I’ve travelled the length and breadth of Canada; it is without doubt my most favourite country to visit, with its towering mountains, frozen arctic terrain, wild coastline, verdant fields, vineyards and vibrant multi-cultural cities – there are still many places I’ve not visited that are on my list! And, if I’m honest, as a food and travel writer, it’s always the food that is a big draw for me too. Food often showcases a nation’s culture and identity, and Canada has a wealth of different nationalities as well as its First Nations peoples, so you can expect a very unique approach to food (and wine) when travelling around this vast country.
Montréal in Québec has always fascinated me, especially with my links to France where I live most of the year. This predominantly French-speaking province in eastern Canada is connected by the Chemin du Roy highway along the Saint Lawrence River. The city of Montréal is named after Mt Royal, with a triple-peaked hill at its heart, and is one of my favourite cities in Canada. Even in France, as well as Canada, it is known for its original and exciting food scene – I’ve heard French friends talk fondly and with passion of memorable meals and trips in Montréal, as well as its famous food markets.
So, what is the food scene in Montréal? Well, I always think of it as a cornucopia of different immigrant’s cultural and historical recipes, with more than a pinch of modernity added (especially when you venture up the foodie ladder to the fine fining end). For me, Montréal is the hub of good food and wine, which is amply represented by its numerous food markets, of which Marche Jean Talon is my favourite. It has the most amazing array of fresh and preserved produce, cafés, book shops and cook shops, with a riot of colour and tempting aromas to lure you into small side streets at every turn.