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Jul 10, 2009 09:36 AM

Montreal smoked meat is not really smoked?

I was searching the web and found this link mentioned above. Is it true or false that Montreal Smoked Meat is not smoked? Anyone can help on this claim?

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  1. Now you know why the tongue troopers at the Regie (the same ones who coined the word hambourgeois) insist that it be called viande mariné instead of fumé.

    3 Replies
    1. re: eat2much

      What's the Regie?

      According to the Office Québécois de la Langue Française the official French translation for smoked meat is... Smoked meat. As in "un sandwich au smoked meat" or " une assiette de smoked meat".

      1. re: SnackHappy

        I meant the "office". Several years ago they published a small guidebook for the restaurant trade where they proposed French equivalents for all of the verboten anglicisms on restaurant and bar menus. Hambourgeois was supposed to replace hamburger, and smoked meat was to become viande mariné. It would seem that they have relaxed their position, probably because the trade refused to co-operate.

        1. re: eat2much

          I looked it up and you're right. The term was "boeuf mariné". The Office sued Dunn's for using smoked meat on its signs, but a judge ruled that smoked meat was an acceptable term since it was what every francophone in Quebec called the stuff.

          We all did things in the eighties we're not proud of.

    2. Bringing the discussion back to food and not politics...

      I would say that the link you show applies primarily to the mass-produced product served at the majority of places, i.e. Belle Province, food court counters, and yes, Snowdon Deli.

      It doesn't necessarily apply to the meat that is served at the places that make their own - Schwartz, Main, Dunns (not made by them but custom order) and Smoked Meat Pete. For instance, their meats are not necessarily served thin. Also, the steaming is part of the cooking process. Buy a cold piece of brisket at Schwartz - bring it home and steam it for 30 mins - it's hot in the middle, but so tough as to be inedible. It needs 2 hrs of steaming to make it tender.

      None of the above proves that it is indeed smoked, though.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mtlalex

        Smoked Meat Pete doesn't make their own smoked meat.

      2. This is from Schwartz's website

        "Schwartz's prepares smoked meat the old-fashioned way using a secret blend of fine herbs and spices marinated for 10 days. Our smoked meat is smoked daily and contains no preservatives; just the award winning taste and freshness that have brought celebrities from all around the world to our tables."

        But as the original article says, the term 'smoking' may simply be a misnomer of 'baking'.

        Personally, I think the article is wrong. I think smoking is definitely a process used in Montreal Smoked Meat.
        A bit of simple empirical evidence can be found at Quebec Smoked Meat - they'll smoke almost anything to order, so why wouldn't the meat be smoked as well?
        (I'll ask them next time around).
        I've also made both corned beef (cured brisket) and smoked meat (cured, seasoned, smoked, steamed brisket). The major difference between the two (for me) is the smoking process.

        1 Reply
        1. re: porker

          If wood or charcoal is used in the cooking process, imparting a distinctive flavor to the food, one could say the food is actually smoked. As delicious as Montréal smoked meat is, I don't pick up any smoke flavor; steamed meat is probably more accurate, if less appetizing sounding.

          Caplansky's in Toronto actually does smoke its brisket, resulting in a hybrid that tastes more like Texas than Montréal.