MFS Part 2: Marché Jean-Talon

Friday, August 10, 2012

We arrived a couple days early to Montreal before Osheaga for the purpose of being able to visit the beautiful city without being rushed since our full attention would be on music when Friday hit. (That and we wanted to beat long-weekend cottage traffic). After a very hot night (apartment had no A/C) , we ventured off to Marché Jean-Talon looking some fresh produce since none of us felt like eating anything hot.

one of the covered parts of this huge outdoor market
The Jean-Talon Market is 1 of 4 all year round markets in Montreal (Atwater, Maisonneuve, and de Lachine being the others). Inaugurated in 1933, what began as a small building , accessible by both north and south sides now encompasses an array of expansions with a series of long stalls and alleyways. Jean-Talon differs from the other markets is that the majority of the actual market is situated outside yet it is ingeniously hidden behind a urban residential neighborhood. I must say, when I first walked into the main entrance, I didn't think anything too grand of the place, but as we ventured further, and further, and further, this place was HUGE!

Everything tasted so fresh and amazing!
Housing enough spaces for over 450 vendors including fruits and vegetables, butchery, fish, cheese, bakeries, deli's, natural foods, flower, plants and trees, and specialty shops, I immediately fell in love with this market. After some pursuing up and down some aisles, there was one distinct feature that stood out above all the other markets I've been too, FREE SAMPLES!! We sampled a variety of fruits and vegetables, and it is great to be able to sample the produce before you purchase it. 

Some of the highlights included the several varieties of mango (there was a shop that sells 5 kinds including Haitian, Israel, and non fibrous), the tomatoes (sorry Leamington, these were some of the best tasting tomatoes I've had in a while) and being able to get fresh sweet corn boiled, buttered , salt and peppered to be eaten on the spot! 

Wonderful squeaky bundles of joy
Nom nom nom...
I swear, we kept telling eachother as we walked down the rows of produce that we could just have a whole meal by trying all the samples! I'm going to take the time now to showcase another product unique to Montreal: CHEESE CURDS!! Its the white chunks of gold that are what makes poutine so delicious! For those who don't know, cheese curds are solid parts of soured milk and are really only known in locations with cheese factories because they should be eaten within a few hours of manufacture. The flavour is mild and slightly salty but its the spongy and springy texture that gives cheese curds that defining squeak characteristic when you bite into them. Kasia always says, curds need to be kept at room temperature to preserve that squeakiness!

After a couple hours of walking around, sampling, browsing, drooling, we decided it was time to buy what we wanted to bring back to the apartment and chow down!! I'll let the picture speak for itself. Bon Appetit! 


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