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Good fruit in Montreal


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Some might say this an oxymoron, but I have found some good fruit and a little excellent fruit.

Currently I get most of my fruit from supermarche PA on the corner of Laurier and Parc. They carry a good selection at very good prices with fairly good quality. Sometimes the asian pears are a steal at less than a dollar a pound and can be remarkably tasty, if intermittently so. I like the ya asian pears, forelle; rocha; and red anjou regular pears, honey tangerines, moro blood oranges, and cara cara red oranges.

Also good for low prices is Sakaris on St. Laurent between Rachel and Mont Royal. They often carry some nice stuff at good prices.

A while ago there were some yellow honey dew melons from brazil packaged in red netting floating around that were unbelievable.

There is of course also JTM and atwater. Atwater I don't have much experience with and would be keen to hear some opinions on. At JTM there are the ubiquitous fruit stalls which sometimes carry good stuff, but I find it a bit overpriced and their practice of sugaring the fruit distasteful. There is also of Chez Louis and Chez Nino but I find their prices somewhat prohibitive, and I'm not certain some of their lower priced stuff is any different from other stores selling it elsewhere for cheaper. I would be interested in anything people would consider outstanding; if its good enough its worth the price to me.

What kinds of fruit do you like to buy and where do you buy them?

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I've always found that Marché Lobo on Parc near Milton has had really good produce. It's small, packed with McGill kids, but they have a good selection with (I think) decent prices. Then again, I haven't had a chance to wander around to many other places like you've listed, but took the recommendations of co-workers.

Sorry that I can't give exact price per pound of various items, as I haven't had a chance to get over there since the summer, but it may be worth checking out.

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Hmmm..I don’t know about outstanding fruit in Mtl. Let see what other people have to say about this….

I do however know about good-value fruit:

Of course there is Sammy Fruit at the JTM: great prices but the produce is other less-than-stellar.

When I was living in the East, I would shop at Marché Outremont on the corner of Hutchison and Bernard. The nicest people and great prices. Also, of course PA.

Now that I’m in the West, I always shop at Rocky Montana on Sherbrooke –we buy most of our regular stuff at Loblaws but always buy fruits and vegetables there.

I don’t know if I’m going to be chastised for saying this but I’m not such a huge fan of the Atwater market’s fruits and vegetables (besides Diane). Unless it’s really in season –like apples, pears, squashes, garlic – I don’t make the trek.

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Eden in the mall at Parc and Prince-Arthur has a nice selection of good quality fruit. I've yet to find a plce in town with really exceptional fruit. Fruiterie Val-Mont is usually a good bet. You can find good bargains at Adonis. The quality is inconsistent, but the prices are always good.

Montreal is known as a dumping ground for cheap produce. Most high quality fruits and vegetables don't even make it here because Montrealers have a reputation for being cheap when it comes to produce. The buyers for the big distributers never buy high-end produce because it will most likely rot on the shelves.

Edited by Snackhappy (log)
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Montreal is known as a dumping ground for cheap produce. Most high quality fruits and vegetables don't even make it here because Montrealers have a reputation for being cheap when it comes to produce. The buyers for the big distributers never buy high-end produce because it will most likely rot on the shelves.

I noticed that quality of fruits and vegetables in Montreal isn't close to what I was used to in Ottawa (except a couple of extremely expensive places), although, frankly, I would expect it to be opposite.

So, where did you say the high quality stuff goes?

Edited by doronin (log)
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I don't know how true the following is: I was reading an article in my neighbourhood paper last summer about Marché de l'Ouest. The stall renters there were saying that even though they had to pay higher rent prices, they preferred it to the other markets because the customers don't haggle (frankly, I didn't even know it was possible to haggle on fruits and vegetables!), so they bring their premium products there and charge accordingly.

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Worst thing about living in Montreal: crappy fruit.

I've stopped eating it, save for the occasional orange and grapefruit. I ate a green apple the other day. It was mealy and it tasted like I was licking the inside of a dumpster. I shudder just thinking about it.

