Tag Archives: Quebec

Tourtière for New Years Eve in Quebec

quebec2014 is rapidly coming to a close, which means its time to reflect on the year gone by, drink some champagne and make some holiday food. One of the traditional Christmas season and New Year’s foods in Quebec is the Tourtière, a meat pie that is emblematic of Quebecois, and Canadian, cuisine. Tourtière has been around since the 1600s, and usually consists of ground pork in a pastry crust. The dish has since spread south into New England and into Louisiana with the Acadian communities, where the pie has been adapted over time to suit new locations and tastes. NPR’s the Salt has a brief history and a recipe and Chatelaine has updated the recipe with a new shape.

French-Canadian Tourtiere

French-Canadian Tourtière by Jack Letourneau

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Filed under Holidays, Recipes

Oka Cheese for Canada Day

canadaThough the most familiar Canadian cheese to American may be the cheese curds on Poutine, in honor of Canada Day, July 1st, we are featuring Oka, one of Canada’s native cheeses. Oka was created by trappist monks in Deux-Montagnes, Quebec in 1893 at the Abbey of Notre-Dame du Lac (known as Oka Abbey), where it earned its name. The recipe for Oka was sold by the Trappist monks in 1981 to a cheese co-op Agropur. The cheese is modeled after French Port Salut cheese, but was tweaked to have an original taste and to adapt to local conditions. Oka is a buttery, semi-soft cheese with an orange rind, which lends itself to a wide variety of recipes calling for a melty cheese (Grilled cheese or Mac and Cheese seem suited to Oka).  Food Network Canada has a gussied up version of Poutine with Oka, or how about Oka Fondue or an Oka and Tomato tart.


Oka Cheese (left), a Canadian Classic by Christopher Porter


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Poutine Fest Comes to Chicago

quebeccanadaPoutine, the emblematic Québecois fast food consisting of french fries, brown gravy and cheese curds has become popular over the past few years in the US, especially in the time since we wrote this post. Chicago will now it will be inaugurating its very own Poutine Fest! In the vein of the ever popular Bacon Fest, Poutine fest will feature a wide array of Poutines from over 10 restaurants across Chicago. The fest will occur on February 24, 2013 at the Haymarket Pub & Brewery. We wish we could be there for the carb-n-cheese goodness, so we hope someone will fill us in with a report.

Classic Poutine

Classic Poutine from L’Authentic Burgers & Poutine in Victoria, BC by Jen Arrr

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Canada: Artisinal cheeses from the rare Canadienne cow

canadaCulture magazine had an interesting post about an effort to revive the rare Canadienne Cow, one of the oldest breeds in North America. The Canadienne cow was brought to Canada by French settlers in the 16th century, and though it was initially popular, it was gradually replaced by other varieties. Canadienne cows are now relatively rare, except in pockets of Quebec. However the Canadienne cow is making a comeback. Along with promoting the Canadienne cow comes the revival of unique cheeses only made with Canadienne milk, including the varieties made at La Laiterie Charlevoix.

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Filed under Cheese, Links

Québec: Poutine in Chicago (updated)

canadaquebec Québec has a unique food history (including some superlative bagels), but until recently we haven’t been able to find the inimitable Québecois staple, poutine, anywhere in Chicago. Poutine is an unusual concoction of french fries served with fresh cheese curds and brown gravy, which originated some time in the mid-20th century in Canada. Until fairly recently, poutine was the domain of Québec only, but now restaurants serving the specialty are popping up all over the United States. The Chicago Tribune has a list of restaurants that serve poutine in Chicago.

Classic Poutine

Classic Poutine from L’Authentic Burgers & Poutine in Victoria, BC by Jen Arrr


Filed under World Eats

World Eats: Québécois Bagels

I’ve heard from various native Québécois and visitors about Québéc’s long and storied Bagel Tradition. Being from Chicago, a city with no great claim to bagels like New York, I am less dubious of this claim as some New Yorkers are. However, when thinking of Francophone Québéc I don’t think of Bagels. However, Montreal-style bagels have a long history – brought by Eastern European immigrants in the early 20th century. Though they are like New York-style bagels, they differ in a few important ways: They are baked in Wood-fire ovens, have no added salt, and have added honey.

Some of Montreal’s favorite bagels are St. Viateur Bagels (1127 Av. Mont-Royal est) which has been turning out doughy goodness since 1957, and Fairmount Bagel (74 Fairmount West). A Canadian astronaut even requested that his favorite bagel be transported into space with him. So maybe the idea of the Québécois bagel is not so unusual.

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