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Found 5 results

  1. World poutine-eating contest to be held in Toronto. Yes, that's right. T.O. By Andy Blatchford (CP) – 20 minutes ago MONTREAL — One of Quebec's cultural symbols has been called everything from disgusting, to heart-attack inducing, to delectable. But can the increasingly popular Quebecois dish known as poutine -that messy mix of french fries, sauce and cheese curds -now be considered a gooey source of Canada-wide pride? When a gang of professional "eaters" from the United States and a handful of Canadian amateurs battle for the world poutine-eating championship, it won't go down in Montreal, Quebec City, or anywhere else in la belle province. It will be held in, of all places, Toronto. And due to provincial contest rules, Quebecers hoping to eat their way to the title won't be allowed to even take part. No longer seen as just working-class grub from small-town Quebec, poutine now has fans across Canada and beyond. The concoction has been integrated into haute cuisine and has secured niches under the bright lights of the Big Apple and Los Angeles. "I think it shows that poutine has become a national meal," Charles-Alexandre Theoret, author of the 2007 book "Maudite poutine!" ("Damned poutine!") said of the upcoming all-you-can-eat showdown on May 22 at BMO Field in Toronto. "It was once a Quebec meal, but now it's everywhere." A dozen stars of Major League Eating, a circuit best known for its stomach-turning, rapid-fire hot dog eating contests, will have 10 minutes to wolf down as much poutine as they can. "You must use a fork, so there's going to be certainly some skill involved," said Mike Antolini, a spokesman for the International Federation of Competitive Eating. "It's going to test their capacity, but also their hand speed and technique." The champ wins a modest sum of $750 and bragging rights. Antolini said organizers considered poutine-serving joints in Montreal to serve the fare, but eventually chose Smoke's Poutinerie, a Toronto-based chain. "I know that Montreal maybe feels like poutine is theirs, but we are going to be crowning a champion in Canada, and I think that's the most important thing because poutine certainly is Canadian first and foremost," he said. Of course, that hasn't always been the case. For years, the towns of Warwick and Drummondville have duelled over the true birthplace of poutine, but one thing has never been questioned: it's from Quebec. Warwick claims the dish was invented by local restaurant owner Fernand LaChance in 1957, while Drummondville insists that restaurateur Jean-Paul Roy blended the first poutine in 1964. To help cement its claim, Drummondville started holding an annual poutine festival in 2008. Regardless of its exact origins, poutine has long had a complicated bond with Quebecers, many of whom have looked down their noses at what some have called a culinary abomination. "It's a love-hate relationship, there are younger generations who feel fine with it, and almost make it a cool icon," said Theoret, whose book takes a historical look at poutine. "But older generations didn't grow (up) with it and think that it's low class, low life. They're really ashamed about it." For the poutine-eating contest, three Canadians will be selected through a sweepstakes to join the race. In an ironic twist, Quebec laws don't allow its residents to apply. "I don't argue with lawyers," said Smoke's Poutinerie owner Ryan Smolkin, who has five restaurants and one mobile kitchen in his growing poutine empire. All of them are in Toronto, but he's expanding to other parts of Ontario and plans to eventually open up shops across the country and around the world. The Ottawa native imports cheese curds from Quebec's Eastern Townships and tops his poutines with authentic chicken-based sauce. But he said he's never tried to pretend he's a Quebecer. "I know where the roots are, I know what it's all about and I'm trying to maintain that heritage for sure, and the Quebec influence," said Smolkin, who opened his first restaurant 15 months ago. "I respect and want to take that heritage and culture into my brand and help spread that across the world." With poutine's popularity spreading in the United States, he wanted to make sure the dish was "Canadianized" before an American restaurant tried to claim it. "It's been too isolated to Quebec," he said. "Nobody's just tried to take it big outside Quebec, so I'm trying to do that."
  2. New marché targets different market On the corner of Iberville and Ontario Sts., a neighbourhood initiative seeks to provide quality produce - and a fresh look at eating inexpensively and healthfully BRETT BUNDALE, The Gazette Published: 10 hours ago A new market was launched in one of Montreal's poorest neighbourhoods yesterday with the aim of increasing access to fresh food, not making profits. The Frontenac public market, on the corner of Iberville St. and Ontario St. E., is devoted to offering affordable, locally grown food as well as promoting healthy eating and lifestyle habits through educational workshops . "This is a low revenue area but residents don't have access to affordable, fresh food," said Elaine Groulx, chairperson of the public consultation on local food security. Seventy-three per cent of businesses that sell food in the area are dépanneurs. There's an IGA down the street, but it's expensive and the fruit and vegetables are not good quality." Although the market is just getting on its feet, every Saturday until October residents can attend workshops on healthy eating or just stroll through the market to see what's in season. The market is supported by the Ville-Marie borough and several community organizations, including the community economic development corporation of Centre-Sud and the Jeanne-Mance health and social services centre. Community organizers hope the market will be embraced by residents of the community and will expand in future years. They also hope to get more agricultural producers who live close to Montreal involved in the project. "Most of the vendors come from the South Shore or just on the outskirts of Montreal," Groulx said. Laurie-Anne Riendeau, 17, has a fruit and vegetable kiosk at the Frontenac market that she started with the support of her parents as a summer job. She sells fruits and vegetables grown near her home in Ste. Clotilde, in the Montérégie region of Quebec. "People have a lot of questions about rural Quebec and how agriculture works," Riendeau said. "Sometimes I have to explain what certain vegetables are, like these," she said, pointing to a fresh bunch of leeks. "I give them tips on the best way to cook them too." Often people assume the price of food in markets is cheaper than supermarkets because you avoid the "middle man" and buy directly from the producer. But an investigation by the non-profit consumer magazine Protégez-Vous found that wasn't always the case. Fruits and vegetables at the Atwater market were more expensive than in small fruit stores and supermarkets, the 2005 investigation found. In addition, because markets often sell fruits and vegetables in baskets at fixed prices, it's hard to compare with supermarkets, where the price is based on weight. But the Frontenac public market hopes to change that by educating vendors on the reality of the neighbourhood and asking them to set their prices accordingly, Groulx said. Riendeau said she is keeping the prices of her fruits and vegetables low. "I know this is not the Atwater market. Some people come here with only a few coins in their hands. I'll often give people a special price if they buy a few things." Cafe Touski, a neighbourhood coffee shop and cooperative, sells coffee and baked goods at the market. In between pouring cups of coffee, Martin Mantha said the café is so far just breaking even. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=2c0c5b89-881a-4ff0-8b12-32babd6d979b
  3. (Courtesy of Budget Travel Online) That was a little taste of the article. For more click on Budget Travel Online
  4. Another review of montreal published in various newspaper last weekend http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/travel/2016137252_trmontreal11.html
  5. Torontonian chills out in chic Montreal Posted: August 20, 2009, 4:25 PM by Karen Hawthorne food, travel Slow down: Linger at sidewalk cafes, stroll the neighbourhoods and eat some cheese Karen Hawthorne, National Post Most days, I embrace the go-go mentality of Toronto, but every now and then I need a break. A getaway to Montreal, lingering at the sidewalk cafes, strolling the neighbourhoods and eating good cheese sounded like the perfect late-summer diversion. Montreal has a chic but easy-going attitude, so even A-types don't feel the pressure to see everything or get everywhere. (...) Read the article http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/toronto/archive/2009/08/20/torontonian-chills-out-in-chic-montreal.aspx