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I go to an excellent "fruiterie" on the corner of St-Joseph and St-Denis. The owners will often special order items for me. Last year I asked them to stock Chanterelles and they had beautiful ones from Quebec and BC and were so glad to see how fast people were scooping them up. They always offer fruit at a nice ripeness (not the hard bland stuff you often find at the grocery stores) and their prices are hard to beat. They also have a great selection of exotic fare and bio products, vegetables, fruits and a wall filled with ethnic products. If they sold meat and fish I would do all my grocery shopping there.

It's nice to find businesses in MTL, and they are rare, that care so much about what they offer and what their customers want.

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And with "fruit" we mean fruit from warmer climates? Come on...

Heck, I can't get good, ripe fruit in a regular Safeway store in San Francisco either... all unripe..

But, go LOCAL PRODUCTION :

- APPLES (about 10 varieties - all better than most in California) And available most of the year.

- Ontario Peaches - What's this... actually tastes like a PEACH and not sugar water

- Are we allowed to include berries in "fruit"?

- Real Blueberries

- Superb Strawberries (when we are lucky)

- Phenomenal Raspberries

- Cherries

Eat what is in SEASON.

Then, in season get your butts down to Monteregie or ETS to do some pick-your-own and put-up.

And in winter agument that with a box of Maroc Clementines a week - keeps the skurvy away.

You have it good!

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Seveneightoh,

Thanks for the suggestion, Marche Lobo was one of my haunts back when I lived only a few blocks away, they do have some nice produce at good prices but most of their fruit wasn't great.

I will have to check out some of the suggestions: Marche Outremont, fruiterie Val-mont, Adonis, and the fruiterie on St. Joseph and St. Denis which is especially close to me.

Lesley, I would agree that the fruit scene here is not great, worse than that even, but that doesn't mean I can't find some fruit I enjoy eating. It is febuary so I wouldn't really expect to find any palatable apples other than granny smith. I have rehashed the "montreals fruit sucks or montreals produce sucks" discussion/argument many times before, and I don't really care to do it again. I prefer to focus on what IS available that is atleast good.

As I mentioned in my first post there were some yellow honeydew melons from brazil floating around for a month or two before christmas. They looked like this:

gallery_44574_4258_1267997.jpg

And they were probably the best melons I've ever had; unbelievably juicy, firmly textured and full flavored. But other than that its been mostly a mix of really bad, ok, good, and very good.

sf&m,

I believe in the merits of eating seasonally and locally, but only for products I can get locally. My interest in fruit is far greater than whats limited to our small, cold corner of the world. Most of the fruit I mentioned is in season, in the places that it comes from. Maybe you enjoy sticking with a box of clementines during winter; I do not, and see no reason to when plenty of good fruit from other parts of the world are available to me.

Where are you getting this fantastic local fruit? I visit the JTM weekly more or less and it doesn't seem like much of the fruit is local, even in season. Did they have ontario peaches this past year?. Berries I can't speak for much outside of strawberries, as I find the prices at the JTM prohibitive, but even the strawberries I did buy were OK, not great though. I'd love to get out to the you-pick farms but not having a car makes this pretty difficult, though I do hope to make the trek out to windmill farm when they reopen.

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Ok, in all seriousness, it can be hard..... but it's hard in California too - of all places - unless I go to the VERY expensive Ferry Plaza Market. AND then it's VERY seasonal. So this state of affairs and demand is to a large extent a fiction of big ag fruit farming and long transports.

I really like the local varieties of apples at JTM, right now the stands right by the interior intersection.

I do think the berry season is outstanding here, and yes, strawberries can be chancy.

But considering what you get it's not expensive.

Yes, wasn't much Ontario Peaches this year, I think you are right.

That's life - that's nature.

We have to change gears. This is how nature is. There are seasons. Live those and enjoy those to the fullest. Don't expect a foreign fruit in any season. and when you find one, enjoy it as as special treat. The whole idea of any food any time anywhere is a chimera. Even with cheap transportation it's still not real. It can't really be done.

