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Bastourma at Marche Adonis: Yum!

  • m

I bought bastourma at Marche Adonis on Sources. Bastourma is an air-cured beef coated in spices, of Turkish/Armenian origin. It is delicious! It has the wonderful texture of air-cured beef similar to Swiss Bunderfleisch (spelling?) but with the added element of cumin and other spices. I got it at the Charcuterie counter (shar-COO-ter- RIE - giggle). If you are a fan of air-cured beef, this is a very nice version! I assume they sell it at the other location too.

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  1. That's awesome. I've been craving for some time.

    A quick heads up: If it is cured the traditional way, there should be an immense amount of fenugreek paste. You'll stink. Your bodily secretions will stink. For at least 24 hours. Oh well, it is worth it.

    One little know fact is that it could also be eaten cooked, preferably with eggs over easy. Yummy and stinky.

    4 Replies
    1. re: emerilcantcook

      Oh dear, I am concerned this may be less traditional than you will like. I don't stink (as far as I know. Hubbie? Hubbie? Where did he go?) I suspect they may have made a more commercial product to appeal to a larger market.

      This product was predominantly flavoured with cumin I think. It is midly stinky, but not overly stinky (mind you , my definition of stinky might be tainted by my kimchi eating ways) Well, if you happen to be near there, and you try a piece, let me know what you think.

      Does anyone else have any leads on Bastourma that might be more like the item Emerilcantcook is describing?

      1. re: moh

        I've had it a few times and although it has a strong odor it is not unpleasant and I certainly don't remember smelling afterwards (maybe nobody had the nerve to tell me - haha). Maybe what I had wasn't very traditional either. I had it in Greece and yes it is delicious with eggs!

        1. re: moh

          Cumin and fenugreek aren't that far apart in the stink scale actually and even resemble each other in the taste department, so what you thought was cumin could indeed have been fenugreek.

          1. re: maisonbistro

            Ah that is possible... As I am a Bastourma novice, I make no claims to be right here. Nevertheless, a very tasty food product! And if I stink, well, as Emerilcantcook puts it, it is worth it.

      2. Ask the folks at the counter at Adonis what types of Bastourma that they have, When they had the L'Acadie location, they had 2 types regular and 'no odour'. I would presume the no odour variety had less fenugreek.

        One of the local manufacturers is Yervant located just near the Home Depot on Beaumont, between St. Urbain and Parc. You may wish to contact them for more Bastourma lore...

        You can also find it at Marche Arkhavan on Sherbrooke near Cavendish.

        Also, excellent torn up into a bowl of Foul Mudammas.

        2 Replies
        1. re: fedelst1

          Hmmm, maybe I got the no odour variety. That being said, I ate some for lunch and went to a business meeting right after brushing my teeth. As I entered the building, a whiff of fenugreek crept up past the minty fresh tooth paste scent and hit me in the brain. I thought "well, Emerilcantcook did warn me..." I dug out a bunch of mints from my bag, but I fear the Bastourma odour is a crafty wee beasty...

          1. re: moh

            You know I used to designate a day of the week to basturma and avoid most social contact within the 24 hours of eating? Oh well, as I said it is worth it. I have to score me some as soon as I get some wheels; and I don't mind being called the stinky EM.

        2. An Armenian friend told me that Yervant has closed. I tried calling the numbers I found online, but cannot seem to find it anywhere.

          Anyone know where we can find real bastourma in Montreal? I've been told that what is sold at Adonis is alright, but does not compare to the real thing.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Walnuts

            My Russian-Armenian wife is a big fan of the basturma sold at Krazy Kris, a Ukrainian (or maybe Russian?) grocery store on Van Horne just north of Victoria. She says it's like the stuff she used to get in Yerevan.

            1. re: Timchik

              Thanks Timchik. Will check it out soon.
              Actually a friend recommended another one as well: Bastourma Arev, 9340 Rue Charles-de-Latour, (514) 526-0625.
              Will try to sample both and post back.

              1. re: Walnuts

                Walnuts, I am looking forward to your report!! Thanks for running with this. I'm glad someone who knows what good Bastourma is on the hunt...

          2. I tried the one from Adonis.. its really bad! It has nothing to do with bastourma! Best bastourma in Montreal is at Marché Sofia on Salaberry. I think they have a website

            3 Replies
            1. re: maro1978

              I've only tried pastirma at Adonis and I thought it was decent, although I think I would prefer a western style dry cured beef without the cuminy spices.

              It has mainly been an acquired taste for me but I'd like to know what makes a good pastirma to the palate of an experienced ethnic eater?

              1. re: Ghostquatre

                I don't know what makes excellent basturma, but I suspect smell might be a factor. A few years ago I bought some excellent Armenian basturma (I do not remember where from) and the vendor kept repeating that this particular version had a special spice mix that won't make my poop smell.

                1. re: Ghostquatre

                  Actually I got some last weekend from Marché Sofia. It was worth it. Ask the guys to give you a taste from both kinds. Make sure to ask for the one with garlic if you want real bastourma.

                1. re: Platinumtaste

                  my understanding is that it was turkish, and spread through the ottoman empire to countries like egypt, where i ate it regularly. interestingly, the versions i had in cairo were much milder than the one i recently purchased in toronto, from an egyptian grocer--the taste of fenugreek was very, very strong this time. just ate the last of it yesterday, cooked with some eggs. . .excellent!