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The case of the missing crème fraîche


carswell
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With ref to concern about spontaneity in creme fraiche preparation, this from Jacques Pepin:

Ingredients:

1 cup sour cream

1/3 cup heavy cream, whipped for about 30 secs with a whisk

Gently stir the sour cream and whipped cream together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 hr before serving.

Pepin says "This recipe duplicates the flavour but is much leaner."

I have never tried it; sounds far too good to be true.....comments??

Learned this trick years ago from a caterer. He'd used it to dollop a mound of blueberries and then drizzled on a spoonful of blueberry honey. I still make that dessert every summer and, if I don't have any crème fraîche around, I do the Jacques Pépin thing (though I've always tended to use equal amounts of sour and whipping cream).

There are four hitches, however. First, though the mix has some of the tang of crème fraîche, it doesn't have that nuttiness Lesley refers to. Second, you have to dirty a whisk and at least one bowl. Third, it's best used in cold preps. If used in sauces, it should be added toward the end of cooking and never boiled, lest it curdle. Fourth, it can be wasteful. At the very least, you have to buy at least 500 ml of cream/sour cream (2 x 250 ml), which I rarely make it through before it goes stale or spoils. So, yeah, it'll do in a pinch but I still fail to see why we can't buy the genuine article, ideally in 125 ml containers like yogurt comes in.

Edited by carswell (log)
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And you wouldn't be even happier with a well-crafted key lime pie made with good key limes? It's hard not to read this as saying second best is good enough.

Also, if no key limes were harmed in its making, it ain't a key lime pie. (Not trying to be a smartass here or to belabour the obvious; it's just that in the context of the debate it seems a point worth making.)

That's not the point I was making. :hmmm:

But anyway, chances are if you did score those key limes, they wouldn't be good key limes but key limes in terrible shape that would cost a fortune (and key limes are small and full of seeds so you would need a ton of them to get a cup's worth).

Just look at the pink garlic from Provence you can buy at Chez Louis. It costs an arm and a leg and it's usually sprouting and old. So, yes you're getting an authentic product, but you're getting an authentic product at its worst. So that well-crafted dish made with an authentic but poor quality ingredient would be second best anyway. No?

The question is not how to best replicate a key lime pie or mock creme fraiche using other ingredients that are locally available, but why can't we get fresh key limes locally at an affordable price? I'm sure if we tried we would be able to make a key lime pie out of the 'juice' found in those plastic containers molded to look like lemons, but thats not the point.

Key limes are readily available in Boston, NYC and Toronto. All of these places are an hour flight or less than 6 hours by road, so we should be able to get them within a day's freshness of the other (more fortunate) cities.

The more we continue to accept second rate produce, the more we become a second rate city, from a gastronomical standpoint.

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"The question is not how to best replicate a key lime pie or mock creme fraiche using other ingredients that are locally available, but why can't we get fresh key limes locally at an affordable price?"

I am a newbie so please don't view my post as fuel to the fire but just stating an opinion.

I think one of the main problems is making sure that these products we seek manage to make it here but also make it on re-order lists of the grocers. As others have pointed out too many times we see these special items rotting on a shelf. I think there are a couple of reasons wich are all interlinked. Price is often an issue on these items, too often they are beyond the reach price wise of the average consumer at least for a everyday purchase(you might go all out for a special occasion but for your weeknight dinner most will not). Also we have to try to get the average consumer interested in these goods, what do you do with creme fraiche, why is so an so lemon better then this one, yes there really is a difference between tomato A and tomato b, try and break the myth that this stuff is only for food snobs. Getting the general public interested in cooking regularly is another problem(but not the discussion for this topic). You are right there is no reason that we cannot get these foodstuffs just like our neighboring cities if we push hard enough, I think for things like creme fraiche(and other items) there is enough of a general demand(consumer and professional) for this to happen, we would have to find a way to push someone(preferably a small producer would be more willing to take this risk than a large one). On the same note I think that might be another problem is that in order for these foodstuffs to come in sometimes we have to go through suppliers who demand that a large amount be ordered at once wich make it difficult for smaller grocers to want to take risks or for individuals to place orders. Anyhow I think both camps have valid points , we do have a great wealth of products and easy axs to some foodstuffs but it is true that there is indeed a gap in the offering available.

