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7 September 2012 / leggypeggy

Check out the amazing market in Montreal


Tagged a basket of fire

We had an amazing afternoon in the ginormous Jean-Talon Market (Marché Jean-Talon) in Montreal.

This farmer’s market is where my friend, Brenda, shops and I can understand why. It’s one of the best markets we visited in Canada—certainly the biggest, most diverse and most colourful—and it was a struggle to resist buying up big on almost everything.

As it was, Poor John indulged in a pamplemousse (grapefruit) ice cream. He first discovered pamplemousse products in West Africa in 2009. It was love at first bite.

Three items in Jean-Talon caught me by surprise.

Chinese lanterns

Chinese lanterns—good for jams, jellies and gout?

There were teeny-tiny potatoes, grenailles, that were smaller than a cherry tomato and oh-so cute. I wonder how they are used. Suggestions and opinions on how to cook or serve them would be most welcome.

The edible Chinese/Japanese lanterns were another first. Supposedly they are tomatillo-ish in flavour and can be made in to jams and jellies. The Chinese supposed use them to make a gout remedy—now I’m interested!

The third item was the colourful array of cauliflower. We get some colours in Australia, but nothing like the ones in Jean-Talon. At least I haven’t seen them.

Peppers, capsicums

A colourful array of bell peppers, called capsicums in Australia.

A fourth thing surprised me too—there was almost a total absence of Asian and Middle Eastern products (except for spices), so I’m guessing there must be another market for those. Or perhaps that part of the market that I missed.

Jean-Talon Market, in the Italian part of town, has been going since 1933. It’s open year-round, but in the harsh winter months, there are walls put up around the entire market area.

The peak months are June to October, with as many as 300 vendors a day. In addition to the open-air market, there are other specialty food businesses dealing in meat, fish, cheese spices, baked goods and meals.

Believe me, next time I’m in Montreal, I’m going to need to shop up big at thee sensational markets. How could I resist?

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Leave a Comment
  1. Joanne T Ferguson / Sep 7 2012 11:49 am

    G’day Saw this one and with the list of ingredients and flambe, thought you would be amused too! At the simplicity of “sauteed in butter” too 🙂

    A simpler recipe

    And if this one catches your eye, you/others con contact the owner

    Am really enjoying yours and Poor John’s travels and LOVE food markets and anything food related that is unique to a region or country too! ENJOY!


    • leggypeggy / Sep 7 2012 12:24 pm

      Thanks Joanne for these great ideas. Now I all have to do is find the potatoes in Oz. 🙂


  2. lmo58 / Sep 7 2012 6:04 pm

    Hi Peggy,
    That market looks absolutely wonderful. Yet another place for me to visit when I eventually get to Canada. The purple capsicums and orange cauliflower looked especially enticing. You did really well not to buy one of everything you saw!


  3. scrappych1ck / Sep 8 2012 12:16 am

    Great pictures! So, that is where you go to get the ingredients for those fancy recipes you see in magazines! I know they don’t have that kind of stuff in Kearney, NE! Wish they did!


    • leggypeggy / Sep 8 2012 2:59 am

      The Mexican shop south of the tracks on Central has lots of great spices and chillies. Have no idea where I’ll find the Chinese lanterns or grenailles in Australia or the USA. Happy hunting? Like the name—scrappychick! 🙂


  4. cookiesnchem / Sep 26 2015 10:14 am

    La Marche Jean-Talon was my absolute favourite place to visit when I lived in Montreal last summer. The crepes, desserts, breads and produce were all so fresh, vibrant and delicious. Thank you for reminding me about what a wonderful place Mtl was!


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