Winter is here! Christmas is right around the corner. What does this mean? Gift shopping and every year for the last few years, I would go with friends to check out the Salon des Metiers d’Arts de Montreal. In translation, it is the Montreal Arts and Crafts Show.
This show has free entrance and especially for the food and wine vendors, there are free tastings. Another addition is that it focuses on smaller Quebec vendors (at least nearby). It is a great place to see what is new on the market and learn about the new products.
Usually, I go to these shows and pick up ice ciders or ice wines but this year, somehow I had a change of heart and focused on other things. Maybe its because we went to the Magog event: Festival des Vendanges (post HERE). Lets check it out! 🙂
Timothee Tartinier Gourmand
I actually picked up two items from this place. The other one I split with my friend and I forgot to take it back which is a roasted hazelnut spread. This one up there is gourmet popcorn with flavors of chocolate, vanilla and caramel. It was my husband’s gift for all the hard work and long hours he’s had to endure the last few weeks. He tasted it and loved it. You can check out this place HERE.
Ferme Guy Rivest
Have you ever tasted fruit pearls? I haven’t. I’ve seen them before and they look cool. I just never figured out how it would work with what we eat and didn’t see the need for it. This year, I wanted to try something new and these ladies looked nice so I went over to try it out. The passion they have for these products are fantastic. Ferme Guy Rivest sells five flavors (I believe): strawberry, raspberry, apple, blueberry and cranberry. If I’m missing well, you can always go check out their site HERE. I ended up getting the raspberry. They suggested to use it either as a topping on appetizers like cracker and cheese (which was their display product) or its good to put inside champagne or wine which is what I intend on doing.
A new vendor at the show (I think) is this gourmet maple syrup/fruit pearls/organic tea place called iSens. The owner is chef and world traveller Philippe Morin and the maple syrup, from what he tells me is sold internationally. I bought this vanilla flavored maple syrup but also tried their Yuzu flavor and Ginseng one as well. While those latter two were pretty good, I just couldn’t decide who I could give it to that would appreciate it the same way and how to use it. However, Vanilla is also quite gourmet and there was no hesitation in getting it. It seems good to make desserts or pancakes. You can check out iSens and their products, including the fruit pearls which have mango and passion fruit flavors HERE.
I buy from La Nougaterie every year. They make delicious soft nougat. My absolute fave is Christmas Nougat which they didn’t have last year so I made it point to get it this year. Its great to cut up into pieces and serve at parties. My husband likes the honey and almond and chocolate ones so I get those for him. I’m thinking of giving away the Lavender as a little gift. Lavender is a tricky ingredient to use but they actually retain a good balance, floral but never overpowering. We also went to their shop at Ile d’Orleans a year or two ago. You can check it out HERE. Did I mention that they expanded their line quite a bit with meringue and candies and my absolute fave, marshmallows!
Coach House Shortbread Company
Also, a recent addition to annual buys which works so cute as gifts. I believe in giving food as gifts a lot because its absolutely great to have and its something to share with everyone especially as a general gift. While they come in salty flavors with cheese and herbs in four different varieties, I always go for these sweet ones. I usually would get sugar plum since its so festive but this year, I changed that up for Lavender and the other two flavors are Ginger (which is for myself) and Dark Chocolate/Fleur de Sel. There’s a ton of other flavors and you can find them HERE.
I can’t go to these shows and not buy at least one bottle of ice cider, right? C’mon! That just wouldn’t be right. Fire Cider didn’t quite originate in this show with Domain Labranche but we’re not here to talk about that company. However, Domaine Labranche stole my heart last year when they introduced Fire Cider but as a hot cider drink. You can make it with cinnomon stick and it’ll have this delicious apple and cinnamon smell that just gives off a lovely scent through the house. Its like the drink you picture drinking on a cold winter’s night and its snowing outside and the fireplace is roaring. Yeah…the thought of it all was what happened when I had the fire cider so there was no question when I tasted it again and just fell in love again. I’m actually starting to like fire ciders quite a bit. The way its made gives the drink a nice smooth taste. You can check out Domaine Labranche HERE.
We learned at the show that they also are a vineyard, orchard and maple shack. Maybe we’ll consider it the next time we look for those activities.
Rustique Design by Pascal Normand
Surprising that it isn’t food to end it all off, right? I’ve been looking for artwork for some walls on my house. We’ve moved in for two years and its been a gradual climb to getting it all decorated. As much as I do have complaints about Montreal here and now, which I don’t share here, Montreal is a beautiful city and adding in the rustic feeling on some of the landmarks makes for a really nice touch. This art is called Rustique Design by Pascal Normand. You can check out more HERE.
And thats it! Montreal Crafts Show had a few new vendors. There are still a lot of the same but in general, its a nice place to get gift ideas and seeing as its free entrance, even if you don’t pick up anything, its a nice 2 to 3 hour walking away activity, which is always fun.