Meet the marvellous Madame Labriski

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Photo: Shirley Nadeau

Madame Labriski (Mériane Labrie) stands behind her products displayed on her kitchen counter. She has published five French-language cookbooks, including two children’s Mini Labriski books, and will soon launch her second English-language cookbook.

Mériane Labrie, better known as Madame Labriski, is the fascinating local baker behind all those sugar-free baked goods now available at IGA grocery stores. With her thirst for innovation and her vision of changing the eating habits of the world, she proudly wages war against refined sugar with recipes using date purée.

She explains, “Dates are dried fruit with a neutral taste and they are packed with natural sugar. Unlike refined sugar, dates are very high in dietary fibre, and that’s why they can keep us going for long periods of time.”

On Oct. 1, Madame Labriski was presented with the 2020 Fideides award for the best Micro-entreprise et travailleur autonome (small business and self-employed entrepreneur) by the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Québec.

She currently has the highest number of cookbook sales in the province, beating out Ricardo and Marilou. She has also sold thousands of cookbooks in the rest of Canada and in Europe.

More and more of her products can be found in grocery stores, and she now manages her own factory to assure the quality of the products. Packages of her original sugar-free date purée, as well as delivery options are available, along with varieties of her gluten-free cookies, muffins, brownies and a festive Yule log cake. Whole pitted dates can also be purchased.

Information about Madame Labriski’s products, including English- and French-language cookbooks and recipes made with date purée, can be found on her website at madamelabriski.com/en/about. This energetic woman is the mother of two young girls and has also completed three marathons. In 2017, she established the first edition of the Madame Labriski MégaRelais, a unique team running event that takes place around the clock (day and night) over a distance of 287 kilometres, to encourage Quebecers to keep fit.