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Jean Talon Market extention now open


fireweed
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It was a nasty, slushy day; however, there was a grand opening nonetheless and I managed to make it to the market to check out the new stores. Only about 8 of the 20 are open so it was a bit dead, but still looks promising! A cook book store!

Lots of meats, cheeses, and coffee to choose from, but my first purchase was from Olive et Epices: ( Philippe de Vienne's store) a can of incredibly fragrant, bright green cardamom. Beautiful stuff. What a fantastic array of spices and chillies.

I'll be back.

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That man is just the best ! A really sweet guy who sure knows how to handle a cleaver. He also has a fine catering business. I am sorry to say that I have stayed clear of the recent constructions (except for a short stop before a dinner at Alep).

My butcher also tells me he is opening up (also at Atwater). Boucherie St-Vincent, great organic birds ! An A Boulanger wouldn't be to shabby eaither.

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I checked out the new extension today. It's still disorganized and at first I was paranoid that it would add a permanent gentrified mall extension, but after walking through a couple of times I *think* it will work out. I hope that the new section will be open air across the market like the other lanes - in the summer.

Also, several of the stores are people that were already at JTM so the competition overload will be a bit less than you might think.

Such as:

"Boucherie Prince Noir" is moving there - AND apprently re-opening Le Tartarin.

"Les Volailles et gibiers du marche" is moving there, to a very handsome corner location which will be open to street in summer. Good selection of Ferme Goulet Duck products, Bison Meat etc.

"Brulerie Aux Quatre Vents" coffe shop moves across the street to inside...

But 3-4 new specialized butchers/meat stores are moving in, one new cheese shop, a new Poissonnerie "Aqua Mare", etc.

The Olive oil and Spice shop looks VERY intertesting. Good selection and well packaged spices. BTW - they have inexpensive Thai or Balinese Mortar and pestles. This store will be a hit for sure.

The small Gourmet Bookstore has a good selection. Could be a destination for folks coming up from the US to check out JTM - for picking up QC specific books that could be hard to find down south. They have the L'Eau a la Bouche book - looks very nice. Several other "coffe table" foodie books with QC authors/angles + many french publishers books. It's gonna be expensive next time....

All in all I think the extension *might work* and not destroy the JTM ambiance..... we'll know by summer.

Edited by sf&m (log)
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Had opportunity to pass by yesterday, unaware that the extension was open, albeit only partially occupied. First impression was COOL! Do check out the Olive & Spice store with so many varieties of oils that can be sampled & I saw several different types of fresh vanilla beans under glass. The fromagerie/boulangerie seemed to have same style as Fromentier; could it be an offshoot? Their breads & danishes sure appeared similar & when we were there early afternoon, they were almost sold out of bread. Polish bakery Wavel opened another location & now their delicious ponkis (best doughnuts in town!) can be discovered by those outside the NDG area. (I saw an empty box next to the cash at Chez Louis!) Also nice to have a bookstore & a kitchen accessories store on site. I think it's a great concept & will surely attract even more people to JTM.

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Hey, Poutine and sf&m, I was at the market on Saturday afternoon, too. We could have had a mini-offline!

The new extension gets a thumbs-up from me. I like the fact that they kept the look and feel of the old winter enclosure but widened the allées. And the selection of shops in the extension per se looks exciting, especially all the new butchers. It's great to see that Le Tartarin is back, though with the tables out in the open, I doubt the experience or the menu will be the same as those provided at the St-Denis location (or is current set-up temporary?).

It's also great they put in public restrooms, a feature you can't take for granted these days. They need to rethink the windows on Henri-Julien, though: they give a full-length view of the urinals. Until changes are made, remember to zip up before turning away, men!

I've always been partial to the Jean-Talon Market but feel this addition puts it head and shoulders above the other public markets in nearly every aspect: cheese stores, butchers, charcuteries, bakeries, green grocers, cafés/restos, fish mongers, spice stores. Throw in the extras like the chestnut roaster, the bookstore, the kitchen supply store, the cooking demos and, the clincher, piccolo Italia, and it's no contest: the place has become the city's primo culinary destination. Lucky us.

Edited by carswell (log)
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Also open as at 12/12 I noticed a chocolate store (hot choco for $1) and an ice cream store. I am able to confirm that Lait Cru does indeed sell Fromentier breads & brioches/danish - although there was not nearly as much variety as you find at their Laurier establishment; their goods are not baked at JT, only transported there. Go early for best selection! What I find exceptional is that the new section leads directly to the (for winter at least) indoor or enclosed part of the market where several veggie/fruit stalls are located & there are multiple side entrances for quick exits to access both side streets. And did I mention the indoor parking - granted you pay for it but on those nasty cold windy days it sure beats walking the km or so from the only parking spot I could find on Danté!

