Montreal Market: Food from the 18th Century

Posted on June 3rd, 2009 by .

If you love markets, history, and food, here’s your chance to enjoy all three! Just head to Pointe-à-Caillière’s 18th Century Public Market, a free event in Montreal happening on August 29 and 30, and discover how Montrealers lived – and ate – during the 1750s.

This event takes place on the same site as Montreal’s first public market (near Pointe-à-Caillière, Montreal’s archaeology and history museum). It’s a re-enactment that lets the public see exactly what foods the people of New France used to put on the table. Taste traditional, local treats like wild berry jam, buckwheat pancakes, medicinal plants and even chocolate truffles. You might think that the chocolate truffles are a bit of an anachronism, but apparently the matter has been rigorously researched – what a relief!

(photo: Marc-André Zouéki)

When I visit, I take my time. I like to stop at every stall and chat with local producers, farmers and artisans. Oh yeah, and of course I stop to snack along the way (Did I mention the truffles? Mmmm…).

And as far as entertainment goes, there’s plenty and it’s free. Every half hour there’s something, from music to demonstrations to historical re-enactments with costumed actors.

My tip: Try to make it for the end of the day, when there is a parade of all the historical actors. That’s at 7:30 pm on Saturday and 5:30 pm on Sunday.

Pointe-à-Callière’s 18th Century Public Market
350 Place Royale (corner of De la Commune Street)
Montreal, H2Y 3Y5

August 29 10 am to 8 pm
August 30 10 am to 6 pm
Rain or shine

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