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Your Giant American Refrigerator Is Making You Fat And Poor

Obviously, it is only one out of many factors, but those giant fridges are also an absurdity in terms of energy (mis)use. After studying in Italy, I lived for many years here in Montréal with a counterheight fridge; the equivalent of a (larger) bar or university residence fridge. It was dying, and I did change it for a 10 cubic ft model; not because I needed much more fridge, but because the freezer on the tiny one was not adequate, and I have been freezing more portions of meals I cook at home, as well as making sure that I have some frozen fish, and frozen vegetables in the wintertime.

An empty fridge screams poverty, so people are inclined to fill them up. This means waste for most households.

Of course, I live in a central (but not "downtown") neighbourhood of a major city, and deliberately live close to Jean-Talon market, one of the largest public markets in North America. Obviously, the needs of a rural household will be different, but the major difference I've observed among rural households I know is the presence of a separate freezer, not of a larger fridge.

7 minutes ago
lagatta in Food Media & News

Does Fast Food Really Make People Fat?

People who disagree with you are not necessarily "ignorant", they have a different social, economic and political outlook. I could respond that socio-economic status is the greatest determinant in health status (including obesity), and that is even in countries such as Canada and the UK where we have national health systems.

What would be the point of such an argument? You aren't going to make me a libertarian, and I'm not going to convince you of the merits of social democracy.

It isn't a question of government or corporations "telling" people what to do, but of the creation of an obesogenic environment, which is as much a matter of carcentric development as of the prevalence of crap food, especially for people of limited means.

41 minutes ago
lagatta in Food Media & News

How do the French get their food?

"Banlieue". http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banlieue

My colleagues in France tend to disagree with you, but this is a forum on food, not language use. You can read more about this debate in the wiki article.

about 1 hour ago
lagatta in France

Everclear

I shudder at the thought that some kids, thinking that was cool, must have actually downed a bottle of that stuff.

The idea of macerating stuff does interest me, though. Herbs, or good coffee beans.

about 1 hour ago
lagatta in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

How do the French get their food?

Actually, banlieues means "suburbs", and la banlieue is "suburbia". The poor and dodgy suburbs are "la zone", or "les cités" (referring to housing estates). Sarkozy is from Neuilly, a very wealthy suburb of Paris and one of the wealthiest towns in France. There are also many, many middle-class suburbs that are neither posh nor dodgy.

about 12 hours ago
lagatta in France

How do the French get their food?

Only local Maghrebi (North African) or Southeast Asian shops, which like "corner shops" everywhere, are much more expensive.

But France is a shoppers' paradise compared with its German neighbour.

about 12 hours ago
lagatta in France

How do the French get their food?

I'm surprised to see a "progressive" publication like Mother Jones refer to the USA as "America".

I live in Québec, and while we spend less on solid food than our cousins in France, we spend a hell of a lot more on wine! Moreover, cheese is cheaper in France than here, and they have a longer season for fresh produce. Don't know how all this compares to our friendly neighbours in the USA...

about 12 hours ago
lagatta in France

How do the French get their food?

June, here in Montréal, I was actually rather peeved at a fellow ahead of me in line in a chain supermarket (no, I wasn't buying fruit) buying a lot of organic stuff: good local milk, but also "organic" strawberries from California! The local ones are in season here now, and some are organic. This fellow, who looked ultra-fit, could have cycled to the Jean-Talon Market in ten minutes from where we were... I don't buy Driscoll, not even the organics, in the wintertime. I'm sure there are smaller organic producers in California, if I should travel there, with fruit one can smell!

I got used to extreme seasonality when living in Italy. They are even more adamant about it than the French. For years I didn't buy any of those golfball tomatoes; I do occasionally buy the much improved hothouse ones nowadays, in the winter, supplemented with some jarred salsa, etc.

We do seem to get more cherries from Washington State or British Columbia than from neighbouring Ontario.

about 13 hours ago
lagatta in France

Montreal Specifics

Thanks for your great trip report (Trip de bouffe, but not in the doper sense!)

Hope you enjoyed your visit overall. Indeed, I don't think there is anything similar to the construction holiday anywhere else in North America http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Construc...

There are benefits to visiting during this period, as there is far less traffic, so it is easier to park a car or get around on a bicycle. Campsites and such are full, though. And when the exchange rate is decent, many families also holiday by the sea in nearby New England.

