Q1: Montreal is a multi-ethnic city, and we have many places to buy authentic groceries from different parts of the world. Today you wanted to tell us a bit about East European food.
When you think of Russian or Baltic food, you think of hearty stick to your ribs dishes and that’s just about what we need at this time of year. Since these are local family businesses, much of the food is homemade so free from preservatives or additives. Their meat products are smoked naturally with wood, not injected with flavoring.
Q2: What countries are we talking about?
Russia, Roumania, Hungary, Slovenia
Q3: What kinds of foods might we find there?
Well borscht of course, chicken Kiev, different kinds cured meats: gypsy sausage or Moscow salami, goose pastrami. There’s healthy foods like kefir, yogurt drink and their smoked fishes are full of omega 3 (mackerel, herring and sturgeon). You’ll always find dumplings – my favorites are called pelmeny, little meat dumplings that I put in soup. Cabbage is good for you and they make homemade sauerkraut and stuffed cabbage. Don’t forget these stores also make wonderful desserts.
Q4: In what part of town would you find these stores?
West of the city in the Snowdon area: Sherbrooke St., Decarie Blvd., Victoria Ave.
At Bucarest Charcuterie and Patisserie you’ll find that Rumanian food and everything to make an authentic meal – meatball soup, stuffed grape leaves, naturally smoked sausages, chopped eggplant salads, stuffed cabbage, marinated mushrooms or carrots, goose, lamb or pork pastrami, fresh roe, homemade sauerkraut, pickled cabbage heads, etc. can be purchased here.
Russian foods to try would be sprats, sturgeon, whole herrings, smoked eel and mackerel, kefir and pilmeny (meat dumplings and others), chocolates and homemade cakes. Their canned groceries cover more of Eastern Europe, and include: sour tomatoes, white cherry or walnut preserves, chestnut puree, Hungarian paprika paste, pumpkin seed oil, black currants in syrup and yummy juices (pomegranate, red currant, blackberry).
Location: 4670 boul. Decarie at Cote St-Luc Rd. Phone: 514-481-4732
Patisserie et Charcuterie Bourret – The Roumanian, Hungarian, Slovenian, Swiss, German take-out foods in this 40-year-old business include zakuska, smoked eggplant, fish egg salad, goose pastrami, salamis, stuffed cabbage, pickled whole cabbage, fresh and smoked sausages, head cheese and Bulgarian sheep feta.
Bakery specialties to try are kifli (almond and apricot), poppy seed bagli, the 7-layer dobosh, cozonac, and torte wafers ($3.99). There is a wall of grocery products like gooseberry jam, chestnut puree, letcho, Hungarian noodles.
Location: 5771 Victoria, Snowdon Phone: 514-733-8462 www.bourretinc.com
St. Petersburg Russian Delicatessen – If you’ve ever wanted to try gypsy sausage or dried Moscow salami, you’ve found your spot. Russian yummies include smoked trout and mackerel, salmon caviar, borscht and chicken Kiev of course, but also spicy carrots, pickled mushrooms, herring with beets and potato, pelmeny, 10 kinds of pierogies and varenikas in the freezer, lots of jarred and canned veggies, and after you’ve had your pickled tomatoes, grab a piece of halvah or a few cookies from the 75 bins and wash it all down with strawberry soda, sour cherry tea – or kefir.
Location: 5584A Sherbrooke ouest Phone: 514-369-1377