Friday, October 21, 2016

The Tastes Of Jean-Talon Market

Montreal Memories & Nostalgia

Marché Jean-Talon: The market, at the heart of Montreal’s Little Italy district, is bounded by he Jean-Talon Street to the north, Mozart Ave. to the south, Casgrain Ave. to the west and Henri-Julien Ave. to the east. During the growing season, between May and October, about 300 vendors, mostly local farmers, have their produce stalls at the market.
Photo Credit: Susan Moss; Tourisme Montréal

Jean-Talon Market (Marché Jean-Talon), in the heart of Montreal’s Little Italy, is one of those places Montreal natives take for granted, that is, until they move elsewhere, to cities where such places cannot be found. I first came here with my father in the 1960s as a young tyke. Back then, it was not as fancy as it is now after the modernization was completed in 2005, adding such contemporary accoutrements as underground parking and specialty boutiques. Before, it was primarily an open-air farmer’s market with stalls where merchant-farmers sold their fruits and vegetables.

It is still primarily about the produce. One of the beauties of this market is that you can sample the fruits and vegetables before purchase. The many vendors place them on a platter (see photo below), so you can see if they are tasty enough for you, and often they are. This gives you an opportunity to sample various kinds of fruits and vegetables, notably ones you have never tried before. The place is packed, as you would expect, on the weekends, so it is advisable to arrive as early as possible in the morning. It is a nice way to spend a Saturday morning, as is exploring Little Italy,which resides in the borough of Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie.

This market has been a Montreal landmark since 1933. One of the four large public markets in the city, it is the largest open-air farmers’ market in North America. It is not only a place to get fresh fruits and vegetables, but also cheeses, fish, baked goods and olives, to name a few of my favourite specialty boutiques, This place also epitomizes why the city is known for its great food and cuisine. There are many food favourites that are common to Montreal, but as I write this in the morning I miss my chocolatine (le pain au chocolat) and the café au lait.


Sampling the Produce: The raised platforms are filled with fruits and vegetables for the purpose of sampling. Here you can see the tomatoes, mangoes and pineapples, among other fruits and vegetables.
Photo Credit & Source: Foodology