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Montréal, Robin Edgar 
© Tourisme Québec
Here are a number of ideas for stories on Québec's various regions. This section focuses on news about the latest tourism products. To stay in the know, get all the latest news on Québec tourism through our RSS feed.

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Gourmet discoveries

© Fou d'iciFou d’ici: A specialty food store in the heart of Montréal's entertainment district

A New York-style grocery-caterer-café located in a trendy neighbourhood. Built on the concept of local and organic fare. Gourmet sandwiches, mouth-watering, ready-made hot meals served up by Pierre-Alexandre Caron. An impressive selection of pastries and breads, including baguettes from the renowned artisanal bread company L’Amour du pain, specialty oils, a wide array of spices—hunted down by spice trekkers Ethné and Philippe de Vienne—fish, cheeses, fruits, vegetables and a variety of meats, including the famous wagyu (Kobe) beef, crossed with Angus beef and raised here.

An Adonis store now located next to the old Forum

In 1979, three brothers from Lebanon founded Marché Adonis, a business specialized in food products from the Middle East. They met with immediate success and the volume of food sold allows for excellent value for money and unquestionable freshness. For more than three decades, Montréal’s suburbs have delighted in the store’s oils, food grains, legumes, coffee, fruits, vegetables and meats, not to mention its delicious ready-made dishes and pastries. And now, these Mediterranean flavours and aromas have reached the big city! Montréal’s foodies can now treat themselves to everything that Adonis has to offer. The new downtown location boasts 50 parking spots as well as a delivery service.

A pork renaissance

Long snubbed in high-end cuisine, pork has now made it onto the table at fine-dining establishments across North America. Normand Laprise’s penchant for traceability and organic products explains his choice of the Gaspor pork raising business, run by the Aubin family, to supply his restaurant, Toqué. Martin Juneau, from Pastaga, also has a soft spot for milk-fed piglet from St-Canut Farms, as do many American chefs. The aptly named “piglet”—which stems from a cross between the Yorkshire pig and a Duroc—is fed exclusively with its mother’s milk until weaning and then switched to farm milk until it is slaughtered, and is coveted by many a restaurant owner throughout North America because its tenderness provides the flavour of finely marbled meat. Gaspor piglet is raised with care, and cuts of this succulent meat are now sold at a store in Saint-Jérôme all year long, at certain public markets in the summer, and at other points of sale in the Laurentides region and on Montréal’s South Shore. Whether pan-fried or grilled, “piglet" is sure to make your mouth water! It is delicious eaten pink or when pulled after a slow cook.

A bakery as golden… as a baguette!

For Olivier Potier, a master of baked delights, there are no half measures! Working with his partner, Jean-Daniel Fatras, this native of France is carrying on the tradition of Lenôtre and Hermé on Rue Sherbrooke Ouest in Montréal, near the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts. This friendly pastry chef whips up wonders for the palate using only top quality ingredients, like Normandy butter and Sicilian pistachios. Trained at Ladurée Paris and the Sofitel in Montréal, he concocts fragrant pastries in the “delicacy laboratory” daily. The only ambassador of Michel Cluizel fine chocolate in Canada, this establishment has no end of surprises in store. Its bread comes from a Québec bakery that generated a lot of buzz in 2011 after its showing at the Mondial de la Baguette in France. The Tradition baguette, made by the bakery Le Pain dans les Voiles, which opened its doors in Mont Saint-Hilaire in 2009, came in a stunning second in the competition! This bakery’s bread is now available to Montréalers. Espousing excellence and never compromising on quality, Olivier Potier, a master of baked delights, will thrill Montréal foodies and visitors to the city.

