Can I tell you how wonderful the city of Montreal is? Oh gosh, where do I start?
The markets, oh the markets. I bought 4 different types of pepper from a spice/olive oil store. I bought a Cherimoya - only the best fruit on the planet, no big deal... It was so creamy and custardy with strawberry notes... I saved a bunch of the seeds and maybe one day when I don't live in the weather CRAPital of Canada I will be able to grow my own.
I was lucky enough to attend a soft opening for a restaurant called Tuck Shop (thanks Tyler and Meaghan). I am pretty sure the chefs sourced their produce from the back yard of the restaurant only minutes before they made my salad (and perhaps from the market) - so fresh. It reminded me a bit of the grand opening for the restaurant I work at (www.thebison.ca). A restaurant can really set itself apart by it's use of salt. The quality as well as the amount used is so important for any good dish. This is the first thing I noticed when I ate at Pure Food and Wine (www.purefoodandwine.com) in NYC last June and the first thing I noticed at Tuck Shop - how perfectly the salt was balanced with all of the other ingredients in my salad. I didn't take any pictures, opps, a little too much wine!
Anyway, pepper is the new salt today. Check it!
1.Voatsiperifery Wild Pepper from Madagascar - lovely fresh black pepper taste, much more complex than regular black pepper.
2. Tribal Early Harvest Green Pepper from India - spicy, fresh, so much flavour!
3. Wild Assam Pepper also from India - such a cool looking pepper, it is shaped like a little dried blackberry. Certainly does not smell or taste like a blackberry though. Smoky, woody, earthy. Pretty unique.
4. Green Sczechwan Pepper from China - Woah crazy! It makes your mouth numb. Has citrus notes and is very much like strong roasted coriander.
I can't wait to make some kick-ass recipes with these peppers, especially chocolate.
Eddie and Pierre are stoked too.
Oh yea, I also went to Crudessence (www.crudessence.com), Montreal's raw restaurant. It was very cute. I consumed a shake and an apple walnut crepe. I could not eat 99% of the savory stuff on the menu because it all contained un-extractable garlic. The shake was pretty good and the crepe wasn't bad, but creativity wasn't it's strong point. This crepe has inspired me to come up with the most fantastic raw crepe ever. Stay tuned . . .