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Just in from emptying my bank account for the government (quarterly GST/QST payments). Ouch. The pain was eased when I dropped by Exofruits, the upscale green grocer on Côte-des-Neiges north of Queen Mary, and couldn't believe my eyes. Sitting front and centre in the dairy compartment was a new product: Liberty Crème Fraîche! It comes in a white plastic 250-ml tub, retails for $3.89 and is so new it's not even listed on the Liberty website. The thick texture immediately convinced me it had been adulterated but the ingredient list is short and sweet: cream (40% MF). The taste? Not quite as nutty as the artisanal stuff from Hamel but not bad at all. To celebrate, tonight's roast chicken with cumin, smoked paprika and seville oranges will be preceded by the best ever sweet potato soup with lime crème fraîche.

Hey, guys, do we have clout or what? :laugh:

Edited by carswell (log)
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Wow Carswell, what is this city coming to?! What's next? A local In-N-Out Burger? Our own Target? The SAQ decides to import a large variety of American wines and prices them at par value? Someone decides to open a real BBQ chicken and rib joint (and real brisket!) in time for Superbowl Sunday? Free discourse and constructive criticism on e-gullet?! An outrage!

Edited by ademello (log)
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Even though we are a 'poor city' by the numbers, anyone who has been to Outremont, Nun's Island, or Westmount knows that there is plenty of wealth in Montreal. I don't even think that it's important for a city to be 'wealthy' to deserve above-average quality produce. Also by that argument, wealthy enclaves should have boutique grocery stores, as is the case of Pusateri's in Rosedale and Dean & Deluca in Soho and in Napa.

Wealth in Montreal does not mean foodie. A large portion of our wealthy neighbors are family-minded, practical, either French or Kosher-eating, and not into experimenting with food. Most of them couldn't care less about GOOD Mexican or Indian (too weird!), creme fraiche, or the best foie gras....

It saddens me too, but it's the truth.

Edited by Chrisser (log)
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always a treat to read the yearly saveur 100. #60 on their list is a restaurant in toronto named beerbistro, where 80% of the food is prepared with beer, including ice cream (yes, please) and raw bacon (thank you, sir, may i have another?) below is the long beer menu (including many fine microbrews from our fair province) from their website. after reading it, i wiped the tears from my eyes. like jimmy carter, i have lust in my heart--but for suds. and for the saq-legal experts on this board, a question: could an individual set up a specialized beer store (and/or beer bar) and import those gazillions of beers we never get to see? can one deal directly with importers and dealers, as with wine, and just give the saq their tithe?

ABOUT OUR DRAUGHT SYSTEM

The first thing you notice about the bar at beerbistro is that instead of being out front, our draught taps are lined up behind the bar. We like this approach because it not only clears the bartop of unsightly draught towers, but also arranges the tap handles in a way that is easy to see.

What you don't see, however, is what goes on behind the taps. Our entire draught system is state-of-the-art, custom designed for us by the industry leader, Perlick. We've spared no expense, from the highest quality beer lines to the newest, most sanitary taps on the market, in order to bring you the freshest, cleanest and tastiest glass of draught beer possible. We think it was worth the effort, and we hope you'll agree.

draught

QUENCHING - Softly spicy and fruity German- and Belgian-style wheat beers

Blanche de Chambly (Québec; 5% alc.) $4.70/350 ml

A light and refreshing, Belgian-style wheat beer accented by notes of coriander and orange peel.

Denison's Weissbier (Ontario; 5.4% alc.) $5.98/half-litre or $4.06/300 ml

Subtly spicy, fruity and citrusy, this Bavarian-style wheat beer is a flavourful thirst-quencher.

CRISP - Dry, refreshing and moderately bitter to appetizingly hoppy lagers

King Brewery Dark Lager (Ontario; 4.8% alc.) $5.98/half-litre or $4.06/300 ml

An off-dry lager with hints of chocolate and caramel rounding out its otherwise crisp character.