A curiosity of the wine world created in Charlevoix

© Pascal MicheAmong its many culinary artists, Charlevoix is home to a Québecer of Belgian origin who has perfected a veritable treasure: tomato wine. Drawing inspiration from his great grandfather’s recipe, Pascal Miche markets almost 35,000 bottles of this nectar every year. A charcutier in a former life, Mr. Miche has long had this wine on his mind. This tomato wine from Québec, which will no doubt be exported to France one day under another name (the French don’t trifle with the appellation “wine,” which is reserved for beverages derived from grapes), is made using the same process as vintages from classified vineyards.
Baptized Omerto, in honour of the great grandfather Omer, this aperitif appeals to both dry wine lovers and those who enjoy syrupy wines, because it comes in two varieties: a sauvignon or Chardonnay style (dry) and a Pineau des Charentes style (sweet).

The six varieties of heirloom tomatoes used for the wine were chosen for their resistance to Québec’s hardy climate, and, of course, their effect on the palate. Bearing little resemblance to tomatoes, the golden end product is reminiscent of honey and spices and invites new aromatic food pairings. How long before we start seeing tomato wine in local wine bars?

Discover the Paillasson de l’isle d’Orléans: the oldest cheese in America!

© Les Fromages de l’isle d’OrléansRanked third by the American Cheese Society in August 2011 in the Original Recipe for America category (1,676 cheeses competed in different categories), Le Paillasson de l’isle d’Orléans is an artisan cheese with a story. Its manufacturing process, imported from New France, is similar to that of Soumaintrain cheese, produced in the former French province of Champagne. Under the appellation Le Fromage de l’isle d’Orléans, three varieties correspond to the three steps involved in making the cheese: a very young unripened cheese (La Faisselle), a cheese dried a few days and roasted in the oven (Le Paillasson), and finally a cheese aged in the vaults for one month (Le Raffiné, a soft cheese with a washed rind). The Fromage de l’isle d’Orléans is reputed to be the first cheese made in America, with official documents backing the claim.

You have to go back as far as the 17th century, to the early days of the colony, to trace the history of this cheese which was made by many island families at home. Enticed by the cheese’s history, Jocelyn Labbé teamed up with a Université Laval professor and the last cheese master to have made the product, with the intent of resurrecting it. In 1995, research by a Université Laval student, supervised by renowned microbiologist Jacques Goulet, determined that the distinctive flavour of cheese from Isle d’Orléans came from micro-organisms present in the reeds growing on the north shore of the island, which were used to make little mats, in French, “paillassons,” on which the famous cheese was dried over a wood stove in traditional kitchens. And like the Jurassic Park scientists who cloned dinosaurs using DNA preserved in amber, the researchers finally succeeded in isolating and reproducing the micro-organisms present in the ancestral home of the last cheese master to implant them in the new cheese dairy. For Jocelyn Labbé and his wife Diane Marcoux there was no question of marketing this cheese without recreating the historical context, both in the manufacturing technique and the architecture of the building the cheese dairy calls home, not to mention in their manner of dress when they welcome customers, which they have been doing since 2004. Visitors are invited to a tasting, 17th century style!

Serious about chocolate

© Chocolats Geneviève GrandboisAn actress from age 14, Geneviève Grandbois was in her twenties when she found her true calling: chocolate. She was so passionate about it that after having studied the noble substance in both Québec and Belgium, this alchemist at heart wanted to produce chocolate from her own cacao trees; she is excited to watch over her cocoa pods whenever she is at her recently acquired plantation in Costa Rica. But her organic, equitable cocoa beans, which she wants processed under her watchful eye, will yield chocolate bars only later on, because when you grow cacao, you’re in it for the long haul.

In the mean time, the chocolate maker has her work cut out for her, because her wares are very much in demand. She uses only chocolate with cacao content that varies from 63% to 75% sourced from the greats: Amedei, Valrhona, Cacao Barry and Michel Cluizel. With playful names such as Mougat, Cherise, Guimôve, Coconote, Geneviève Grandbois takes us back to our childhood. You won’t be able to resist her Chuao, Souvenirs d’enfance or Les Classiques collections, aimed at different levels of “chocoholic.” Stop by her shop and sample some sweet treats!

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