The Chateau Ramezay Museum is a history museum, appropriately located in the heart of Old Montreal, in front of the City Hall. You may ask, why is a foodie writing about history? Well, as soon as I heard they were having an exhibition called, Let’s eat! a retrospective on food and the eating habits of early Quebec settlers, I rushed to check it out.
The exhibition Let’s eat! looks at various aspects of the history of Quebec’s culinary culture over the past four centuries.
Food is inevitably a reflection of our past and with 100 artefacts on display, we gain a better understanding of the eating habits of early settlers in North America, and how it has affected Quebec gastronomy over the years. For instance, we learn how many commonplace foods were first introduced into everyday Quebec cooking. For example:
• The First Nations people introduced corn, squash and maple syrup
• The British brought us potatoes, pudding, and shepherd’s pie
• The French introduced pastry, pot-au-feu and dishes with sauces
• The Americans popularized turkey with cranberry sauce and baking powder biscuits
The exhibition, Let’s eat! also features information about serving dishes and tableware, preparing a meal, table manners and dining etiquette, and finishes off with a presentation of ten so-called traditional meals. Everything you need to know about shepherd’s pie, pea soup, baked beans, and donuts!
Insider tip: The Chateau Ramezay Museum is also presenting a special exhibition called: Around the Fireplace…Holiday Traditions, starting December 5, 2009. They are planning several other special activities that will be taking place between Christmas and the New Year such as making brioche with the kids.
Chateau Ramezay Museum
280 Notre Dame W. Montreal, QC, H2Y 1C5, (514) 514 861-3708
Open from Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Family rate: $18
Youth from 5 to 17: $4.50
Children under 5: free