King Brewery Pilsner (Ontario; 4.8% alc.) $5.98/half-litre or $4.06/300 ml

The robust hoppiness of this superb Czech-style pilsner is calmed by significant malty sweetness.

Hacker-Pschorr Edelhell (Germany; 5.5% alc.) $5.56/400 ml

This dry, golden and not-too-bitter refresher is brewed in the heart of Munich.

SOCIABLE - Medium bodied, wonderfully balanced ales and lagers

Creemore Springs Premium Lager (Ontario; 5% alc.) $5.13/half-litre or $3.63/300 ml

An Ontario cult favourite, this boasts a lightly hoppy, roundly malty and gently fruity character.

St. Andre Vienna Lager (Ontario; 4.7% alc.) $5.56/half-litre or $3.85/300 ml

A bit sweet and roasty up front, this Austrian-style lager is dry and quenching in the finish.

SATISFYING - Gently bitter and chocolaty or roasty ales, porters and stouts

Black Oak Christmas Nutcracker (Ontario; 5.5% alc.) $5.56/half-litre or $3.85/300 ml

This richly malty ale is accented with soft notes of roast and spice leading to a warming finish.

Fuller's London Porter (England; 5.4% alc.) $5.98/half-litre or $4.06/300 ml

Slightly sweet and liquorice-accented, this London-brewed porter is a robust, softly roasty treat.

Mill Street Coffee Porter (Ontario; 5.5% alc.) $5.98/half-litre or $4.06/300 ml

Mill Street uses freshly roasted beans from Balzac's Coffee to flavour this robust but well-balanced porter.

St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout (Québec; 5% alc.) $5.98/half-litre or $4.06/300 ml

This rich, mocha-ish, softly fruity and silky textured stout certainly ranks as Canada's finest.

BOLD - Ales with a moderate to full bitterness and a naturally fruity character

Mill Street Tankhouse Ale (Ontario; 5.2% alc.) $5.13/half-litre or $3.63/300 ml

This balanced ale combines citrusy hoppiness with rounded maltiness and a soft hint of spice.

Scotch Irish Brewing Co. Corporal Punishment (Ontario; 5.3% alc.) $5.56/half-litre or $3.85/300 ml

Think of this seriously hoppy beer from Scotch Irish Brewing as a sort of super-charged brown ale.

ROBUST - Rich, warming and malty beers of impressive complexity

Granite Brewery Peculiar Ale (Ontario; 5.6% alc.) $5.56/half-litre or $3.85/300 ml

Despite its name, there's nothing odd about this slightly sweet and fruity, deeply malty ale.

Leffe Brune (Belgium; 6.5% alc.) $5.55/350 ml

Softly spicy and chocolaty, this ale is one of the very few Belgian draughts to make it to Canada.

SPICY - Well-rounded, naturally spicy and warming ales and lagers

Chouffe Blonde (Québec; 8% alc.) $4.70/300 ml

Crafted in the great Belgian tradition of strong yet refreshing ales, this is a spicy golden beauty.

La Maudite (Québec; 8% alc.) $4.70/300 ml

We welcome the return of the draught version of this remarkable, spicy-malty beauty from Québec.

FRUITY - Ales fermented or finished with real fruits or fruit juices

Snoreau (Quebec; 7% alc.) $4.99/300 ml

For a very limited time we are proud to present this tart cranberry ale with a quenching character.

Amsterdam Framboise (Ontario; 6.5% alc.) $4.99/300 ml

This ruby-red ale is fermented with real raspberries, which gives it a slightly tangy, full-fruit flavour.

UNPREDICTABLE - This week's guest beer

Dayna's Beer of the Moment - Market Price

Our version of the 'Guest Tap,' selected by our resident bar manager and Beer Goddess, Dayna.

Try a Taster! Any 3 Draught Samples for Only $6!

Check Out These beerbistro Bin Ends

We're Down to Our Final Few Bottles and Cans of These Fine Beers, Get Them While You Can!

