Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Love Letter to a Market

Market Chronicles: Stories & Recipes from Montreal's Marche Jean Talon by Susan Semenak is an affectionate, insightful, inspiring and beautiful portrait of the largest open-air farmer's market in North America (est. 1933). 

It is a love story of the market that is near and dear to thousands upon thousands of Montrealers.  It is a story of the seasons of the market, the people who make the market and the delicious bounty of the market. And it provides delicious recipes utilizing the treasures available at Marche Jean Talon.

The photography by Albert Elbilia of farms and fields, stalls & stores, people and animals, and food prepared from the bounty is beautiful.  I especially love the portraits of those who work to bring such wonderful goodness to those of us who shop at the market.

We visit Montreal 3 to 4 times a year.  And we never quite feel at "home" until we've been to Marche Jean Talon so it is usually on our "first day" list.  Yesterday we shopped there and bought cabbage, basil & thyme, onions, strawberries, fresh apple juice, and apples.  We nibbled on sausage made from white boar (sanglier) and deer (cerf) as we walked around.  And, of course, I had a crepe with butter and sugar...I always have a crepe avec buerre et sucre. It was snowing outside and I wandered past the last of the balsam trees covered with snow while Jerry bought the hot off the grill sausages.  We will be back every 3 or 4 days while we're here in Montreal.  For fresh eggs, many turnips or parsnips next time, and more apple cider. Now with this wonderful book I have a great appreciation for and understanding of the merchants I meet and buy from.  

The book is available on Amazon, at Costco, and I'm sure at the wonderful Librairie Gourmande located, of course, at Marche Jean Talon.

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