I grew up is Sweden "some" time ago, and still remember the cold Orange from my pocket after a Sunday Hockey game. In winter it was Oranges from Israel, "Winter Apples" from my Grandmas attic and dried fruit from California. Always bananas of course. Somehow I don't feel I missed anything. That's what you eat in winter above the 55 parallell.

- Check out the dried fruits! Few things capture summer better.

- Also Melons at Chez Nino.

/gth

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sf&m,

I don't really understand what you're saying. Blood and Cara Cara oranges, forelle and rocha pears, and pommelos are all in season. These are the fruits I like to buy. I believe in buying and eating seasonally, but I'm not going to be a zealot about it. Where do you get the idea that I'm expecting a foreign fruit in any season?

Also, I'd love to know what kind of apples you like, and from which stall(s) (at the JTM)?. I tried a bushel and wrote them off (there's little worse than a mealy apple).

As for berries I'm sure some they were some great ones, but being good doesn't make them any less expensive; it makes them a better value. Unless the berries are going to be otherworldy there are other food items I feel I get more out of than a small basket of berries for 5-8$. Did you actually find any good strawberries at the market this season? I tried a couple different vendors; none were bad, but neither were they excellent.

I did see some gorgeous charentais melons at Nino the other day, they looked good enough that I considered buying them, even at 8$ a pop. If you've never had charentais melons before, they're pretty special.

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I go to an excellent "fruiterie" on the corner of St-Joseph and St-Denis. The owners will often special order items for me. Last year I asked them to stock Chanterelles and they had beautiful ones from Quebec and BC and were so glad to see how fast people were scooping them up. They always offer fruit at a nice ripeness (not the hard bland stuff you often find at the grocery stores) and their prices are hard to beat. They also have a great selection of exotic fare and bio products, vegetables, fruits and a wall filled with ethnic products. If they sold meat and fish I would do all my grocery shopping there.

It's nice to find businesses in MTL, and they are rare, that care so much about what they offer and what their customers want.

So you are the one responsible for the Chanterelles this summer!! I am so very greatfull for this! I made quite a few risottos and mushroom sauces out of these which brought me, my GF and various guest to culinary hights (and that for significantly less that it would have cost me at Chez Louis or Chez Nino) !

I am also a regular costomer of fruiterie muscat, there pruducts, are alaways of good quality and fairly priced. And they also cary all they etnic condiments that "comon" recipies call for. The owners are very nice and seem to be quite disapointed when they dont carry a product you ask them for. They also made me discover Okras, which I now buy about once a week and make an okra stew with, onions, okaras and diced tomatoes, flavored with espelette chilies!

I go often to JTM for specialty products, but I often find that buying a lot of diffrent fruit/vegetables can be cumbersom and expensive. I often go back to muscat for that part of my shopping were I know I will find ripe and reasonably priced fruit and vegetables.

BTW, they did try to cary meat but after two days they were "SPECIAL" stickers everywere. Guess it didnt fit in the decor!

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I bought a bag of pink lady apples at Maxi of all places last week. They were very good for this time of year. Hard, sweet, and a bit sour. I also find Fuji apples to be consistently good.

When I am broke, I buy my fruit at fruiterie 440 in anjou. If it isn't great I haven't paid so much for it. When I am feeling a bit wealthier I head out to JTM where I can sometimes sample before I buy.

Having lived in California for 30 years and I have to agree with Sf&m; much of the fruit we have here is far better than the average produce in California. Having eaten mealy gross blueberries most of my life, I am happy to pay 5$ a pint for wild blueberries here. Same goes for strawberries. The laws are also much more relaxed here, making it much easier to get our hands on more exotic stuff like mangosteens and dragonfuit and at more reasonable prices.

chantal

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I find the buying fruits are hit and miss in Montreal. It usualy isn't where your buy it, but when. You need to know what is in season, how long the transport was (longer transport mean longer NO2 exposure) and when the store gets the deliveries.

Its really frustrating when someone does not have the time to find quality raw materials at various shops.

There's all this talk about mtlers being cheap, but I think its a chicken a egg type of thing.

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