Affligem Blond (Belgium, 6.8% alc.) $6.89/330 ml

Cochonnette (Belgium; 9% alc.) $7.89/330 ml

Deuchars IPA (Scotland; 4.4% alc.) $9.49/330 ml

Liefmans Frambozen (Belgium; 5.4% alc.) $9.99/330 ml

Wellington Iron Duke (Ontario; 8% alc.) $7.69/650 ml

Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale (England; 4.7% alc.) $9.47/330 ml

bottles

QUENCHING: Softly spicy and fruity German- and Belgian-style wheat beers

Hacker-Pschorr Weisse (Germany; 5.5% alc.) $6.69/half-litre

Hoegaarden (Belgium; 5% alc.) $5.98/330 ml

Paulaner Hefe-Weissbier (Germany; 5.5% alc.) $5.98/330 ml

Schneider Weisse (Germany; 5.4% alc.) $6.89/half-litre

Wittekerke (Belgium; 5% alc.) $6.49/250 ml

CRISP: Dry, refreshing and moderately bitter to appetizingly hoppy lagers

Bitburger (Germany; 4.8% alc.) $5.98/half-litre

Czechvar (Czech Republic; 5% alc.) $6.29/half-litre

Krombacher Pils (Germany; 4.8% alc.) $5.59/330 ml

Pilsner Urquell (Czech Republic; 4.4% alc.) $5.59/330 ml

Samuel Adams Boston Lager (USA; 4.75% alc.) $5.59/355 ml

Staropramen (Czech Republic; 5% alc.) $5.98/half-litre

Stella Artois (Belgium; 5.2% alc.) $5.98/330 ml

Zywiec (Poland; 5.3% alc.) $5.98/half-litre

APPETIZING - Ales endowed with subtle shades of tartness, fruitiness and mouth-wateringly dry malt.

Liefmans Goudenband (Belgium; 8% alc.) $8.49/330 ml

Petrus Oud Bruin (Belgium;5.5% alc.) $6.49/250 ml

Rodenbach Grand Cru (Belgium; 6% alc.) $7.89/330 ml

SOCIABLE: Medium bodied, wonderfully balanced

Anchor Steam Beer (USA; 4.8% alc.) $9.76/650 ml

Cooper's Sparkling Ale (Australia; 5.8% alc.) $5.99/375 ml

Fiddler's Elbow (England; 5.2% alc.) $7.89/half-litre

Köstritzer (Germany; 4.8% alc.) $6.29/half-litre

Samuel Smith Winter Ale (England; 6% alc.) $8.39/550 ml

Sleeman Cream Ale (Ontario; 5% alc.) $5.59/341 ml

Yersekes Bière de Moules (Belgium; 5.2% alc.) $5.49/250 ml

SATISFYING: Gently bitter and chocolaty or roasty ales, porters and stouts

Dogfish Head Chicory Stout (USA; 5.2% alc.) $8.87/351 ml

Dragon Stout (Jamaica; 7.5% alc.) $5.89/300 ml

Guinness (Ireland; 4.1% alc.) $6.99/440 ml

Hobgoblin (England; 5.5% alc) $7.89/half-litre

Mill Street Coffee Porter (Ontario; 5.5% alc.) $4.79/341 ml

Rogue Chocolate Stout (USA; 5% alc.) $11.89/650 ml

Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar (USA, 6% alc.) $15.75/650 ml

Rogue Shakespeare Stout (USA; 6% alc.) $15.95/650 ml

St. Peter's Old Style Porter (England; 5.1% alc.)$8.49/ half-litre

Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale (England; 5% alc.)$7.89/355 ml

