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Food

A walk into Montreal's public markets

Posted by Katherine / May 20, 2013

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Montreal in the Summer is an awesome place to be. From the many festivals that bring our city to life, to the outdoor activities that give us the opportunity to take advantage of our green spaces; Montreal transforms itself into a desirable island with an infinite list of activities to make our days brighter. One of my favourite things to do during the warm months is to explore our public food markets.

Montreal is home to four public markets; Jean-Talon, Atwater, Maisonneuve, Lachine. Each is strategically located in a different area of the island. There are also 11 neighborhood markets and flower kiosks that are open to the public throughout the city.

I love going to the market as it is an opportunity to savour our local products and to support our own agricultural industry. For this article I took a walk to Jean-Talon market where friends, families, tourists and farmers come together to enjoy this great outdoor space. What attracts me to Jean-Talon market is the relationship that I can build with the various vendor. It is an experience that allows me to create new ties with vendors that are passionate about their products and at the same time gives me the chance to ask them for advice on how to prepare new recipes.

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While at the market I took the opportunity to talk with Louis Rowan, a farmer from Rawdon, Qc. He explained to me that he grows all of his products at his farm, then with the help of his family and friends prepares the packages for the sales. He also prepares canned beets and homemade ketchup. He said that often his mother and even some generous neighbours will offer to help him for free; I really like this idea of a nice complicity between the producers and their helpers. For him working at the market is the best way to create jobs for the local people and also to maintain the agricultural diversity of the gardens.

For a long time, I was under the misconception that products at markets would be much more expensive than the ones we find at grocery chains. After visiting a few markets, I realized that I had it all wrong. For starter, when shopping at a market you benefit from the possibility to bargain your price. You can also find good sales where for 1 $ you can take sad looking vegetables home and make them happy again while using them for a recipe.

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Overall, I feel that integrating a weekly visit to a market into your routine is a nice way to make the most out of Summer life. If you are not in the need for food, markets can also be a nice place to take a walk and wonder. The rainbow of bright colours sure has what it takes to make a nice day.

Check out the public markets website for more information on opening hours and much more. Did you know that our public markets also offer a variety of gastronomic activities?
http://www.marchespublics-mtl.com/English/

Discussion

12 Comments

Kathryn Hill / June 3, 2013 at 09:21 am
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Last November I intended to go to the Lachine Market which is listed as one of the Farmer's Markets in Montreal. After a long, confusing drive west of the city I ended up in the Lachine Canal area and found a sad, small building with little selection with a sign "Lachine Market." There is nothing there worth the drive and I was very, very disappointed. This should not be listed as a farmer's market or a destination when visiting Montreal.
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