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Cretons!

Any Quebeckers down here that know of a reliable place to purchase good, fresh cretons? With the cold weather here, I have a yen for cretons and toast. I have stolen my mom's recipe to make my own, and I know homemade is best but let's face it...with the holidays and overnight guests I'm going to get lazy.

Thwaite's market in Methuen, Mass has long been my standby but in recent months I've found their cretons (which they charmingly spell Gorton....like the fisherman?) fatty and tasteless. Help?

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  1. I don't know about that particular Canadian style of pork pâté, but you might call some other places known for their charcuterie: the Formaggios (Huron Village and the South End), L'Alouette in Lexington, Savenor's, DeLuca's.

    1. Why hasn't anyone opened a Quebecker restaurant in Boston?

      A lot of the places MC Slim listed would probably make it for you, especially if you were getting a reasonable quanity. John Dewar's in Newton Center or Wellesley might be able to hook you up.

      [sorry for the edit, quantity and quality are not the same.]

      1 Reply
      1. re: sailormouth

        It's been about 8 years since I went to Quebec City and Montreal, but even there, I could only find one restaurant that served classic Quebecois cuisine at the time (things like classic Quebec pea soup, meat pies, duck in maple syrup sauce, sugar pie, spruce beer). And I looked hard, too. That place was Aux Anciens Canadiens in the walled Haute-Ville part of Quebec City, and I liked it so much I went a few times.

        Given how hard it was to find a real Quebecois restaurant in Quebec, I'd guess the chances of one coming to Boston are slim indeed.

      2. Thank you MCSlim and sailormouth. Sailor, I work just five 10 minutes from Newton center and you can bet I'll check out Dewar's. That's a good question about quebecois food in Boston...especially around the holidays and during the winter, it's such good stuff--real home cooked comfort food. I am guessing it wouldn't fly because of all that meat and spice and maple; health nuts could freak out over tourtiere. But it sure is good stuff. A lot of the dishes are so simple and so delicious--the sugar pies, turnip dishes. Sigh.

        1. I can't say that I've seen cretons in this area. Maybe some of the french-canadian areas such as Fall River, or Somersworth NH, or Lewiston, ME..... but that is a drive.
          I'd love to see some Quebecois food on a menu in Boston, but so far I haven't. Although the diner in Watertown serves Ployes which is an Acadian specialty.
          I'd recommend brewing up some good coffee for some inspiration, and working on that recipe. Laziness is how recipes never get passed on and culture is lost.

          1 Reply
          1. re: uman

            Thank you so much, IreneC. Fantastic information for a new Lowell-area resident.

          2. You don't have to look any farther than Lowell. Fresh-made creton (gorton, corton or pork-scrap, depending on your family's origin) is available at Cote's Market on Salem Street, 978-458-4635. You will also find such Quebecois comfort food as pork pie (toutiere), salmon pie, and habitant-style pea soup (made with yellow peas). Right now Cote's is taking orders for Thanksgiving, which includes French-style meat stuffing (made with ground pork.
            Also, although not fresh-made, some Market Basket stores in the Lowell area carry creton and pork pies from a company in Maine. I believe the brand is Malliot. They sell them in the meat counter.
            And a little local restaurant, A Family Affair on Lakeview Ave in Lowell serves, Quebec-style crepes on Sat. and Sun. Vic's Pastry Shop sells pork pies and salmon pies and the adjacent restaurant serves individual pork pies at breakfast.
            For pork pies and salmon pies, there are also several places in Fall River that sell them, for instance Plourde's Bakery, I believe on North Main St. and Hartley's Pork Pies, the South Main St. location.
            Of course, you can always make your own creton. I have my Memere's recipe and several others that I've collected over the years.

            6 Replies
            1. re: IreneC

              Irene...You bet I'll go there. I'm about to mapquest it because I'm woefully ignorant about Lowell geography beyond the immediate downtown area. Thank you!

              1. re: thegolferbitch

                That is a pretty impressive post IreneC (thank you Chowhound!), I'm doing my own Googlemap-Lowell research now for a trip.

                Not knowing much about Lowell, what else would you recommend (maybe a new post about this might be good?)?

              2. re: IreneC

                That's a cool post IreneC -- thanks. Do any of those joints sell poutine? I saw galleygirl's post about cheese curds so I could try making it at home, but I'm not so into cooking the fries in my kitchen, making up the gravy, etc. I'd like to know of a place that serves it to a hungry public.

                1. re: yumyum

                  For poutine, try La Petite Cafe - a new place in Greenfield, MA. 90 west of Boston. A small shop, but good food.

                2. re: IreneC

                  I have been trying to find a creton recipe forever...the ones I have found are made with milk - did your Memere make hers that way - mine in Maine used water I think....

                  1. re: IreneC

                    My mom's pork scrap was stringy. She used a pork shoulder (I think). Does that sound familiar? Do you have any recipes like that? I wish I had my Memere's recipies.