Dining well is a major reason for a visit to Montréal. On this trip, we decided to go a step beyond eating at the best restaurants and booked a culinary tour of the Marché Jean-Talon with food writer Mayssam Samaha.
Located in the Little Italy neighborhood at the north end of the city, the Marché Jean-Talon is one of the largest open-air markets in North America. Inaugurated in 1933, it is where farmers, fishmongers and cheesemakers come to sell their specialties year-round. It is also where top chefs source many of their ingredients.
Our private tour began with an explanation of the history of the market, paired with chocolate baguette bites made by a local baker. The dark chocolate was of the highest quality. Samaha then led us along wide passageways past stalls overflowing with rows upon rows of red chiles, heirloom squash of all shapes and colorful potatoes, eggplants and broccoli. Thanks to our guide, we discovered corners that we wouldn’t have otherwise explored, chatted with locals and sampled some of the best the market has to offer. Highlights included mezzes from Les Filles Fattoush, salmon candied in maple from Les Délices de la Mer and maple tartlets from La Fournée des Sucreries de l’Érable.