This Valentine’s Day, Foodies in Quebec is taking the “love the one you’re with” idea one step further. Here are five of our favourite
ways to support the local economy, make someone feel special, and make earth-friendly food choices. We think you’ll love at least one of the following:
1. LOOK FOR LOCAL SWEETS
We know, we know. The stacks of heart-shaped boxes of candies are handy and affordable. But, they pack a serious eco-footprint, and they undercut the viability of local businesses in the business of serving your sweet tooth.
So, this year, head to a local sweet shop like Erico (a classic chocolatier on rue Saint-Jean), or stop in for something decadent at one of Quebec City’s countless bakeries. Take your quest a step further and ask them which products use local or organic ingredients.
Or, click here for a decadent cranberry cake recipe from Foodies in Quebec writer Bethann G. Merkle.
2. CHOOSE “GREEN” CHOCOLATE
According to this tongue-in-cheek source, “Chocolate contains tryptophan and phenylethylamine — two chemicals thought to trigger sensations in the brain similar to falling in love. So its status as the Valentine’s Day gift par excellence makes plenty of sense.”
However, the range of chocolate options can be bewildering, and how most of it is produced can be troubling.
This Valentine’s Day, opt for certified Fair Trade and certified organic chocolates, ideally made locally, to ensure the folks behind your
chocolate fix feel the love, too.
3. SEEK OUT LOCAL INGREDIENTS
Quebec has an abundance of local food, even in the dead of winter. Planning to make your night special at home? Look for the “Aliments du Québec” logo in markets and grocery stores, or take an extra moment to ask a shop owner what they have that was grown near the city. If you go out to dinner, be sure to ask your server to point out which menu items include local ingredients.
This Valentine’s Day savour the terroir and the satisfaction of choosing local options. You’ll be supporting local farmers, local vendors, and reducing the eco-footprint of your romantic dinner.
4. NOT-SO-FLORAL GIFTS THAT KEEP ON GIVING
Rather than selecting cut flowers, which require enormous amounts of energy to grow (think greenhouse heat and lights mid-winter) and
transport, consider selecting a potted plant.
Possibilities include succulents like jade (easy to care for) or even herbs, so you can savour your relationships in multiple ways. And, if you need one more reason, studies have shown that having houseplants can improve air quality and even your own personal health.
A plant will be an ever-green reminder of how much you care for your love one and Mother Earth long after a bouquet of roses would have wilted.
5. MAKE YOUR OWN MAPLE TAFFY
It’s the ultimate local and sustainable sweet, and it will taste even sweeter when you’ve made it yourself. Click here for how to make your own.
Start a sweet tradition by making your own take on Quebec City’s winter classic – tire sur le neige.