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Local Food: Oreilles de crisse

March 4, 2011

Didn’t want to put it in the title, but to literally translate the dish it would be Christ’s Ears.

The apparition of this in the supermarkets means it’s spring, the sap in the trees is running, and it is sugaring off time. Rather than a post about maple syrup on snow making toffee, everyone’s heard that before. And really, we live too far north for the sugar maple, so most of our syrup comes from ‘southern’ Quebec and the whole thing is somewhat fake.

But most sugar shacks, not only have maple syrup, but offer a traditional lumberjack-style type breakfast including eggs, bacon, beans, and Oreilles de crisse.

Of coarse these ear’s aren’t really ears, they are just fried pork jowls, or just plain pork rinds. But they kinda do look like ears. And for the Christ part, it is purposely misspelled, all swear words in French-Canadian refer to religious words, as opposed to the bodily English swear words. This was a dense snack used by our pioneers, coureurs de bois, and paddlers as they made it through long voyages through the wilderness.

I am happy spring is near (it was still -24degC this morning), and able to eat this snack, only available in the spring. But the bad part, as with all products here, they have to add the MSG, or some other non food, but if it is only for one short season…

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