'snapshots from montreal' on Serious Eats

What Is Ice Cider?

"One sip locks in so much apple flavor. It's as if you were drinking the juice from ten apples in one gulp—multiplied by alcohol." Apples need to reach popsicle temperatures before they're fermented for ice cider. [Flickr: rabasz] Ice cider, or cidre de glace as its known in its birth place of Quebec, is kind of a cross between ice wine and hard cider. Like ice wine, the fruit (apples, not grapes, in this case) are left on the vine during chilly winters until they shrivel up. This produces the sweetest nectar possible. The super-concentrated juices are then pressed and fermented to add a little zing. The alcohol content usually ranges between 7% and 13% per volume. Cryomalus ice cider.... More

Video: Montreal-Style Turkey and Stuffing

Canada already celebrated Thanksgiving back in October, but one chef, Frédéric Morin of Joe Beef in Montreal skipped the bread crumbs to make his own special spin on stuffing. He combined three of the city's iconic foods: bagels, smoked meat (and pickles) from Schwartz's Deli, and maple syrup. For the turkey, he spiced it up with some Montreal steak seasoning and drizzled Coca-Cola on top—the latter isn't particularly Canadian but it makes for a nice sweet glaze. "Seasoning the other side [of the turkey] is like wearing clean underwear. Nobody sees them but it's just for your sake." I got to try Morin's well-seasoned bird and stuffing when traveling through Montreal recently, and have to say, both were darn... More

What to Eat at the Jean-Talon Market in Montreal

Jean-Talon Market 7070, Henri-Julien Street, south of Jean-Talon Street (map) Montreal, Québec Jean-Talon Market is not only the biggest outdoor market in Montreal, it's one of the biggest in all of North America. The huge row of vendors (covered during the chilly season) seems to go on forever, and around the periphery, there are a bunch of great shops for Québec cheeses, maple products, gelato, hanging meats, fresh-caught fish, and ciders. You can have a whole meal there or just graze on apple slices and bumble about. Here are some favorite stops. Havre-aux-Glaces Every gelato and sorbet flavor here is killer, especially the maple brûlée (with all the crackle bits inside), strawberry with black pepper, Masala chai, pear cider,... More

Montreal Bagels: St-Viateur vs. Fairmount

"The two bageleries are only a few blocks apart so picking one doesn't usually involve convenience—it's about loyalties." [Photographs: Erin Zimmer] Montrealers have a lot of pride in the their bagels. Plus in a French accent, the word just sounds better: bay-gal. Depending on who you ask, "the best" are either from Fairmount or St-Viateur, both of which sell them fresh 24 hours a day. Before touching on the rivalry, let's define the Montreal bagel. What's All the Fuss? Compared to the New York-style bagel—a bulbous bread monster—these are smaller, less chewy, and sweeter, thanks to some honey or malt syrup. The bagels are hand-rolled then bathe in sweetened boiling water, and finally baked in a big wood-fired oven. Because... More

The Best Use of Butter: Kouign Amann Pastries

Note: Over the weekend I visited Montreal and thanks to Montreal food blogger Katerine, forgot what it felt like to be hungry. Stay tuned this week for my snapshots from Montreal. [Photographs: Erin Zimmer] Calling a pastry "buttery" seems a little redundant, but the Kouign Amann, is like a croissant multiplied by a stick of butter. Originally from the French region of Bretagne (where it actually translates as "butter cake"), it has that delicate layer thing happening inside kind of like babka, topped with a golden crackly sugar shell. At Patisserie Kouign Amann in the Plateau neighborhood of Montreal, they make warm batches of the namesake pastry all day long. The recipe sounds simple enough: a round of dough with... More

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