The estuary region, known since the late 19th century as the Lower St. Lawrence, extends 320 km along the south shore of the St. Lawrence river between Chaudières-Appalache and Gaspésie to the New Brunswick and Maine borders.
In the fall, around mid-September, the snow geese leave the Arctic and begin their voyage south, stopping off in Montmagny. Between October 5 and 20 clouds of white invade land and sky. The snow goose becomes a favorite dish during these festivities, but there is also other wildfowl such as gray and white partridge. Since Champlain's time, partridge has been paired with cabbage. In the beginning the colonists of the Lower St. Lawrence made them into a hearty soup, but these days the bird usually sits enthroned atop a bed of cabbage.
From Matane to Rimouski, where the river mists already have a salty tang, fishermen fish for salmon and sturgeon. The eel is definitely a local product and this odd fish that slips between your fingers actually has its own interpretation center in Kamouraska.
On the regional table you'll find Kamouraska lamb, beef and rabbit. And then there's the St. André orchard-museum and the Plum House that saved this black stone fruit from oblivion.
We should note the contribution of local producers whose perseverance has allowed for the introduction of new dishes on the region's tables, such as Cap St. Ignace young guinea hen, hare and rabbit from St. Pamphile, and Mi-Carême and Riopelle cheeses from Isle aux Grues (Crane Island).
Discovering the south shore means travelling along its sea-carved coast where islands and salt marshes abound and where there are countless shore birds, but it also means penetrating into the high country of lakes and rivers. Here fish are still caught using weirs, the traditional method for eel fishing. With its legends, typical architecture and charming villages, this little corner of the country is irresistibly appealing.
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