Strawberries and other small fruits thrive on Île d’Orleans, the light and sandy soil mixed with the breeze from the St. Lawrence River ensure that it is, well in my opinion, the best strawberries in Canada and dare I say it – the world.
The strawberry from the island became so famous that they had to ensure that nobody other than the producers from the island were allowed to use the name ‘Île d’Orleans’ to market their berries. To do so they applied for and received a protected designation of origin for the island strawberries. Every case that you buy from the island now has that authentic stamp to guarantee you the best strawberry experience. You are ensured that you are eating a strawberry that has been scientifically proven to be better for you than any other kind.
We had a chat with one of the renowned strawberry farmers of the island, Leonce Plante. Plante is the fourth generation of strawberry farmers in his family and the Plante family have no intention on stopping the tradition any time soon. Leonce continued on the farm from his own father as he knew they were onto something good and as the old saying goes if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
There is a certain pride in living and producing something unique from this special island, Leonce mentioned while standing in front of his little storefront on Chemin Royal – the main road of the island. Entering his shop is like being invited into someone’s living room for a cup of coffee in the afternoon, but when you leave you to bring with you the freshest and sweetest produce Île d’Orleans has to offer.
The produce from this little shelter on the side of the road is so fresh that when you hop on your bike with your baskets full of strawberries then you can see some of the farm help picking the strawberries to be sold the very next day at that exact same spot. From the farm to your lips in less than 24 hours – no wonder it is a strawberry to be remembered.