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Yes, poutine, I forgot the Ice cream store "Havre Aux Glace" I think it's called.

Maybe not the ideal season to start an ice cream store but they have two excellent Sorbets I highly recommend for the Holiday season:

"Cidre de Glace"

- (or "Pomme De Glace"? - forget) made with real QC Ice Cider from Ciderie Clos Saint-Denis. Must cost them more then they sell it for, there is so much Ice Cider it precipitates out in the freezer. No prob. Just mix it in again. Would go well between Holiday table courses. If it lasts that long!

"The de Noel"

- Very interesting, subtle sorbet. They would not tell me what's in it.

I had it with a super ripe persimmon and they enhanced each other nicely.

Nice after-feast treat with nuts & fruit etc.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Had more time to poke around the extension on Tuesday of last week.

The fish store shows promise, though there wasn't a huge amount of choice. On the other hand, this was the first day of business after the Christmas holiday. Here's hoping the competition with Poissonerie Shamrock pushes both mongers to greater heights.

A pasta store is a great idea, and the fresh noodles were selling like hotcakes; at three in the afternoon, there was only ravioli left, and not much of that. Has anyone here tried their wares? In the 'hood, Milano has set the bar pretty high. It will be interesting to see if the new store can raise it.

Was disappointed that neither olive merchant had Nyons or niçoise olives. Atwater Market does.

The cookbook store's staff was friendly. Too bad their inventory was almost exclusively French and nowhere near complete (very few books on regional French cooking, for example). A well-stocked polylingual cookbook store is a niche waiting to be filled in this city and maybe on this continent, and I'm pretty sure it would attract enough business to survive and maybe thrive. Alas, this store isn't it. In fact, it provides nothing that Renaud-Bray, say, doesn't provide better.

The organic butcher's shop is under construction; from the look of things, it should be opening in a couple of weeks. In the meatime, Les volailles et gibiers du marché (514 271-4141) will more than do. For a dinner with friends that evening, I had planned to braise a pheasant with pancetta, chestnuts, rosemary, white wine and brandy. But they were plum out of pheasants. Despite the fact that one of my fellow diners, a Frenchman, finds local guinea fowl and rabbits lacking in flavour compared with those of his homeland, I decided to make the dish with a smallish guinea hen. Good thing, too: the bird was excellent, the flesh firm, tender and flavourful. In fact, it got two thumbs up from my French friend ("presqu'aussi bon qu'en France"). They ain't cheap but they're worth it.

edit: Has anyone tried the espresso-based drinks from the coffee bar on the south side of the foyer? Any idea who the roaster is?

Edited by carswell (log)
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The new extension certainly fills a number of gaps in the JTM's offer. Still, at least a couple remain:

- No great pastry shop

- A decent (i.e. Sélection-level) SAQ outlet, something like the one across the street from the Atwater Market

Any other ideas?

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A well-stocked polylingual cookbook store is a niche waiting to be filled in this city and maybe on this continent, and I'm pretty sure it would attract enough business to survive and maybe thrive.

I worked in bookstores all through high school and university and have mulled over opening a cookbook store in Montreal, but decided against it for now. I am curious though about the cookbook store in Toronto -- anyone ever been? Is it good? Does it do well?

Paul

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Went into the (smaller) fish store & tasted their smoked salmon & liked it so we bought a small filet (about $7.00 for maybe a 6 oz piece). They were also offering tastes of their smoked whitefish (sturgeon perhaps), also nice. Agree with Carswell in that they did not have much product in stock. For $13.50 they had a small package containing a few chunks of smoked salmon, some smoked mussels, smoked shrimp & a few pieces of smoked whitefish. It was ok but pas plus que ça. However, on a plate with razor thin sliced red onion, some capers (if you have never tried the ones packed in salt, please do so because once that salt is well rinsed off, you will never eat brined capers again!), thinly sliced lemon, a cream cheese/sour cream mixture & some toast points, the smoked salmon(s) & the other smoked fish were simply awesome. I must admit that prior to arriving at JT, we were on Laurier East & I purchased some sliced smoked salmon at the counter of Queu de Cochon (in Le Fromentier) & I am confident in saying that having been raised on bagels, cream cheese & lox, the smoked salmon at Queu de Cochon totally blew me & everyone else away; best darned lox I've ever experienced & worth the shlep out to Laurier & Papineau. As good as Le Fromentier is for bread, I find the counter of Queu de Cochon equally good for sausauges, ham, & other pret a manger.

