Jean Talon Market - Grampies Track the Tortes (2019) - CycleBlaze

March 17, 2019

Jean Talon Market

As in any town, the market is a premier attraction. In Montreal we will return to the Jean Talon market again and again. In fact, if we had to live in this city, a spot by the market would be the obvious choice. Can you imagine super fresh high quality fruits and vegetables, bakeries and BBQ every day of the year? And it's more than just that. For example, we know of course that maple products are the pride of Canada.  At Jean Talon we find maple taffy on snow, maple sugar pie,  maple coated strawberries and apples, etc. etc.  But the real evidence that this is maple central is that maple syrup comes not only in cute little tourist samples, but in 3 gallon jugs. Now we're talking syrup!

Because of the snow and cold, we drove to Jean Talon. No cycling this time. Despite its size, Jean Talon has a tendency to hide, even from those cruising along Jean Talon street.  So I turned on the GPS. Even with this, we seemed to go around and around, always near but never there. Josh figured out the problem. Our  GPS is set for bicycle, of course! The thing kept asking him to turn the car, giving too little time and zoop, the turn was past. Then it would recalculate and try again. I was perversely pleased by this failure. Finally a car having  difficulty because of something designed for bikes, and not the reverse.

The market, as lively and well stocked as ever.
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While we automatically want to look at the quality of the green beans, the kids are focused on maple taffy on snow. Today there was not just plain but also taffy on apple and on strawberry. Each kid chose one of the types. Parents have to be brave to get maple taffy. It's sticky and messy. But look, Joe was much more effective in eating it today than he was three years ago.

Joe - then (2016)
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In Quebec the syrup would normally be in the snow in the bush. But this is ok!
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Evee meets the farmer
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Tidy diners
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This shot is for Laurie, who loves blueberries. At $5 these are not as cheap as in season, but they are still pretty good.
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We definitely also bought the beans, the blueberries, the strawberries, the bread, the Portugese custard tartes, the apple juice,  and the BBQ.  Clearly, in the dead of winter, many of the things are not local. But the vendors seem so adept at keeping up appearances, importing only the best.  Some things, like strawberries, may not be from the local fields, but they are at least from local (or, OK, Ontario) greenhouses.

The apple juice is worth a special note. It is fresh and from the Rougement area east of here. Rougement is the apple capital of Quebec. Somehow, unlike our own experience as producers in British Columbia,  our purchased bottles of Rougement juice do not betray any official concern for whether it is pasteurized or not, how many calories there are per ounce, or anything other than the 100% believable label "100% pur".  We just love it. (We also went to their website, and got some more info - like what are the 11 varieties of apples they grow, that you can go for a tractor ride in the orchard, and that in season they make apple donuts!).

Supper had beans from the market, and a tourtiere, which is a traditional pork and beef pie. The tourtiere source: the "Sucreries de l'Erable" in Dunham, Quebec. Dunham is 50 km south of Rougement. (Note: tourtiere is not a torte!)

Tomorrow is Joe's 5th birthday. Amelia will be 8 next month. Dodie jammed gifts for these two, and Evee too, into our tightly planned luggage. I helped Joe assemble one of his gifts - a lego model. I can't report on what happened with the other two kids, because for an hour Joe and I  were totally absorbed in that 88 piece puzzle. Joe showed me a level of manual dexterity, spatial understanding, and concentration that was surprising.  I think I did ok too!

Carefully packed birthday presents
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Joe liked the Lego
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Amelia with Snakes and Ladders
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Evee and Dodie with sticker activity book
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Joe showed a high level of skill
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Sue PriceOut here it is finally Spring! We only wore 2 layers on our bike ride!
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3 months ago