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Welcome to Gardens to Tables Travel Articles Montreal's Market Mecca
Montreal's Market Mecca Print E-mail
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Written by Michael Costa   
Micheael Montreal Marche Jean-TalonFor any cook—whether you’re a professional or the executive chef of your home kitchen—there are certain markets around the world that are so one-of-a-kind, they can inspire a pilgrimage: The Boqueria in Barcelona, Marché Bastille in Paris, and the Benito Juarez Market in Oaxaca, Mexico, to name just a few.  

I’ve visited the places above, and I recently added one more to my list: Montreal’s Marché Jean-Talon, in the city’s Little Italy neighborhood, which is a short Metro ride north from downtown. Like all market meccas, Jean-Talon is expansive, full of serendipity and open all year. But if you really want to see the full bounty of Quebec—one of the most fertile regions on the planet—July is the time to visit. Here are a few photos I snapped during a recent visit. More can be found in the slideshow on the Share & Learn tab.

Michael Montreal Marche Jean-TalonJean-Talon is also an important part of the community, and supplies many of the city’s amazing restaurants on a daily basis. In fact, while walking around the market, I noticed one mystery vegetable that was on my plate from the previous night’s dinner: salicorne, which is a kind of mini-asparagus that grows along the ocean shore, and has a sharp, natural sea salt bite to it.

The home cook has just as much opportunity at Jean-Talon, and they can collect the same ingredients as the pros. All I could do was lament that my city (Chicago) doesn’t have a comparable market on such a grand scale, with deep roots in the area’s day-to-day existence. However, the upside is, it’s a great excuse to travel again!
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