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Carswell, where is the pasta store located anyway? - somehow I could not find it.....

I'd like the bookstore to focus on "local" material, QC related.

There may not be enough material, but at least for the core. It suits the JTM idea. Great for vistors blown away by the market. Something you can bring back for sure. One advantage I find with a small store like that is that you sometimes find gems that you overlook in the huge inventory of say Renaud-Bray. I know I did. After all, that kind of browsing is what's fun with a real bookstore. By being French language oriented, perhas they can keep their prices up and avoid the pressure from the flood of books from the Empire (old and new). Of course they should also carry english language books, if related to Montreal/QC. Such as resto guides. But it was great NOT seeing "Les Halles" (by that NYC guy) on the front desk like everywhere else.

And if SAQ opened up a bigger branch they should merge it with the Marche Des saveurs wine store and offer a complete selection of QC wines before a single import goes in.

IMHO!

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Thanks for the heads-up, poutine. You've got me thinking that someone should open an artisanal smoker at the market or elsewhere. They could sell their own line of products (fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, cheese, beer malt...) smoked over various types of wood and also custom smoke items brought in by customers (fishers, hunters, etc.).

As good as Le Fromentier is for bread, I find the counter of Queue de Cochon equally good for sausauges, ham, & other pret a manger.

Agreed. Which makes the mediocrity of their duck confit all the more surprising.

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Carswell, where is the pasta store located anyway? - somehow I could not find it.....

The fish monger's is the northernmost store of the extension. Just south of that is, IIRC, the about-to-be-opened organic butcher's. And just south of that is the pasta store. Like Les vollailes et gibiers du marché and the other stores on the south side of the extension, the doors of all three stores open to the outside, i.e. you can't get at them without leaving the foyer and stepping outdoors.

I'd like the bookstore to focus on "local" material, QC related.

There may not be enough material, but at least for the core.  It suits the JTM idea. Great for vistors blown away by the market. Something you can bring back for sure. One advantage I find with a small store like that is that you sometimes find gems that you overlook in the huge inventory of say Renaud-Bray. I know I did. After all, that kind of browsing is what's fun with a real bookstore. By being French language oriented,  perhas they can keep their prices up and avoid the pressure from the flood of books from the Empire (old and new).  Of  course they should also carry english language books, if related to Montreal/QC. Such as resto guides.

I see your point. But, applying the same reasoning, would you have the cooking supplies store not carry woks or cast-iron cornbread pans?

I also think it's important to bear in mind that many, maybe even most, shoppers at the JTM don't cook only Québécois or Quebec-influenced food. Despite the recent gentrification, there are lots of immigrants who shop there. Shouldn't their cooking preferences be reflected in the cookbook store? And wouldn't it be great if someone who's just picked up some quénèpes or fresh dates at Sami could wander over to the cookbook store and buy a book on tropical fruits or Moroccan cooking while he was still at the market and had ready access the other ingredients for, say, a tagine?

Remember, this is the city's only cookbook store and the big stores just aren't doing the job. There was a time when Renaud-Bray on Côte-des-Neiges, then in the space now occupied by Oliveri, had a truly bilingual cookbook section, and it was wonderful, the best of both worlds. These days, they have about a shelf full of English books. And even the French sections at the big French-language stores are understocked; try finding a decent cookbook on Alsatian or Franche-Comté cuisine, for example. They exist. I have some bought in France in my collection. You just can't buy them here.

What's more, the selection of ethnic cookbooks in Montreal, in English or French, is pitiful. (Case in point: Penguin India is publishing a reportedly fantastic series of paperback books on Indian regional cooking. Not one of these is available in Montreal. Heck, I've only ever seen a single volume of Julie Sahni's works in Montreal, and she's mainstream.)

And forget about cookbooks in languages other than English and French. Not surprisingly, the best Spanish cookbooks are in Spanish. Even someone like me who doesn't speak much Spanish has little trouble reading recipes from them. Why should I have to jump through hoops, or wait until my next trip to NYC or Madrid, to buy them?

