Duck is not all you will see if you visit the Lac Brome Duck Festival held every September (around 20 – 30th) in the small town of Knowlton, QC.
For starters – the trip to the Eastern Townships, just over an hour southeast of Montreal, is worthwhile for the beauty of the autumn leaves alone, which turn brilliant colours probably a week earlier than the city.
The festival – of course – offers tastings of duck and other local produce and products. The highlight was a ‘degustation demonstration’ held in the gazebo near the mill pond. The Brome Lake potrine de canard (duck breast) was beautifully cooked and served with rare hibiscus flowers from Australia, revealing a red meat with a robust flavour that is complemented well by a slightly sweet sauce. The hibiscus flower made this uncommon meat even more exotic.
If seeking a more common gastronomic experience, you can opt for the duck sausages served hot off the barbecue by the local service club as a fundraiser. But as you would expect – duck, duck, duck – was on every menu board in town – from pizza to eggs benedict duck-style.
But there was more than duck! You can partake of cheese, confitures or wine – all produced locally in this portion of the Quebec wine routes.
To round out your shopping, look for local crafts, lavender products and charming antiques, before enjoying the sun shining off the brilliant leaves that create a fiery landscape of brilliant gold, bold tangerine and deep maroon, as you return to the city.
Before returning home, be sure to take the slight detour to pick up some fresh or frozen duck at the Boutique Lac Brome at 40 chemin Centre, Knowlton.