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Simon Turcotte Confiturier

Submitted by on January 11, 2017 – 8:22 amNo Comment

By Susan McKee
The Road Trips Foodie

The word “confiturier” sounds so much more elegant than the clumsy English translation: person who makes sweet jams and jellies.

That is, indeed, what Simon Turcotte (pictured, left) does in the rural Québec town of Sainte-Marcelline-de-Kildare, but don’t think of your grandmother’s summer canning.

Not that your grandmother’s jam wasn’t delicious, but I’ll bet she didn’t come up with the flavors Simon produces — deliciousness he calls “sugared poems”.

When I was visiting his shop in mid-July, I had a chance to sample some of his confitures (and, of course, I bought more to bring home).

He’s been making confitures for a decade, but the boutique itself is new — open for just over a year (he does brisk catalog sales). On the shelves at any one time are 15 or so different varieties. “They vary by season,” he notes, because he likes to use local produce: raspberries, strawberries and rhubarb especially.

Two ingredients in some of his best sellers do come from outside Canada, however: Szechuan pepper and grapefruit.

His tartinade de poire, vanille et pamplemousse (this is a soft, sweet spread with pear, vanilla and grapefruit) is probably his best-seller. Part of his “gourmet breakfast” collection, it’s especially good on a hot, buttered croissant or mixed into plain yogurt. Other flavors for the first meal of the day? Tartinade de fraise et menthe chocolatée (strawberries with chocolate mint), Tartinade de prune et thé noir (plums and black tea, sweetened with maple syrup) and Tartinade de rhubarbe et fleurs sauvages (rhubarb and wildflowers: rose and elderberry).

Tartinades from the Le moment du fromage collection are intended to be enjoyed with cheese. You’ll find Szechuan pepper in his Tartinade de Fraise, 5 épices chinoises, but it’s also in the Compote de canneberge, orange, poivre de Sichuan (a québécois take on cranberry relish).

Two jellies are Gelée de Pommette au basilic frais (apple and basil — especially good with grilled meats) and Gelee de citron romarin (lemon and rosemary — try with lamb).

Simon does have a recipe section on his website, but they’re in French.

Oh — there are three other English translations of confiturer: a small container designed to hold jam or jelly, a cooking utensil used in making jam or a piece of furniture specifically designed to hold the pots and whatnot necessary to make jam. No doubt, Simon Turcotte has these as well.

If you can’t make it to Sainte-Marcelline-de-Kildare to contemplate your purchases in person, do take a look at the website.

(Photos © by Susan McKee)

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