There are at least four other places where you can buy cretons at JTM: Porc Meilleur, La Boucherie du marché, Saveurs Charlevoix and Les Cochons tout ronds. The latter two have products from specific Quebec regions: Charlevoix (a lovely region) northeast of Quebec City, and les Îles-de-la-Madeleine (Magdalene Islands in English) in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Cochons tout ronds feature Basque Cretons, with a dash of Espelette pepper, though the Saveurs du Québec variety is probably the most typical of a quality product (there are a lot of dreadful supermarket cretons as well, as is the fate of very popular foods). http://www.cochonstoutronds.com

Not to mention végé-cretons, which you can find at the natural food shops at JTM, if you have any veggie friends. And there are duck rillettes at Boucherie du marché.

about 13 hours ago
lagatta in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Recommendations for one mind-blowing meal.

It would help if you could provide some indication of the types of food you prefer - for example, where are you on the carnivore-omnivore-herbivore scale? Spicy or subtle? Innovative or classic?

about 22 hours ago
lagatta in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Liquid Cocaine

Well, that is true, but so has gross abuse of alcoholic beverages. And often nowadays one gets "multiple addictions" to uppers and downers. I worked with a guy like that who was a very heavy drinker and also snorted coke. He was making death threats to his ex wife...

2 days ago
lagatta in Recipes

Liquid Cocaine

Mayor Rob Ford's favourite recipe! (+ real cocaine, and several beer chasers).

Jul 27, 2014
lagatta in Recipes

favorite places to shop for cookware/ dinnerware in Montreal

It may be closed now. I'll go and check - it is or was a bit south of here between Bellechasse and Beaubien on St-Laurent.

There is also a Chinese kitchenware shop in old Chinatown - also on St-Laurent, but much south of where I live, between La Gauchetière and René-Lévesque, on the west side of the street, much closer to René-Lévesque (north) than to La Gauchetière. You can't miss it if you walk up that block. They don't sell groceries; nothing but kitchenware.

Kim Phat and Marché Hawaï also have good kitchenware selections. And if you are ever in Ottawa, check out T&T Supermarket.

Jul 26, 2014
lagatta in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Sad to report the passing of Veggo

Yes, we are. Glad to hear about el pequeño Veggo, and glad you have such good memories of your brother. My cat is a "one-person cat" as well, but then, he is half-Siamese, and Siamese are very "doggy". He's also 18 and some months (18 1/2 in September), so he is relatively much older than your brother made it to (which was not much older than I am, so it hits hard). I guess this means we have to enjoy life while we can.

Jul 26, 2014
lagatta in Site Talk
2

Openings & Closings July, August & September 2014

I was just by there (well, I pass by there at least 6 times a day, as they are on the local bicycle path) but I stopped, as the frozen custard window was open and serving and it didn't look too busy yet. Stefano was pitching in there, so I asked him about takeaway pizza. He said they would definitely be doing it, they didn't know whether at the frozen custard window on St-Dominique or the main entrance at the corner of Dante. They weren't doing it this week, as they were settling into their routine, but should be by this coming Wednesday, and there will be a limited takeout menu. (Which is fine with me - I'm perfectly happy with a Margherita, as long as it is properly made)".

Many older people milling about, looks like friends and family, giving the place that "famiglia grande" vibe.

Jul 26, 2014
lagatta in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Sad to report the passing of Veggo

Oh, I'm sad to read this. Veggo was such a good and funny writer. I'm sorry for your loss, family and friends, and all the chowhounds he touched with his stories. Is Veggo the cat ok?

Jul 26, 2014
lagatta in Site Talk

Summer 2014 Yard/Estate/Tag Sale Scores

Your chef's pan is a little wok (for western stoves)! If you don't need it, it would make a splendid gift, for someone starting over or starting off, who needs a good quality, multipurpose pan. I couldn't resist that either. I don't need one as I have a flat-bottomed "Peking Pan", but I know exactly where I'd take it if I had one.

The copper paella pan is also extraordinary.

Remember, give away or sell on internet at least one item for every new one. Most of these will be giveaways, to get rid of unused stuff fast. You are making someone else happy and cleaning out your house.

Jul 25, 2014
lagatta in Cookware

Montreal Specifics

The market is still going on; until the end of the work on Parc Lahaie, it is taking place in the small parking lot BEHIND the church.

Yes, it is strange; the park, while pretty and typical, was very run down, and the work will be an improvement, but I have no idea why it is taking so long.

