‘Tis the East, and Montreal is the Sun

In the movie Letters to Juliet, a rift grows between Sophie, the leading lady, and Victor, her chef- fiancé, because (crazy as it may sound) Sophie’s idea of a romantic Italian getaway does not involve driving all over Tuscany in search of vintage wines, well-aged cheeses, and chefs willing to give up their trade secrets.

Obviously Sophie had never read Under the Tuscan Sun.

The consensus among the women in my family was that if any of us were to be cast in the same role in real life, there wouldn’t be a problem.

Take for example my recent trip to Montreal. My mom, my sister and I went clothes shopping for an hour….an hour and a half, tops. But the majority of the shopping we did was for Christmas goodies at le marché, la boulangerie, la fromagerie, la patisserie, et l’épicerie. Not only did we get to spend quality time together, we spent it doing what we enjoy the most: savouring good food.

This trip’s shopping itinerary included stops at the following landmarks:

Anatol, on Boulevard St-Laurent, between Dante and Saint-Zotique. This tiny store is packed to the rafters with spices, baking ingredients, mixes, nuts, candy, coffee, tea, for sale in bulk at fantastic prices.

Milano in Little Italy, just next door to Anatol. All the Italian ingredients you could possibly want, under one roof.

A dazzling display of Christmas panettone at Milano.

A little closer to my parents’ home, Atwater Market is a one-stop place for specialty meats, cheeses, breads, and produce. (We also like Jean-Talonclick here for a write-up and stunning photos that my sister posted on her blog last summer.) We got the Christmas tree at Atwater Market this year, too.

Produce on display at Atwater Market.

The pineapple: symbol of hospitality.

Incidentally, there is a wonderful discount houseware store called Warshaw in front of Atwater Market where you can get (among other things) whimsically shaped dishes for plating up your culinary creations. I’ll be featuring some of the ones I got in future posts.


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