Do you know where I could find these?
I am an amateur baker looking for hard to find ingredients and fruits.
Anyone knows where I could find these in Montreal? (or anywhere in Quebec, I'm ready to drive 6 hours if necessary to get them!)
- "Pâte de vanille" (vanila paste). A sweet concentrated vanilla extract that has the vanilla bean seeds included in the mix. It is very useful in cooking when you don't want to add much additional liquid. The texture is much like thick syrup.
- "Pâte de pistache" (pistachio paste), and not that pistachio butter they sell at Anatol pretending to be pistachio paste. I'm talking about the real thing, like they have in Europe. The dark-colored syrup-like paste.
- Bergamot : A small and roughly pear-shaped citrus fruit with a sweet orange perfume.
- Lucuma : A delicately flavored tropical fruit native to the cool highlands of South America. A flavor and aroma like no other.
- Cherimoya : Yet another andean fruit. The flesh is creamy white, soft, juicy, sweet and very fragrant, with a custard-like consistency. The flavour is rich and aromatic.
By the way, anyone knows where I can find peruvian products? I've been to Sabor Latina, but I couldn't find much there.
Do you need fresh bergamot? I am afraid I've never seen any here (but some in California, they are a Mediterranean thing), and I would definitely be interested if you can find a local source. It is my favorite citrus, if not favorite fruit.
That said, some Greek and Middle Eastern groceries might have preserved peels in sugar. La Vieille Europe used to stock them but someone bought the last two jars (gee guess whoo?) and they haven't brought new since. You can always inquire if they can point you to their source.
If fresh is needed, Chez Nino or Chez Louis (at Marche Jean Talon) might be the best places to search for the fruits. I haven't seen bergamot orange there, but I am not familiar with other ingredients you are seeking for and they might be there, under my nose, without me telling it. Other options are South American groceries. There is a thread about ethnic markets: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/473485
For the pastes Akhavan (http://www.akhavanfood.com ) could be a good starter, or La Depense/ Olives et Epices at Jean Talon. The latter's prices are high, but disputably fair, based on the quality and diversity of things they sell.
Vanilla paste (Nomu brand) is available at Olives et Épices at Jean-Talon market. As for pistaschio paste that looks like almond paste, I just make my own. Simple enough, I buy good quality pistaschio (usually from Mathieu at JTM facing Veau de Charlevoix). I put an equal amount of pistaschio and sugar in the blender and turn it into a paste and add a little water to make it hold together. As easy as 1, 2, 3.
I saw Cherimoya at my local fruit store last week and was shocked. So shocked in fact that I've lost the name of the store. It's the big one on Queen Mary just West of Decarie. I know sugar apples (very similar) are in season in Chinatown right about now.
Wow, thank you all so much! I didn't expect such quick answers.
I'll be looking out for bergamot at Chez Nino and Chez Louis. Who knows, I could get lucky... I'm glad to know I can find vanilla paste at Olives et Épices. I must have been to this place a dozen times. And all this time, it was there, right under my nose... Is there anything you CAN'T find at Marché Jean Talon?
And Cherimoya, my God! Can this be true!? Queen Mary, west of Decarie, right? I'm there first thing in the morning (well, friday morning that is... I hope there are still some left for me!!!) I did not know about sugar apples. Sounds good...
Thanks again, I'll let you know if I find any of these!
Timing is everything! Thank you for asking about Cherimoya. I literally just typed "Cherimoya Montreal "into Google and was directed to your discussion. I am going to a Peruvian themed dinner party this Saturday and one of the recipes that I found sounded interesting , Cherimoya Bavarois.. .except I had no idea what it was or where to purchase it. Every time we have one of these dinners the idea is is to try making somethng you have never tried before..
Thanks to youI have now discovered this great web site and, also, where to find cherimoya!. I, too, will be looking for the store on Queen Mary but I promise not to purchase more than the four my recipe will require.
There is in fact vanilla paste at Olives & Épices (Marché Jean-Talon). It's really pricey, but it's available!
I couldn't find bergamot anywhere but I did find delicious cherimoyas at Chez Nino and Chez Louis (also at Marché Jean-Talon). Many of them were already too soft and ripe. I suggest you pick the firm green ones, and they will be ready to eat in 3 days. That's what I did.
And what a taste! Not quite as good as the ones I tasted in Peru, but definitely delicious! So sweet and rich, it litteraly melts in your mouth! No wonder they call this the best fruit in the world!
Price range from 3,50$ to 6,00$ a piece... but it's worth it!