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Sunday, August 30, 2009

18th Century Market, Cupcakes and Paninis

This past weekend a friend I work with, Alexandra, and I went to Old Montreal to the 18th Century Market. No, I have not mastered the science of time travel (yet), but rather it's an event that the museum down there does every year. They try to recreate the feel of a public market as it would have been in the 1750s. There are people walking along in costume: soldiers, priests, townspeople etc and even the merchants at the stalls are dressed up. The "merchants" are actually food producers from the Montreal region who sell artisanal cheese, bread, chocolate, jams etc.. The whole event is really well planned and there is a lot of attention to detail. As Old Montreal still retains most of its originals buildings and cobble stoned street it almost feels as though you have been transported back in time.

This stall was selling products made with garlic flowers. It could also keep vampires away if one is so inclined.

A shot of the general area.

This stall was selling earthenware pottery.

These are fresh picked wild raspberries, strawberries and blueberries. They were also selling chocolate covered blueberries which I ate before I took a picture. Oops! They were nice and juicy though.

A stall selling handmade truffles. I think we made a beeline for them once we saw them.

Here are some shots of the general area and the actors walking around. There were also musicians performing folk songs.

While we were there they did a little military parade and fired their guns which was pretty neat.

I ended up buying rhubarb-strawberry jam, honey-caramel spread, honey-chocolate spread, maple sugar and maple butter. Yum.

After we had finished with the fair we went Olive and Gourmando which is a very cute bakery/cafe. It was absolutely packed and we had to wait for a bit but it was totally worth it.

They have several hot plates and hot and cold sandwiches. Alexandra advised me to get the hot Cuban sandwich, as she said it was amazing.

She was so right. It was hot and cheesy and so good. Their version is made with ham, braised pork, home-made mayonaisse (chipotle, pickles, lime and coriander) and gruyere cheese. I enjoyed every bite.

I also had a glass of their home made lemon and honey iced black tea.

Here are two shots of the tiers and tiers of pastries that they have:

The only thing I don't love about this place is the opening hours. They're only opened 8am to 6pm Tuesdays to Saturdays so it will be a while until I go back since they're far away from work.

Although the pastries looked great we decided to hit a nearby cupcake shop called Les Glaceurs for dessert.

The cupcakes looked almost too pretty to eat. In the end Alexandra chose a vanilla cupcakes and I took a red velvet one.

The flower decoration on the vanilla cupcakes was just too cute.

The Red Velvet didn't look too shabby either.

Unfortunately they looked better than they tasted. They weren't bad but the cupcake part was a little dry and dense; I like them fluffier. There was also very little chocolate flavour in mine. But given that I have a hard time saying no to sugar I still finished the whole thing. I've read reviews on the internet and they are generally positive so I think we might have just caught them on a bad day.

This was only the first part of my fun but long and tiring Saturday. After that I went on a sugar crawl of Montreal along with a meetup group. Part II will be on my next post.
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