BOLD: Ales with a moderate to full bitterness and a naturally fruity character

Adnams Suffolk Strong (England; 4.5% alc.) $8.58/half-litre

Alley Kat Full Moon Pale Ale (Alberta; 5% alc.) $6.69/341 ml

Black Sheep Ale (England; 4.4% alc.) $7.89/half-litre

Chimay White (Belgium; 8% alc.) $8.89/330 ml

Fuller's 1845 (England; 6.3% alc.) $10.95/half-litre

Liberty Ale (USA; 5.9% alc.) $9.89/650 ml

Marston's Pedigree (England; 4.5% alc) $8.99/half-litre

Rogue Brutal Bitter (USA; 6.2% alc.) $16.98/650 ml

Rogue Yellow Snow Ale (USA; 5.7% alc.) $11.95/650 ml

St. Peter’s English Ale (England; 5% alc.) $7.69/550 ml

ROBUST: Rich, warming and malty beers of impressive complexity

Aventinus (Germany; 8% alc.) $6.99/ half-litre

Chimay Première (Belgium; 7% alc.) $16.99/750 ml

Raison d'Etre (USA; 8% alc.) $6.89/351 ml

Fuller’s Vintage Ale (England, 8.5% alc.) $16.50/ half-litre

Rochefort 8 (Belgium; 9.2% alc.) $8.79/330 ml

St. Paul Double (Belgium; 6.9% alc. $7.49/330 ml

Traquair House Ale (Scotland; 7.2% alc.) $8.69/330 ml

Westmalle Dubbel (Belgium; 7% alc.) $8.69/330 ml

Victory Storm King Stout (USA; 9.1% alc.) $7.89/355 ml

SPICY: Well-rounded, naturally spicy and warming ales and lagers

Achel 8 (Belgium; 8% alc.) $8.69/330 ml

Delirium Tremens (Belgium; 9% alc.) $7.89/330 ml

Duvel (Belgium; 8.5% alc.) $7.99/330 ml

Eau Bénite (Québec; 7.7% alc.) $7.89/341 ml

Fin du Monde (Québec; 9% alc.) $14.99/750 ml

Gulden Draak (Belgium; 10.5% alc.) $7.49/330 ml

Orval (Belgium; 6.9% alc.) $8.49/330 ml

Westmalle Tripel (Belgium; 9.5% alc.) $9.73/330 ml

SOOTHING: Potent ales with almost sinfully decadent maltiness and profound depth of flavour

Bush Ambrée (Belgium; 12% alc.) $8.89/250 ml

Chimay Blue (Belgium; 9% alc.) $9.69/330 ml

Koningshoeven Quadrupel (Holland; 10% alc.) $9.49/330 ml

Rochefort 10 (Belgium; 11.3% alc.) $9.69/330 ml

Terrible (Québec; 10.5% alc.) $17.95/750 ml

Trois Pistoles (Québec; 9% alc.) $6.49/341 ml

X.O. Bière à Cognac (France; 8% alc.) $8.89/330 ml

CONTEMPLATIVE: Big bodied lagers with full maltiness

and refined character

Mahr’s Brau Christmas Bock (Germany; 6% alc.) $8.89/500 ml

Paulaner Salvator (Germany; 7.5% alc.) $6.98/330 ml

FRUITY: Ales fermented or finished with real fruits or fruit juices

Mort Subite Cassis (Belgium; 4.5% alc.) $8.97/250 ml

Mort Subite Framboise (Belgium; 4.5% alc.) $11.99/375 ml

Mort Subite Pêche (Belgium; 4.5% alc.) $8.97/250 ml

Quelque Chose (Québec; 8% alc.) $19.95/ half-litre

SMOKY: Ales and lagers with flavours ranging from a wisp of smoke to a roaring campfire

Raftman (Québec; 5.5% alc.) $6.29/341 ml

Schlenkerla Rauchbier (Germany; 5.1% alc.) $7.89/half-litre

CIDERS: Because sometimes there's nothing quite like a true fermented cider

Waupoos Cider (Ontario; 6.4% alc.) $10.95/half-litre

BIG BOTTLES: For celebrations or just because everyone is together at last, oversized bottles of some special beers

Chimay Grande Réserve (Belgium; 9% alc.) $39.98/1.5 litre

Duvel (Belgium; 8.5% alc.) $39.98/1.5 litre

AND ALSO: A selection of more mainstream tastes

Carlsberg (Canada; 5% alc.) $5.49/341 ml

Coors Light (Canada; 4% alc.) $5.49/341 ml

Corona (Mexico; 4.6% alc.) $6.69/330 ml

don’t forget our

BEER COCKTAILS

Almondberry $8.97/300 ml

Amsterdam Framboise infused with Amaretto di Saronno.

