Delicious Traditions for Christmas in Quebec Maritime – Réveillon de Noël

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One of my favourite French Canadian traditions is an old-fashioned réveillon. In my mind, it is a party or celebration on Christmas Eve (the literal translation for Réveillon de Noël) but in a more relaxed atmosphere. It is a time to meet with family and friends before ‘the big day’. Having spent my childhood in the province of Quebec and being Hispanic, this particular day holds a greater meaning. I always relay to my Canadian and American friends that Christmas for me is Christmas Eve because that is when we celebrate as a family.

Christmas in Quebec Maritime - Food traditions - Reveillon de Noel.

Christmas in Quebec Maritime

The Catholic tradition, in both Quebec and my native South America, is to celebrate Christmas Eve as opposed to Christmas Day. We have always had a big family dinner, attending mass and opening some gifts on December 24th. Through the years, we have managed to maintain my husband’s family traditions of waking up on Christmas morning and opening up presents left by Santa. At dinner, we open up Christmas crackers, wear paper hats and toast a very Merry Christmas with prime rib and good wine.

This year, we are rethinking the celebrations and have decided to have a traditional réveillon de Noël on Christmas Eve. The sentimentality of celebrating in the traditional Quebecois way lets me enjoy the fond memories of our family trip to Quebec Maritime in 2021.

I’m excited about having a traditional réveillon meal found in many French Canadian homes throughout the province. Christmas in Quebec is full of family, great food and snow! No French Canadian-inspired festive feast would be complete without tourtière, the famed double-crusted meat pie. Although every family recipe varies, the basic ingredients are the same.

A Tortiere is a pastry shell filled with spiced, ground beef and pork, and then baked until the crust is golden and flaky. My father used one that he made for years from the Laura Secord Cookbook. I loved that I found a video of this recipe on the Library and Archives of Canada Facebook page.

Réveillon Menu

Our meal will have a few traditional dishes and a few new ones. I wanted to try from a new cookbook I recently received – Flavorbomb from former Montrealer, Bob Blumer.

  • Tourtière
  • Potato Pie d’Olivier
  • Pickled Beets
  • Fiddleheads in wine vinegar from Reford Gardens/Jardin Metis
  • Caramelized Cauliflower Florets (from Flavorbomb cookbook)
  • Kale Cesar salad (also from Flavorbomb)

The last two sides are less traditional, however, I am opting to please my family with two favourites: baked cauliflower and Caesar salad. I love that I can incorporate all these dishes into our Christmas in Quebec celebrations.

Kale Cesar Salad from Flavorbomb on Bob Blumer Instagram account

I’m excited about serving traditional tourtière with pickled beets and fiddleheads. I’ve fond memories of canning beets as a child with my mother and always associate them with holiday meals. You can check out my attempt at canning beets a few years ago. We finally get to taste the fiddleheads in wine vinegar from Reford Gardens which I received from Quebec Maritime. You can check out the full unboxing video here of these and other specialties for Bas St. Laurent.

Christmas in Quebec Maritime - Food traditions - Reveillon de Noel. Pâtisseries & Gourmandises d'Olivier

I considering tackling a potato tart recipe from Pâtisseries & Gourmandises d’Olivier in Rimouski. They make lovely pastries and sweets but also serve brunch. If you check out their FB page, you can see how they assemble this delectable Olivier Potato Tart.

With layers of potatoes, onions, and cream all enveloped in fluffy puff pastry, you know this side dish will be a winner. The recipe is straightforward to make. I’ve provided it below for you to save to your favourite Pinterest board or simply print it out (click on the image for a PDF version to print).

Pate aux Patates d'Olivier - Potato Tart - Christmas in Queb Pâtisseries & Gourmandises d'Olivier

Festive Dessert

La Buche Dicitte Christmas in Quebec Yule log via instagram
@patisseriesgourmandisesolivier on Instagram

For dessert, I would love to attmept a Bûche de Noël (Yule log) or a super sweet sugar pie. I am, however, not that talented. This particular version, Bûche d’Icitte, is made with locally sourced ingredients including the juice from the “argousier” /sea buckthorn, a small orange berry growing in the Quebec Maritime region. If you happen to be in Rimouski, Quebec, I would encourage you to check out their online store and order a Bûche de Noël.

As I finish this post, I am reminded of the wonderful Christmases that we spent in Quebec as a child. I’m looking forward to creating new traditions with our immediate families. I’d like to thank both Quebec Maritime and the pastry chefs at Olivier for helping me put together this traditional Christmas in Quebec Maritime Menu.

Until then, JOYEUX NOEL to you and your families.

Pâtisseries & Gourmandises d’Olivier

102, rue Saint-Germain Est
Rimouski (Quebec)
G5L 1A6
Phone: 418 727-6564

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Margarita Ibbott is a travel and lifestyle blogger. She blogs about travel in Canada, the United States and Europe giving practical advice through restaurant, hotel and attraction reviews. She writes for and other online media outlets.