18 September 2011

Fresh harvest: blueberries

What's better than locally grown wild Quebec blueberries?

[I wish I had picked these myself]

Locally grown wild Quebec blueberries cozily taking refuge under a blanket of whipped cream.*

[I did, however, eat these ones myself]

Small, portable, and handsome, Vaccinium cyannococcus (bleuets if you're a local) are best when plucked from their bushy low-lying branches by maiden handservants in petticoats and fontanges.

Make no mistake – there are cultivated blueberries in this belle province as well, and it's important not to confuse them with the wild ones which are indubitably sweeter, more flavourful and tinier in person, like your favourite celebrity.

Luckily for us, the spring weather was sh!tty this year and all crops in our part of Canada were late, which means blueberries, normally abundant early August are still around now, mid-September.

Check out some regional quebecois recipes for our blue, blue friends.

*Though the BEST blueberries in the world are those from Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean. I will fight anyone who dares disagree.

01 September 2011

Poutine central: MA-a-am-M Bolduc

When you have overseas visitors who hear of this Quebec mangled food phenomenon called "poutine" and aren't completely revolted by it enough to try one, you gladly humour them.

In my case, my Dutch visitor, Lin heard through the grapevine that was a magical French-Canadian dish called "poutine" that was the cause of all wars in this world,

So I took her to one of Montreal's best poutine destinations to let her find out for herself: Ma-am-m Bolduc.

[A most memorable plate of poutine: Ma-a-am-m Bolduc's vintage original.]

Lin adhered to the standard French-Canadian instructions for eating poutine: grab a fork and dig in. Ma-am-M Bolduc's fantastic savoury sauce and generous dosage of squeaky cheese complement the homestyle fries to a tee (check out their menu for the full list of poutine varieties).

As the Dutch say in Quebec, Het regnet poutine, meaning, "the world would be a worse off place without deep fryers".

As with all that is deep fried, you need a tasty chaser. My lovely friend chose to wash it all down with locally-made spruce beer.

[Lin about to try spruce beer for the first time. She liked it so much, she inhaled it.]

Contrary to urban myth, spruce beer (bière d'epinette) is a refreshing, non-alcoholic nectar of the gods, that tastes like camping, and increases virility all while helping you with your math homework.

[Doesn't look like much but this bottle of spruce beer will change your life for the better!]

(If you're enterprising, you can make your own spruce beer, or hurt yourself trying.)

Poutine initiation was a success! Lin has passed level 1 of Quebec foodstuffs and is ready to move onto level 2: sugar shacks.

(Lin: BTW, thanks for the picolientjes!)

Ma-am-M Bolduc
4351-4355 de Lorimier

Restaurant Ma-Am-M Bolduc on Urbanspoon