Maisonette Bistro: Must-try foods in Quebec
Food is one of the most important cultural indicators of a country. Every ingredient and way of cooking used represents the uniqueness and heritage of a nation’s identity. It is often said that to understand a culture, you can do it by learning local cuisines and methods of cooking.
In Quebec, their food heritage was deeply influenced by French and Irish cuisine when immigrants settled in the 18000s. However, according to some historical accounts, Quebec’s cuisine started to flourish in the 16th century. During this time, locals also learned some cooking methods from the Algonquins and Iroquois.
One of the most popular methods that is still used to this day is the ‘l’acericulture’, which is a technique used to harvest maple sap for Quebec’s world-renowned maple syrup.
More of French cuisine influences became more pervasive during the 1670s when a large group of colonizers settled in the city. During this time, meals always included soup, bread, meat, and wine.
However, drastic changes happened during the Conquest of New France because products such as wine were banned from entering the city. Moreover, bread, which was the most in-demand staple food in the country, was suddenly replaced by potato. Production and consumption of sweets also increased.
Quebec’s culinary history is colourful and exciting. Tourists from other countries flock their restaurants to get a taste of their world-class dishes. Are you curious to know more? Here are some of the most popular dishes you can find in Quebec:
For gastronomes touring Quebec, their highly recommended food is the poutine. At first glance, this dish may seem plain, but the pile of fries topped with a thick dollop of cheese curds and gravy is often called a culinary renaissance that’s spreading across the globe.
Just how delicious is this dish? Well, it already has a gourmet counterpart in big cities such as New York. Even the popular magazine, The New York Times, said that they were excited that Poutine arrived at the shores of Manhattan.
Who wouldn’t relish in this dish? Thick cuts of fresh potato garnished with flavourful gravy and white cheese is so mouth-watering that people celebrate a day just for this food called ‘Poutine Week’.
Want to make your own poutine? Here’s a simple recipe you can try at home:
- 1-quart vegetable oil for frying. You can also use oils of your choice.
- 1 (10.25 ounce) can beef gravy
- 5 medium potatoes, cut into fries
- 2 cups cheese curds
- A pinch of salt
- Kitchen towels to drain excess oil.
How to cook your poutine:
- Take 1-quart of vegetable oil and heat it in a skillet over medium heat. While your oil is heating, you can begin preparing your gravy. Make sure you don’t underheat the pan, otherwise your poutine’s will stick.
- If you think your oil is hot enough, you can now put your fries one at a time. Cook until brown. Make sure you don’t fill the pan with fries in order to cook evenly. You can do them in batches just to make sure they’re well-fried. Once done, use a strainer to drain the oil. Place them on a plate with kitchen paper to remove excess oil.
- Once done, sprinkle your fries with a pinch of salt to taste. Take the gravy top the fries. Add the cheese curds after. Use a ladle to spread evenly and viola! You’re very own poutines ready to serve!
Bagels in Montreal
People who say that New York has the best bagel haven’t probably tasted Montreal’s heavenly bagels. Baked to perfection and topped with the best sesame seeds, Montreal bagels are a treat for people who are always on the go. The best bagels in the country can be found in St-Viateur and Fairmount Bagel. Additionally, people can buy delicious bagels in grocery stores 24/7.
Crepe is popular as a French food but it’s also popular in Quebec. What makes crepes delicious is that it’s topped with fresh slices of fruits such as berries and bananas covered with a generous amount of chocolate syrup or whipped cream. While pancakes are classic breakfast staples, crepes offer a fresh selection of variants that you can enjoy.
Want to enjoy crepes at home? Here’s a simple recipe you can follow:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup of water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Fruits, preferably bananas and berries
- Whipped cream
How to cook crepes:
- Using a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and eggs then slowly add the milk and butter. Slowly stir until the mixture is fluffy. Once you’ve achieved the right consistency, slowly add the butter and salt to add taste. Whisk again until the mixture is smooth and without any lumps.
- In a flat skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Take a ladle and scoop the batter. Make sure that each crepe has at least ¼ cup. To cook evenly, tilt the pan in circular motions.
- Cook your crepes for at least 2 minutes until lightly browned. Make sure you don’t burn them. If you think the crepes are evenly cooked, loosen them with a spatula then flip them over to cook the other side.
- Once cooked, take the fruit chunks you sliced and top with whipped cream or chocolate, depending on your preference.
Smoked Meat Sandwiches
Aside from bagel, another favourite dish in Quebec is smoked meat sandwich. With its fatty and salty taste, this delicious sandwich is often compared with New York’s pastrami. What makes smoked meat sandwiches delicious is that the meat used for this is marinated with different spices that make the flavour seep in the fillings.
If you think France is the only country with good cheese, think again. Quebec is actually one of the large producers of cheese in the world. If you visit Quebec, you’ll find a whole street selling artisan cheese that will make your mouth water. Moreover, people know their cheese, so if you’re a first-time shopper in the cheese, you can ask around.
Usually, Eastern towns in the country are considered as the suppliers of dairy products. Aside from cheese, they also have raw milk and all kinds of cheeses.
Feves Au Lard
Also known as beans with fat, Feves au lard is baked beans glazed with a thick helping maple syrup that is usually served at the breakfast table. In earlier times, travellers from the country often consider this food as a staple breakfast meal. Because it’s rich in vitamins and minerals, it was consumed before people started their day. It’s usually paired with bread or sometimes rice.
One of the most popular places in Quebec that served feves au lard is La Binerie Mont-Royal. They’ve been serving world-class feves au lard for 75 years so you can never go with this dish.
If you enjoy breakfast, Quebecans enjoy a dish called creton. This food is often used as a spread and is made of salted pork that has a texture of a pate. It’s usually used on bread or other main dishes.
The shish taouk is the Montreal version of chicken shawarma. This dish is made of chicken sliced to pieces then marinated in different spices. Once the chicken is done, it will be stuffed in pita bread then roasted again for extra crust and texture.
Sometimes they add veggies and hummus to add extra flavour to the chicken meat. However, in some parts of the country, if you ask for ‘shawarma’ they will most likely serve you with meat. So just specify that you want a shish taouk.
Lamb in Charlevoix
Charlevoix is one of the most popular and delicious foods in Quebec cuisine. Because of its wide-spread popularity, some producers of the lamb implemented a law to have it legally protected just like the French Champagne and the Italian Parma.
Try these foods now at Maisonette Bistro!
Here at Maisonette Bistro, you can try all these decadent dishes and more. We offer a wide selection of authentic cuisines, so reserve a table now to get a taste of these mouth-watering foods!
How to reserve a table:
- Visit our website and sign up using your email address. Once done, select a schedule you want and click ‘reserve’.
- Please remember that you can opt to pay a day before the actual date. However, please be reminded that if you want to cancel, please remind us ahead of time so we can give it to other people waiting in the reservation list.
- Additionally, please refer to our payment options to know what payment options we accept. Moreover, if you decide to pay in the restaurant, please provide us with a hard copy of your reservation form and present it at the counter so we can settle your dining reservations accordingly.