Monday, June 11, 2012

They had a fat pig

But we didn't buy one. When I saw the Marché Jean-Talon indicated on our street map, I had no idea that it is one of several highly popular farmers' markets in Montréal (another being Atwater Market across town). I was amazed and surprised to find a bustling farmers' market that would be right at home among the local outdoor markets and market halls here in France.

A picnic pavilion in the center of the market. Doesn't everyone take this picture?

We found a parking spot about a block away and wandered in and were immediately enticed by stand after stand of vegetable seedlings being sold to home gardeners. Behind those were seemingly endless stalls of amazing looking produce, all marked as to their origin (imported or grown locally). I wanted to buy some of everything.

Baskets of gorgeous cherry tomatoes on top and bags of French shallots on the bottom.

Many of the vegetable stands were selling têtes de violon (fiddle-head ferns) and they looked yummy; I'm not sure I've ever eaten them. As if to remind us we were in Canada, sirop d'érable (maple syrup) vendors were set up around every corner. Toward the heart of the market we found butchers and bakers, delis, and shops that sold books, postcards, and kitchen tools.

Big Round Pigs (from the Iles de la Madeleine), a pork and sausage vendor.

As I've said before, this was a Saturday morning and the weather was gorgeous. People were out and about and obviously very happy wandering among the stalls in the warm sunshine. We were on our way to lunch and were hungry. Nearly everything looked appetizing.

We got your maple syrup right here!

We wandered around the market for about an hour, ooh-ing and aah-ing and taking pictures. One vendor told us that much of the local produce, like the tomatoes, are grown in hot-houses this time of year. Montréal's growing season is pretty short, after all.

Yet another produce stand at the market.

According to my extensive (not) research, the market was established in 1933 on the grounds of a former lacrosse field. It has since expanded and influenced the development of the surrounding neighborhoods, including shops and restaurants on adjacent streets. A new building and underground parking garage were built on the site in 2004 as part of a renovation and expansion project.


  1. Gtreat photos (again).
    I am really enjoying your photo tour of your holiday.

  2. We frequently get hothouse tomatoes,
    cucumbers and red bell peppers from
    Canada here in Texas. However, I
    suspect they're from BC. If I were
    house hunting in Montreal, proximity
    to a market like that would be high
    on my list!

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  4. Walt

    We use the underground parking when we go there ( cheaper than street parking ) - the convenience of being able to bring the bags to the car whilst we are shopping or if we decide to have lunch . Nearby is an area known as Little Italy with shops and cafes and restaurants.

    Just to add that I am giving these little details so that you come back for a longer visit :-)
    Many things to see and enjoy and the festival season has started , after the F1 race of yesterday

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  6. Wow-- again, you sure did get a lot out of your short trip to Montréal. Great looking marché. (This reminds me of that Prévert poem where he writes "Je suis allé au marché aux esclaves" and "Je suis allé au marché aux oiseaux"... and two of my students translated that as something like, "I went for a walk with the slaves" and "I took the birds for a walk" (two of my top advanced students, at that, so it tells you that I obviously missed out on teaching something, here! I remember thinking, "This will be an easy poem for them to understand"... but, it just goes to show you... if you don't get a word or two, you can be totally thrown off.)

    Hope you enjoyed your walk with Jean-Talon! *R*R*R*


  7. Didn't you know most people call Montréal....Paris West?

  8. Great pics. We have a bottle of maple syrup just like the one in your photograph.

  9. And we had a can of the same maple syrup, brought to us by a friend who lives outside Montréal. Boy, was it tasty! Even tastier than your photos, which are pretty darned tasty themselves.

  10. jean, thanks! I'm glad you're enjoying it. Sometimes I think I'm boring everyone with trip photos. It's a change from boring everyone with back yard photos. ;)

    sheila, I thought the same thing!

    t.b., I didn't know about the garage until after we were in the market. Ken and I keep talking about how much we enjoyed Montréal and would like to go back.

    judy, that happens to me all the time. Then, when I suddenly get a word I wonder what I thought was being said for all the years that I didn't know what it meant! My Walk With Jean-Talon. Sounds like a book!

    starman, and deservedly so!

    gaynor, yum.

    susan, thanks! I, too, have some syrup, brought by folks from New Hampshire.

  11. I'm still remembering the hot chocolate with maple syrup I had there...


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