I really don't care if the shop is located at the JTM or somewhere else. I just want to be able to go to a store with a selection of excellent cookbooks representative of the world's cuisines and with a staff that knows something about cooking and cookbook publishing. And I expect that if the current store at JTM doesn't do something along the lines of what I suggest, it won't be long for this world.

And if SAQ opened up a bigger branch they should merge it with the Marche Des saveurs wine store and offer a complete selection of QC wines before a single import goes in.

Wonder what the Marché des Saveurs people would say about that. :hmmm: I'd bet that alcoholic beverages account for a sizeable chunk of their sales, even when there isn't a strike at the SAQ, and can't see them being thrilled at the prospect of losing it. That said, I'm all for making it easier to support the local industry (as long as their products are palatable, that is).

Edited by carswell (log)
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What's more, the selection of ethnic cookbooks in Montreal,  in English or French, is pitiful. (Case in point: Penguin India is publishing a reportedly fantastic series of paperback books on Indian regional cooking. Not one of these is available in Montreal.

Yes, ethnic cookbook selection is bad here, but I did buy one of those Penguin books at Chapters downtown over a month ago, and they still had at least one copy in stock today: Curry, Curry, Curry; by Ranjit Rai. Only $18, and it's brilliant. Mine is already jammed full of post-it notes. Definitely pick it up!!

Paul

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Yes, ethnic cookbook selection is bad here, but I did buy one of those Penguin books at Chapters downtown over a month ago, and they still had at least one copy in stock today: Curry, Curry, Curry; by Ranjit Rai. Only $18, and it's brilliant. Mine is already jammed full of post-it notes. Definitely pick it up!!

Got it, Paul. And, you're right that it's great. But, technically speaking, it's not a regional cookbook. (Some might even claim that curries as such aren't Indian, but that's a whole nother discussion.) Still, it demonstrates that some enterprising Montreal store could stock the entire series.

By the way, have you checked out Atul Kochhar's Indian Essence? The Canadian edition, published by Whitecap in Vancouver, runs around $30. All of the half dozen or so dishes I've made from it to date have been excellent, though the prize goes to one I tried during the holidays: tenga, a sweet and sour fish curry from Assam (East India), replete with bamboo shoots, star anise and kaffir lime leaves, a kind of missing link between Indian cooking and that of Southeast Asia. It has made me more desperate than ever to learn about the region's cooking.

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Yes, ethnic cookbook selection is bad here, but I did buy one of those Penguin books at Chapters downtown over a month ago, and they still had at least one copy in stock today: Curry, Curry, Curry; by Ranjit Rai. Only $18, and it's brilliant. Mine is already jammed full of post-it notes. Definitely pick it up!!

Got it, Paul. And, you're right that it's great. But, technically speaking, it's not a regional cookbook.

Okay, but at least he does a great job of identifying regions and influences.

By the way, have you checked out Atul Kochhar's Indian Essence?

Yes, but not carefully. I had originally dismissed it as just another "Indian restaurant food" style book. I'll give it a more careful look.

a kind of missing link between Indian cooking and that of Southeast Asia. It has made me more desperate than ever to learn about the region's cooking.

Yes, many areas seem to have some amazing combinations from the entire spectrum of what we consider "regional". I guess the natives aren't as concerned with regional boundaries as we are. :rolleyes:

Paul

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I think that there is still a need for a small general store like at Atwater missing at JT. One stop shop where guys like René have chocolate, seasoning, truffles, pasta, all sorts of stuff. I had to run all over the place to get Mirin at JT. And the Marché de Saveur, can we please give up the 'la belle fermière' look of the staff... That is the image of the oppressed Quebecois, pure Folklore, nothing to do with the pride of the products there. Young aggressive farmers and producers don't where furry hats anymore...

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Indentifier, I think there is a more general purpose store going in at JTM, at the South East corner - Bientôt.

Did not know the JT bookstore is the only dedicated cookbook store in M. A multilingual, multi cultural book store would be great.... who could argue against the tempting cornucopia of cultures and foods avaliable in Montreal or SF for that matter..... but..... what are we loosing to our convenience (even greed maybe)?? I can 't believe I am saying this but I am becoming more and more concerned about the fragility of different GENUINE cultures .... about the REAL thing.... about the preposterous idea that anything can be emulated...anywhere. Will it all become a US like Wallmartized mongrel miasma where there is no culture besides the $$$ ruled and plastic packaged?

Of course the "ethnic" stores around JTM adds immensely. But I like that they are separate, obviously run by people who know what they are doing - from the culture they represent.

