Friday, August 14, 2009

Saveurs et Tentations at the Old Port

If you're looking to explore local or organic food around Montreal this weekend, you may be spoiled for choice. In addition the Fete Bio Paysanne at the TOHU (previous post), the new Saveurs et Tentations kicked off on Wednesday at the Quai Jacques-Quartier in the old port. The event mostly showcases local food producers and agri-business, but also includes imported artisanal products. Over 80 exhibitors from different regions of Quebec are represented, including a lot of local microbreweries, cidreries and wine-makers. Yes, samples are available. When I was there earlier this week, some producers were giving free tiny tasting samples, whereas others were offering more substantial tasting portions that you could purchase using tickets. Some gems I found are Le Grimoire Microbrasserie (Granby), La Vallee de la Frambroise (raspberry wines and liqueurs; Val-Brillant), Les Viande Biologiques de Charlevoix, Les Delices de L'Ile D'Orleans and a really good absinthe stout from Brasserie de Montreal (Griffintown).

In addition to food to buy and taste, the festival also has free presentations, workshops and cooking demonstrations, as well as more substantial cooking classes ($50).When I was there earlier this week I took in an excellent presentation on the history of cider and wine-making in Quebec (it repeats Saturday at 5pm) and on on culinary tourism in Montreal. I'm hoping later this weekend to get out to one of the interactive workshops on Quebec farming presented by Quebec farmers and the UPA. Slow Food Vancouver, Slow Food Nova Scotia and Slow Food Prince Edward County also have presentations planned, giving the event a much broader scope than simply Quebec.

Saveurs et Tentations runs until Sunday at 6pm. Admission is free. If you're planning on going, I recommend public transit. You can access Quai Jacques-Cartier by walking south from Champ de Mars metro or Place D'Armes metro.

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