Canada #39 Montréal
With fresh produce of all sorts in bountiful supply in Canada, it’s no surprise to find wonderful markets everywhere. While St Lawrence Market in Toronto has been declared the world’s best food market, Jean-Talon Market in Montréal lays claim to being one of North America’s largest open air food markets.
Located since 1933 in the Little Italy district of Montréal, this market is open all year round. In summer the stalls are filled to capacity by more than 300 vendors. Fresh seasonal produce sold by local farmers is complemented by delicious treats from bakers, butchers and fishmongers and stallholders selling cheeses, spices and international foods.
With such a wide selection shoppers take their time, sometimes seeming almost perplexed by the choices on offer.
There is even a book shop dedicated to recipe books; when the decisions are finally made, there’s a good chance of enjoying a delicious meal later in the day.
Competition can be fierce among the vendors and samples of food are on offer at most stalls. Visitors can easily eat their way around the market, tasting everything from freshly harvested berries to aged salami.
At one stall, the farmer is happy to discuss the difference in sweetness in his two varieties of corn and shares a piece of each, hot and steaming straight from the pot.
Along with all the food sellers there are stalls packed with cut flowers and potted plants.
Flowers of all varieties are ready to take home to decorate the table or the garden, while other plants offer more edible options.
Some even boast of their ability to repel unwanted visitors. Mosquitos, squirrels and cats beware!
With an abundance of wonderful food at Jean-Talon Market, there’s no need to leave hungry.
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