Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Jan 5, 2007 07:39 PM

Creton (spicy pork pate) - is it a Quebec thing?

Someone was asking if creton could be frozen and I was wondering what it was. It seems it is a Quebec thing. AKA gorton, corton or pork-scrap.

Someone was asking about where to find it in Massachusetts and there was a rather good discussion about it with some gratuitous recipes thrown in.

Is it called creton or cretons?

Is it like pate, rilletes or as described in the above thread ... looking like meatloaf?

Is there a good online source?

There seem to be vegetarian versions of it

What makes this of Quebec origin? Anyone know the history of it?

Some other creton info

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hi from Montreal,

    It's cretons, plural.

    IT des resemble meat loaf before portioned out for packaging, but we mainly see it in a smaller form, as in packaged in a plastic container. Every grocery store sells it in the deli section.

    It looks, to me, like gound pork sitting in lots of pork fat, then chilled. Not in the least bit appetizing but pretty tasty. Much milder than a liver pate, with a special blend of spices.

    It's commonly served with breakfast here.. Some spread it on toast with or without mustard. As a former breakfast server, I can't tellyou how many non-Quebecois have asked me, "what's CRETINS?"

    1. Pork Scrap AKA (Creton)

      1 ½ Pounds of Pork

      1 ½ Cups of Bread Crumbs

      1 ½ Cups of Milk

      1 ¼ Tsp. Salt

      1 ¼ Tsp. Pepper

      1 ½ Tsp Cinnamon

      ¾ Tsp Ground Cloves

      1 Med Onion (Chopped Fine)

      Cook On Med Heat for 1 to 1 ½ Hours Refrigerate ……..Enjoy!

      1. i'm not quebecois but i am ontarian (i'm not even sure if that's what we're supposed to call ourselves) and my first experience with cretons was in montreal and i fell instantly in love.

        there's a breakfast restaurant that orginated from quebec called coras and it's made its way over to ontario. they do list cretons on the menu but so few people order it that you're unlikely to get it because they won't stock it.

        i randomly found it at a deli in one of our major farmer type markets and it's my first encounter with it outside of montreal/coras. i had to buy some and would describe it's texture somewhere between a meatloaf and pate. it has the granular texture of a meatloaf but the fat pockets make it soft enough to almost spread like a pate. i wouldn't compare it to rilettes as most rilletes i've had have a pulled/stringy quality definitely not in cretons.

        it's repulsive to my boyfriend but i really enjoy it.

        i tried scrapple in philly and it's interesting how different all these pork mash products can get. scrapple i would liken closer to spam but still not quite... it's got a softer pate likeness to it. i definitely prefer cretons.

        3 Replies
        1. re: pinstripeprincess

          My first cretons were in a Cora's in Montreal. It was quite good.

          1. re: Blueicus

            my aunt from montreal was surprised that i would try it let alone like it. she doesn't mind it but really doubted ontarioans would go for it at the coras here.

          2. re: pinstripeprincess

            Try it with mayo and mustard, gonna repulse your boyfriend even more.

            If you're a mayo bad-girl, check out my reply below for a technique for getting an un-godly amount of mayo in there.

          3. My 2 cents: It's spelled Cretons but pronounced more like Crey-toh-n ... not like crouton or baton is in english but less emphasis on the N sound... hard to explain.

            I moved to Calgary from Montreal in '99 and I'm happy to report that Chez Cora has made it's way out here and cretons is available at the Calgary Farmers Market Quebec kiosk. Now if we could only get real bagels and baguette ;)

            2 Replies
            1. re: maplesugar

              There are "real" bagels right at CFM. And Manuel Latruwe makes a killer baguette.

              1. re: John Manzo

                Thanks John, I'll have to head back to Manuel Latruwe for more goodies baguette included. I have seen the bagel place at CFM ... there was a bit of "sticker shock" when I got a good look at their price list however... mind you it'd be cheaper than overnighting some from St-Viateur :)

            2. Cretons are much softer than meat loaf, as they are typically eaten as a spread for bread, often at breakfast. Remember, this was all about people working outside on farms and forests in bitterly cold weather - people needed a lot of calories and fat, and were rarely overweight in those old photos. Modern cyberslaves must be most moderate in our consumption of such hearty victuals...

              Some homemade versions I have had are more similar to rillettes. Nowadays one can buy vegetarian cretons (Le Commensal makes a tasty version) or cretons made from chicken or veal for non-pork-eaters or those who want something rather lower in fat.

              The pronunciation of the "on" is the same in French for creton, bâton, croûton, but baton and crouton have been adopted into English, with the "n" sounded. In French it is a dipthong (changes pronunciation of vowel to a more "nasal" sound, best I can explain it non-technically).

              I don't know where you can buy cretons in Massachussets, but logically you would find it in Franco-American towns such as Lowell.

              2 Replies
              1. re: lagatta

                "In French it is a dipthong (changes pronunciation of vowel to a more 'nasal' sound, best I can explain it non-technically)."

                Technically or not, a diphthong (and since you're such a stickler for correct spelling, please note that it's *ph*, not *p*) is a combination of vowels, not of a vowel and a consonant. And, anyway, as Le Petit Robert's definition of *diphthongue* clearly states, there are no diphthongs in modern French. The *on* in *cretons* is actually a nasal vowel (see *nasal, ale, aux* in LPR for confirmation).

                1. re: carswell

                  Yes, you are absolutely right - I wasn't very awake yet when I posted that.

                  Anything to add about cretons?