by The Urban Grocer in New Food and Packaging on Friday 16 March 2012

If you’re lucky enough to live in the maple belt, March can mean only one thing: the sugaring-off season has begun. And if maple syrup equals pancakes, then it’s time you met Martin Picard. Hailed as Montreal’s master chef of ‘cabane’ cuisine, he has just released his much-anticipated cookbook Sugar Shack: a literary and culinary ode to maple syrup.

Inside the nearly 400-page tome, you’ll find recipes like eggs fried in maple syrup, frozen maple nougat enrobed in maple crème, and macarons dusted in crystallized maple nuggets. That’s matched with original artwork and short stories that amount to an almost sensual worship of Quebec’s most prized good. And then there are glossy photos of the pastry chef bathing nude in maple syrup. Yes, only in Canada.