Eating & Drinking

BITE: On your next shopping run across the river, pick up some fruit preserves to pair with that cheese


By Cindy Deachman


photography: Miv Fournier
Simon Turcotte's tartinades. Photography by Miv Fournier.

One day, the cheese makers at La trappe à fromage in Gatineau developed a light, creamy cheese that they christened L’attrappe cœur. That inspired the in-house chefs to make fruit preserves to give L’attrappe a little lift. Through La trappe’s tasting soirees, people came to know the preserves and told friends. Now the cheese makers offer not only their own line of slightly sweet compotes, but others too. One such is made by confiturier Simon Turcotte in the village of Ste-Marcelline, two hours southeast of Mont Tremblant. Turcotte makes three tartinades, as the French call them — one with Chanterais melon, orange, and cardamom; a second with strawberries and five-spice powder. Both are wonderful, but it is the third — a blend of pears, eau-de-vie (apple brandy), and thyme flowers — that is just exquisite. Honey-coloured, this tartinade has an elusive flowery flavour. Turcotte recommends savouring the fruit with a blue cheese (Le rassembleu, for example), a washed-rind (say, a semi-soft Taleggio), or a bloomy-rind cheese (buttery Saint André, for instance). However, the pears also marry well with fresh chèvre (I tried Ferme Floralpe’s) and round out a savoury blue cheesecake perfectly. For the full tasting experience, try Turcotte’s boxed set of three. $9.49/125 mL; $28.49/trio gift set. La trappe à fromage, 114, boul. St-Raymond (Hull sector); 200, rue Bellehumeur (Gatineau sector); 574, boul. Maloney Est (Gatineau sector), 819-243-6411.