Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Montreal & Jean Talon Market

I can't believe that it's more than a week since I was in Montreal visiting my younger daughter and was lucky enough to catch a typical Montreal Snow Storm - the kind I remember from growing up there. I always loved the first one. Everything is truly white and reminds me of those snow globes you shake and see the perfect winter wonderland. That's my angel on the right, early in the snowfall with her BFF, Dana. It was fairly early in the day on Monday and well before the streets were totally covered in snow with snowbanks up to ones knees. Long before traffic slowed to a snail's pace. And, our trip to the airport to head back to Halifax, usually under 30 minutes, took well over an hour... but I digress.
In the middle of the storm, Sharron and I went to the Jean Talon Market. My memories are usually of summer and a glorious glut of tasty goodies. All those open air aisles and aisles of produce are now filled with Christmas trees.
Even though most of the produce vendors are now indoors - shops that ring the market all year long, sell all sorts of deliciousness (the one above sells wonderful pates, cheeses and so much more of the very French "deli" fare I miss most...
plus other tiny restaurants selling all sorts of ethnic fare, like these Merguez sausages on a bun (our first "snack" of the visit).
The indoor market naturally has produce stands, but it also has so many glorious shops that sell everything from fine pastries -
French, & ethnic beauties, like these Middle Eastern delicacies above that have everyone drooling even before the big purchase... if you can choose just one, that is.
There were several cheese vendors or fromageries as they're called in Quebec, inside the main market, plus at least 2 around the outdoor stands. Another thing I crave.
Just look at the presentation of this feta.

The kitchen supply store has every wonderful gadget imaginable. I should have bought the microplane for shaving chocolate that had holes in the shape of tiny gingerbread men. No photo, I was too busy trying to figure out if there was room in my luggage... the answer...not this time around, but next time I'll plan appropriately.
Back to food... several butchers, a couple of fresh fish & seafood vendors (good thing we now have Getaway Farm for beef and The Fish Shop at the Halifax Seaport Market or I wouldn't have wanted to come home) and just look at the variety of these stunning mushrooms.
One thing that always impressed me about the Jean Talon Market is, not just the presentation, but the little plates of cut up fruit & vegetables to taste. Look how beautifully the oranges are arranged! And, true, the indoor vendors are not purely local farmers, everything is wonderful. I was smiling all the way home in the blizzard! But I'm not done yet...
Milano's Supermarket is definitely the place to buy anything Italian in Montreal. It's huge!
Just look at this window display of pastas (by the way, this week's Presto Pasta Night is being hosted by Kirsten of From Kirsten's Kitchen to Yours, and it's the last one of 2010! Let's make it awesome... I already have mine in mind... and send the link to kirstenmlindquist (at) gmail (dot) com with a cc to ruth (at) 4everykitchen (dot) com).
And back to Montreal... don't you love our main course... puff pastry tart with fresh-from-the-market spinach & king oyster mushrooms & fresh goat cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

Do you have a special place "back home" that you like to visit?


bellini valli said...

I must say I haven't travelled to Montreal enough Ruth.

Ruth Daniels said...

And this is just the first piece covering a mere day in the city before heading back to Halifax.... with some fresh from the wood burning oven Fairmount bagels that Sharron ran to get (just around the corner from her house) while I waited for the cab to take us to the airport at 6am. It's open 24 hours and I'm drooling just thinking about it. PS - all the bagels were eaten within 2 days

Perhaps because I was born there and lived there into my '40's, but I can't think of a more awesome foodie city.

Claudia said...

I'd almost brave the snow, sleet, wind chill factor, and ice for all that fabulous food. You should be on the Montreal Tourist Board, Ruth.