Any Port in a Storm $10.69/414 ml

An intensely flavoured blend of Imperial stout and port. The ultimate nightcap!

Black Forest Cake $8.99/300 ml

We call this 'dessert in a glass.' One ounce of cassis-flavoured Chambord dropped in a soothing glass of stout.

Mimosa Bianco $4.95/350 ml

Three parts Blanche de Chambly, one part orange juice, 100% refreshing.

Not enough for you?

Ask about our Cellar Selection!

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where are the dominicans, puerto ricans and dominicans?

New York, mainly. Montreal's never been a destination for any of them. I bet the city's Dominican population was cut in half when the Expos split...

we don't even have a whole foods market in town. there are over 140 of them in rest of states and t.o. think about that. this organic chain is pricey and yuppie healthy oriented but undeniably has astonishingly fresh produce, a huge selection of quality meats and cheeses, along with just about everything else.

Probably won't happen. As eat2much mentions, there are the language laws (not to mention the broader language barrier). Probably even more of a roadblock is the hard-to-fathom resistance to allowing outsiders to control or even compete in food retailing in Quebec, resistance entrenched at every level of society (government, business, union, population at large). Look at the hoops Loblaws had to jump through in their 20+ year struggle to gain a foothold in the province. Also, all the Whole Foods stores I know of in the States are located in affluent suburbs (NYC's Columbus Circle store is a recent exception); I can't imagine where one would fit here in Montreal. And, anyway, to make it worth their while, wouldn't they have to have more than one?

olives for example. latina and gourmet laurier, and milano aside, how many other places in town have high quality brine cured arbequina, lucques etc. varietal olives to offer?

Have been told that Marche Transatlantique (9720 Waverly, 514 287-3530) is a good source for French olives in bulk. Haven't been as it's out of the way for those of us without cars.

the big problem is that there eventually be 1 place that has a rare, desired item, but people don't have the time to run all over the city time after time

Yep. Spent all of yesterday running around to pick up several ingredients for a fancy dinner: Indian spices and pappadoms; fresh lotus root; red snapper filets (never found any); baby beet leaves; non-jumbo star fruit; etc. By the time I got home, I was so bushed I dreaded the thought of cooking... Still, the Jean-Talon Market and environs are close to becoming a one-stop shop, though not for things Indian.

(btw carswell, good lard on duluth from a portuguese store. also great artisananl jams i'll get the name next time).

Hmm. Trying to imagine where. Sure you're not thinking of Fernando, on Roy and Coloniale? Anyway, as I explain here, I finally found some at the Atwater Market. And I believe I've since seen tubs at JTM's Boucherie du marché.

goose fat

JTM's Les volailles et gibiers du marché has 250-ml and 500-ml tubs. Not cheap ($10 for 500 ml, IIRC).

aged meats

Boucherie du Paris (see above) used to regularly stock excellent dry-aged entrecôtes. Some of the more extreme examples (eight week's aging, cut from the small end of the rack) were incredibly gamey. Now that I think of it, they haven't mentioned aged beef in quite a while. Wonder why? Will ask why next time I'm there.

citrus oils

Les petits plaisirs d'Andréa has excellent lemon and orange infused oil at a price.

matchstick fries

You're right. Haven't seen any since Pique-Nique Suisse and upstairs Guillaume Tell left this vale of tears. You'd think matchstick fries would sell themselves in this frites-crazy town. Maybe it's because they're hard to reconcile with the local taste for greasy fries?