I checked; the English version of this works too: http://marchefermier.ca/site/when-and... Last summer, I went there a few times returning from meeting clients or seeing friends on the Plateau, and the produce was always appealing and reasonably priced for local and organic. They had herbs and salad that would be great for a visitor not "really" cooking, alongside som good takeaway or cold food items http://marchefermier.ca/

Jul 25, 2014
lagatta in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Openings & Closings July, August & September 2014

They should be open by now. I'm studiously not going today, though I want to soon (for takeaway).

http://montreal.eater.com/archives/20...

Jul 24, 2014
lagatta in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Montreal Specifics

That sounds great. I'd feature venison, bison or caribou if I can find it. I also use the finely-chopped mushroom in vegetarian tourtière.

I made duck tourtière (and a vegetarian version for vegetarian guests) for "les fêtes" this winter. I first braised my duck with a small bottle of cider, though I've also used white wine.

Jul 24, 2014
lagatta in Quebec (inc. Montreal)
1

Quebecois Cuisine in Montreal, Quebec City

I've never been there. That is a very pretty drive, by the way.

Jul 23, 2014
lagatta in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Montreal Specifics

Leméac is due west of there. It isn't a terribly long walk, and much of it is interesting (a bit less between St-Laurent and St-Denis, though there is an attractive baroque church on St-Dominique between Laurier and St-Joseph, where an organic market is also held at the park in front of the church). You'll be walking slightly downhill in the Outremont stretch.

There are several restaurants near Laurier métro

Monsieur B, a byow bistro. La Petite Marche, Le micro-resto La Famille come to mind.

Although Montréal is much smaller than NYC, it is also a very walkable city; there are people walking and cycling day and evening (it isn't as 24/7 as NYC though).

I've found this tool, promenable. for nearby amenities and how long it should take to walk there. http://promenable.ca/spot.php?s=6090 It is also in English; I did click on the English and while the language seemed a bit strange, it is comprehensible. I set it for métro Laurier.

Jul 23, 2014
lagatta in Quebec (inc. Montreal)
1

Fresh Tofu Market

How I miss moh, and Sam Fujisaka. I guess the fact that their posts still inspire us is a kind of immortality, in the literary sense.

Jul 21, 2014
lagatta in Quebec (inc. Montreal)
4

Openings & Closings July, August & September 2014

Well, I certainly hope there is some, for you (and I'm not being facetious - it is a Chicago dish that is old enough to be called traditional, and based on a certain type of Italian pizza; I could look it up in my old Italian (language) cookbooks.

But I'm really past the age where I can eat such a beast and be happy. Sort of like the "merguez-frites" sandwich, which I loved when in Paris, in my 20s...

Jul 21, 2014
lagatta in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Question about ambiance at some Mtl establishments

Oh, perhaps not flip-flops, but I'd think leather sandals of a more "covering" type would be fine in all but the most traditional, or "suit" business oriented (as opposed to "creative" business oriented) places.

Jul 21, 2014
lagatta in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Awesome Supermarkets (and why)

That's too bad. I haven't had the scanning problem at the new location (and I watch the monitor like a hawk); I did a couple of times at the old one.

One thing that I do like about them is that they have unannounced specials and odd markdowns. At the fish counter they had the halibut pieces (from the neck) that are too irregular to make large steaks. About $8kg. There were a few bones, but it was mostly meat (I boned the pieces as the bones will go in a court-bouillon). Have a couple of small, but thick fillets for tonight with rice and vegetables, and I have plenty to make a fish stew or meal soup tomorrow, for a couple more suppers.

Their produce looked a bit sad today, but in the summer I buy almost all produce at JTM.

Jul 21, 2014
lagatta in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Le Mal Nécessaire report (long)

You can also find Cherry Heering at the LCBO:

Heering Cherry Liqueur
Producer
Peter F. Heering A.S.
Denmark, Region Not Specified
$ 37.54 for a 750 mL bottle
LCBO No. 227140

Jul 21, 2014
lagatta in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Jazzfest

I suspect that was the reason. There are several festivals each summer, and food and beverage installations are worked out between the festival organizers, Le Quartier des Spectacles, and various municipal authorities.

Jul 21, 2014
lagatta in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

What foods unavailable in US not to miss in France?

Goldemi, Lyon has some notable hills, so you can keep working off the yummy food just by walking up Fourvière and la Croix Rousse.

Jul 20, 2014
lagatta in France
1

French food - boring? Yes, according to the Daily Telegraph

Yes, both those Celtic peoples were conquered, and both suffered cultural and other losses thus, but from a culinary standpoint, it was better to have been conquered by the French (or their forebears). Cornish is the Celtic language most closely related to Breton. http://www.cornwallinfocus.co.uk/lang...

Jul 20, 2014
lagatta in France