in juice and are highly resistant to plant diseases. The fruit is harvested over a two-week period in early August when the fruit is perfectly ripe and bursting with flavour.

They’ve got some recipes on their website. Your Road Trips Foodie thinks she’ll try the Chocolat de Mathieu à la crème de cassis first.

Learn more about visiting Québec’s Île d’Orlèans online.

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