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Québécois specialities

I didn’t get much time to explore Montréal; I was there to work, not go sightseeing. And whilst some of the younger lads in my team had the energy to go out sampling the nightlife after a full day’s work, I simply didn’t. But there’s little point in travelling all that way and not making at least an effort to engage with the local culture, particularly when it comes to food.

Of course, being North America, much of the food – including the huge portion sizes – was clearly influenced by the USA. There were lots of burgers, nachos and pizzas on offer. But there were some distinctively Canadian and Québécois offerings too.

I was buying a sandwich lunch in a supermarket when I saw and simply had to sample a Maple Mars Bar. That’s right – it’s a standard Mars Bar but with the caramel flavoured with maple syrup. It was extremely sweet, and really quite sickly. Not as nice as I had hoped, but definitely worth trying.

Then there was poutine, which was available on the menu in all the local bars and cafes near my hotel. It is a major regional specialty of Québec, and I thought I’d better try it at least once. This is poutine:


It’s basically chips, topped with curd cheese and covered in gravy. It tastes exactly as you might expect it to taste, and I have to say that one serving of it was quite enough to satisfy my curiosity!