Those stores should carry books, cooking utensils etc. (and some of them do.) that are genuine and belong to that culture - less convenient - but the true thing. Truth is hard to come by these days, so I would not mind walking a few steps to get it. And if you want a REAL Chinese Wok, you won't find it in gourmet cooking shop but in some hole-in-the-wall in Chinatown.

I see JTM as microcosm with a solid core of LOCAL produce and suppliers and culture with a periphery of different cultures from the rest of the world providing the "spice and counterpoint" to local produce, food and customs.

Quebec and it's french "inspired" culture, food and producers is an incredibly valuable resource. Especially since there is some real world comptetitive exellence developing. Montreal and Monteregie (and other regions) have an enormeous gastronomical potential that we need to nurture. (Not that we can't enjoy Indian food as well!!).

Carswell, yeah my idea for merging Marche des Saveurs and Local SAQ can be written off as an Incredibly Stupid Idea - I am good at those. What set me off in that tangent was that I heard SAQ was taking a nick on MdS sales. Can't confirm that. But I can confirm that the MdS vine store is out of SPACE - with recent proliferation and several new Ice Ciders they are out of room. So next idea.... SAQ should be banished from JTM, and the small SAQ outlet should be converted by MdS to a dedicated Vins Des Saveurs, featuring a complete selection of QC wines with room to expand.

Edited by sf&m (log)
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I know for a fact that Marché des Saveurs is not pleased at all with the futur opening of SAQ du terroir to open at Marché Jean-talon.

Secondly , the not a wine industry in Québec , there are a lot of artisanal wine maker that cannot fill the demands. They are running out of stock as we are speaking because of the stike at SAQ. The producers cannot furnish for the deman for tere products.

Lastly , there is no dress code for employes at Marché des saveurs ! Identifier,The La belle fermière look is not from the management . I spent a great deal of time at Marché des saveurs , and know most of the employes personnaly. They are a bunch of young people who dress as they like to go to work , and most of them are of the "granola" type people who dress like that for theire own personnal reasons. I dont find it La belle fermière at all , just young and a bit funky. They all are very happy to be working there (well , most of them) , are all knowledgable in what they are doing , and even during the crazy times before chrismas where they were working like crazy (if you've been there , you know what i mean !) , they manage to stay patiant , threat every custumer in a courteous and professionnal manner !

visit my fondation: www.ptitslutins.org

I started a food blog : http://antoniodelaruepapineau.blogspot.com/

(in french)

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Toto2, agree the young staff at MdS are terrific. Helpful, friendly and interested. Before Christmas they were hustling cartoons of wine in as fast as customers were lugging bottles out the door.

Ouch - did not know about SAQ du Terrior. Be careful what you ask for, eh? It should be an extension of MdS wine outlet instead. MdS has the "mechanism" for dealing with very small producers, which is really important we have a retail outlet for.

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Okay, but at least he does a great job of identifying regions and influences.

Agreed. And I don't mean to knock it. It's just that I've increasingly come to desire regional cookbooks and it's surprising how few of them there are, even for cuisines as popular as Italian and Chinese. Due surely to the fact that many excellent ominbus cookbooks are already available and probably to the inceasing sophistication of cookbook buyers, that's beginning to change — there's been a small explosion of Tuscan cookbooks in the last couple of years along with a few Sicilian books and even an excellent tome on the cooking of the Northeast (La Terra Fortunata) — but there's still a long way to go.

By the way, have you checked out Atul Kochhar's Indian Essence?

Yes, but not carefully. I had originally dismissed it as just another "Indian restaurant food" style book. I'll give it a more careful look.

Well, it's definitely a restaurateur's book. But, as several of the contributors to the referred thread pointed out, Kochhar brings a surprising freshness to the dishes and blazes at least one path toward a modern Indian cuisine. And so far none of the recipes is a dud.

a kind of missing link between Indian cooking and that of Southeast Asia. It has made me more desperate than ever to learn about the region's cooking.