Edited by carswell (log)
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[Continuation of the preceding post because the quote feature stopped working when I tried posting it in a single go.]

bento boxes

See here and here. (Have tried only Isakaya's, which was good if not socks-knocking.)

usli ghee

Épicerie Shavit (6334 Victoria, 514 739-4403) had some yesterday. Friday's La Presse had a feature on Indian cooking. You might try some of their suggested stores:

- Au marché Jeevens (534 St-Roch, 514 279-8145)

- Apna Bazaar (4852 des Sources, DDO, 514 421-0305)

- Desi Mandi (815 Jarry West, 514 495-2111)

- Marché Shah Jalal (534 Ogilvy, 514 905-7070).

doner (except for stunning village souvlaki grecque)

You're going to tell me this is in Laval, aren't you?

I knew it.

clotted cream

Apparently the problem is not at the retail level. See MaeveH's explanation.

More later. But now I've gotta get back to work.

Edited by carswell (log)
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hey, carswell, got the creme fraiche from exofruits today ( i haven't been there for a year or so). very nice. thx for the bento box referrals--i'm a fan of isakaya, will now try to get there at lunchtime rather than dinner.

the hands-down-greatest-doner in montreal is decidedly not in laval. it's on jean-talon in parc ex, about three blocks west of parc. i believe the official name is village souvlaki grecque, not to be confused with similar names around town. most doner meat in montreal (and elsewhere) tastes like alpo 'n' woodchips. these are crispy, juicy beef-pork-lamb shards to die for. the telephone number--from memory, i might add--is 274-4371. they deliver around mile-end, etc. i have eaten the doner, without exaggeration, over 200 times. it's that good.

i agree, it's sad we don't have the demographics from puerto rico and the dominican republic. also, of course, we sadly lack cubans, which i meant to type instead of the second 'dominicans'.

found desi ghee in a couple of places now, apparently both 'desi' and 'usli' mean ghee from butter, which i wanted, and not from vegetable oil. thx for the list of groceries, though.

it depresses me to agree with you completely on the likelihood of whole foods and other stores coming to town. of all things to be infused with reflexive nationalism, why grocery retailing? i mean all countries have wasteful/entrenched food regulations and quotas (rice self-sufficiency in japan, sugar in the states, dairy and wine etc. in europe) but this is different. a place like whole foods, and any other quality retailer, will open up new markets for local products across the board. the whole foods i went to in t.o. was downtown, in nyc it was in chelsea, and chicago was in a plateau-like area, close to the urban center. although i read online they're thinking of expanding to here and ottawa, i won't hold my breath.

is jtm boucherie one of the new ones in jtm extension? used to go to it on st-denis, where they carried goose fat. they didn't have it the last time i went to the market, only duck fat (which is great, of course). god, there should be more goose around town than just the few places i know. when i was in hungary, i ate fresh teppertu: goose cracklings, like chicharron. they still had some downy feathers attached and deep-fried! what's not to love?

glad you found lard. haven't walked by recently, so no name yet, but it's definitely on duluth, not roy, around du bouillon or so. south side of the street. starts with an s . serrano? soares? outstanding chorizo and blood sausage. a couple of fine portuguese cheeses, and jams from portugal made only with fruit and sugar. some are european berries that i haven't come across before--the texture is thick and grainy, great to have with cheese.

the citrus oils i want are not infused, they're pure oil from the rinds of grapefruit, lemon, lime, tangerine. the company is boyajian--look 'em up online. they have one or two kinds in atwater, but at outrageous prices (although they are pricey anyway in new york, where i saw them). next time i go down i'll get some--or i might just buckle down and pay here. a little dab'll do you for a long time, as they are intense and concentrated.

one thing i should add about montreal for this thread, is obvious--it's bloody frozen over almost half the year. this makes our hit-and-miss food scene at least understandable, if not fully acceptable.and while stews and other comfort food, and winter ingredients , are wonderful, it does impact severely on the quality of fruits and vegetables available. we aren't northern california, that's for sure, nor can we be. but why are much of the imports rock hard and tasteless--even in the summer? the royal galas and fujis are often soft and insipid, peaches and pears rock-hard, apricots and plums mealy, asparagus woody, mushrooms "mush"-y and so on. oh, well...

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