Yes, many areas seem to have some amazing combinations from the entire spectrum of what we consider "regional". I guess the natives aren't as concerned with regional boundaries as we are. :rolleyes:

Tradiitional regional cooking has often embraced outside influences. Think tomato and chile, for example. There's a traditional Sicilian rabbit dish I cook that combines Arab, Spanish and North African ingredients; all three cultures at one time held sway over that amazing island. Ditto Friuli in the Northeast, where sauerkraut, dill and exotic spices are common due to the region's once having been part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, to its proximity to Solvenia and to its long history as a port of entry for the spice trade. Apparently, that's what happened in Assam, too. Here's the publisher's blurb from The Essential North-East Cookbook in that Penguin India series:

If there is one part of this country that is still to be discovered, at least in terms of its cuisine, it is the North-East. Those who live in, or have visited the seven sister states—Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura—would tell you that the kitchens of the North-East are the source of an extraordinary range of dishes that blend tradition and innovation in unexpected ways. The basic tribal diet of jungle produce has over the years been shaped by the influence of various other communities: the Thais, who once ruled over some parts of the territory; the Chinese, because of their proximity; and the Bengali migrants, and it is this unusual combination that makes the food of the region unique in India.

All I know is that with its sweet and sour sauce, star anise, kaffir lime leaves and bamboo shoots in combination with more "traditional" Indian flavours (tumeric, Kashmiri chile, ground fennel, etc.), the tenga was like Southeast Asia on a plate and, man, did I love it.

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Indentifier, I think there is a more general purpose store going in at JTM, at the South East corner  -  Bientôt.

You mean like where Motta or the bulk foods store is? Is it taking over another store's space? If not, hard to imagine how they'd squeeze it in.

Of course the "ethnic" stores around JTM adds immensely. But I like that they are separate, obviously run by people who know what they are doing - from the culture they represent.

Those stores should carry books, cooking utensils etc. (and some of them do.) that are genuine and belong to that culture - less convenient - but the true thing.  Truth is hard to come by these days, so I would not mind walking a few steps to get it. And if you want a REAL Chinese Wok, you won't find it in gourmet cooking shop but in some hole-in-the-wall in Chinatown.

But the people running those stores don't have the knowledge of either the French or English publishing industry — let alone both — necessary either to identify worthwhile titles or to order and stock them. Plus, I bet the usual order of things is that Montrealers buy a Chinese cookbook in a non-ethnic bookstore and only then make the trek to Chinatown to buy fermented bean paste or an authentic wok.

I see JTM as microcosm with  a solid core of LOCAL produce and suppliers and culture with a periphery of different cultures from the rest of the world providing the "spice and counterpoint" to local produce, food and customs.

I'm all for local though I'm not about to give up figs or chestnuts because they're not hardy to zone 4b. And "local produce, food and customs" are in constant flux. Ten years ago, you couldn't get a non-purple eggplant at JTM for love or money. Ditto arugula, white asparagus, Philibon melons, meyer lemons.

Another thing to bear in mind is that the JTM has always been as much an Italian market as a Québécois one. The Faitas, the now owners of Dante Hardware, got their start as vegetable vendors there. Twenty years ago, JTM was just about the only place in town where you could reliably find fresh cranberry beans, fennel, etc., none of which has a place in traditional Quebec cuisine.

Quebec and it's french "inspired" culture, food and producers is an incredibly valuable resource.  Especially since there is some real world comptetitive exellence developing. Montreal and Monteregie (and other regions) have an enormeous gastronomical potential that we need to nurture.

For sure. That's why I buy as much as possible from local producers. But as far as produce goes, that's really only an option for six or seven months a year. And we shouldn't be expected to lower our standards just to support the industry; the industry should rise to meet ours. And that means, among other things, providing us with more than just traditional foodstuffs. Why are fingerling potatoes so hard to come by in Quebec? Nantes-style carrots? Yellow corn? Grits? Why do I have to head for Au Pied du Cochon when I want impeccably fresh Gulf of St. Lawrence seafood? Why are fresh cloudberries never to be seen?

I also think it means being honest about what Quebec can and can't do. Hope springs eternal, but should I feel obligated to buy Quebec red wine when I have yet to encounter a worthwhile bottle and am even willing to concede that red hybrids can produce pleasurable wines (Quail Gate's Maréchal Foch, for example)?

In the end, though, I think the case you still haven't made is how futher integrating other cultures into the JTM scene would adversely affect the blossoming of local culture.

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The new extension certainly fills a number of gaps in the JTM's offer. Still, at least a couple remain:

- No great pastry shop

- A decent (i.e. Sélection-level) SAQ outlet, something like the one across the street from the Atwater Market

Any other ideas?

- An organic produce store to go with the organic butcher's.

- A caterer with first-rate prepared dishes for reheating, like the shop that the late lamented Marcello opened next to his eponymous restaurant on Laurier East (now La Guadriole).

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