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Crappy fruit - what's the story??

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Does anyone have the secret to finding decent fruit in this city? I shop at Jean Talon Market when I can, and my local Provigo, PA, Sakaris, and smaller fruiteries around the plateau the rest of the time. But I find that fruit-buying is largely a crap-shoot. The quality varies hugely , from delicious to inedible. I LOVE a good peach and have found some pretty good Ontario ones, but some are just mealy, mushy and tasteless. The same goes for tomatoes. Is this because they've been refrigerated in transport/ storage? I notice that sometimes when stuff has just been put out on the shelf, it is VERY cold. I would never put peaches or tomatoes in the fridge at home, so why would I buy some that just came out of the fridge? And what's with the cardboard baskets that Ontario peaches come in? That's a lot of peaches for a 2-person household, especially when they all ripen at the same time - and I'm always afraid the ones on the bottom will be rotten, since you can't see them at all. Some places have peaches available in bulk - but these are often from the U.S. for some reason, and are much more expensive. I've had a lot of terrible apples, too - even when I stick to local ones in season. Even bananas - I stopped buying them a few months ago when I kept getting ones that looked fine on the outside but were all black in the middle. I always thought oranges were pretty reliable and consistent but last winter I kept getting ones that were all dry inside. Finally, I can't believe how often I see moldy, rotten fruit on display in some stores - ugh.
Is it just me? Am I too picky?

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  1. I don't have an answer to this but I certainly understand!

    1. I'm with you. I have a hard time finding decent fruits and vegetables. A lot of supermarkets have fruits that are starting to go bad or they're completely inedible because they are mealy or dried out. Sometimes I buy things and two days later they're rotting even though I'm storing them properly. I know someone who has family in food distribution and importation, he says that among the big cities in the region Montreal tends to be last on the chain and that things tend to go to Toronto and New York first.

      2 Replies
      1. re: PadmeSkywalker

        I forgot to add, Costco tends to have surprisingly good fruit. In season, the sell pomegranate arils in a container. I love this since I hate the mess separating them from the pomegranate makes.

        1. re: PadmeSkywalker

          I suspect that Young Brothers on Van Horne near Outremont metro (my local market) buys a lot of their fruit and other stock at Costco and repackages it. Their stuff is consistently very good, and they do take care to note whether items are organic and/or sourced from within Quebec.

          Granted, it's not Chez Louis, and you sometimes do get a few bad guys at the very bottom of, say, a tub of berries (probably due to mixing batches), but overall the RQP is quite decent.

      2. The best supermarket fruit I've found in Montreal is at the Mourelatos in Ville St-Laurent (*not* the one on Ste-Catherine) and at Adonis's various branches. I only get there every few months, though.

        http://www.mourelatos.com/
        http://www.adonisproducts.com/

        A peach tip: keep the basket in the fridge and only take out the ones you want to eat the day before you want to eat or cook with them. They usually are good to eat/cook within a day and the rest keep in the fridge about a week.

        1. I totally agree.

          All I can say is that although its a bit more expensive Eden on prince arthur and parc has amazing fruit and vegetables. Ive honestly never bought a piece of fruit or veg there that wasn't absolutely perfect. Every night I see the store clerks inspecting all the items ... they really seem to care. Beyond that, I think they must just have better suppliers than other stores.

          Their watermelons are the best Ive ever had Im pretty addicted to them lol

          16 Replies
          1. re: kpaxonite

            Yeah, I used to go there when it was more convenient to my day-to-day wanderings. I seem to remember something funny like a sign saying not to handle the fruit, which I found ridiculous at the time, but I do see the logic of not wanting everybody manhandling everything...I don't want to buy an avocado without giving it a little squeeze, but I don't particularly want to buy one that has been squeezed by a bunch of other people - the catch-22 of fruit. Side note - I seem to remember hearing that somewhere in Europe (Italy? France?), customers never touch the fruit - they ask for what they want and the merchants do all the touching. Imagine if someone tried that here?

            1. re: stak

              Stories like that are old wives tales; the supermarkets and green grocers there are essentially the same as here.

              Ive never seen that sign but then again I usually dont find a problem with the fruit I buy at eden. Obviously I do give it a little squeeze first but I rarely have to put it back. At other supermarkets sometimes when I try to buy a pear I have to squeeze about ten of them to find one that isnt already half pureed lol

              1. re: kpaxonite

                when i tried to pick out some cherries to put in a bag in brussels the lady made me pour them all back saying you have to grab a handful not individually choose them so we are lucky here to squeeze or inspect closely before purchasing! I use to go to anka to buy fruit but now just go wherever convenient such as eden, parc ave. fruit stores+there is the organic market in outremont (dollard) on Sundays. Today the metro peaches looked enticing were big and pinkish but when touched were rockhard and very cold, having just come out of their cold storage. Best fruit i ever had was in greece, figs fresh from the orchards, melons so fragrant and dripping juices, even the watermelon tasted sweeter. Thats the trouble in montreal limited produce--apples are good and the strawberries in season but often rest of fruit comes from too far or doesnt get enough sun to sweeten.
                http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/pls/porta...

              2. re: karela

                i remember this was how it was at marche de l'ouest when I was a child (~20yrs ago)

                1. re: celfie

                  Stak, I feel your pain. As someone else mentioned we don't exactly live in a fruit producing region besides apples, strawberries and melons (limited) for a short period of time and maybe a few other things. So we pretty much have no choice but to buy imported fruit from the US and beyond. Your best bet and where I get my fruit from on a weekly basis is "Tania" on the south side of JTM, those few stalls (Chez Louis to Tania all stock pretty much the same stuff) are your best bet, you'll pay a bit more but won't have to worry about the "crap shoot". Ask them what's "extra good and fresh this week" and they'll steer you in the right direction.

                  Yes, the fruit come from far away and no they are not organic and who knows what they are sprayed with but I've rarely had a disappointing piece of fruit from there. The nectarines and cherries they have been selling all summer are great (although cherry season is over so the quality is starting to dwindle), their watermelon has been spot on although for the past 3 weeks I've been buying local small watermelon from one of the stalls. It seems to be re-sold watermelon (noticed the same ones at Mourelatos) but nonetheless a product of Quebec and very good. As far as tomatoes, I've given up and grow my own but I'd try Birri. I've also given up (a long time ago) on any supermarket fruit/veggies including Adonis and Mourelatos, they both seem to always sell sub par produce every now I give them another chance but they can't win me back.

                  We seem to forget what part of the world we live in, we unfortunately don't have the climate of the Mediterranean where fruit tastes better and is more abundant due to the sun and other conditions, we don't live in California or Georgia for a great peach, our food has to travel so right away we are a step behind. Remember, we are a top producer of maple syrup in the world that says a lot. lol

                  Apple season is right around the corner so as long as you find a good vendor at the market you shouldn't be too disappointed, I had some great ones last year.

                  As for refrigerated produce, the vendors have no choice or else everything would rot within a few days. I'm assuming everything gets transported in refrigerated containers as well or else it would arrive rotten and then it's of course kept in refrigerated warehouses at the depots across the city.

                  No, it's not an old wives tales, I had vendors in Barcelona and Florence yell at me for picking my own fruit, they do it for you.

                  1. re: ios94

                    No one has mentioned blueberries... we have damn good blueberries!!! and raspberries and blackberries!!

                    Regarding vendors I never had a problem in anywhere in northern italy or france and certainly not in germany or england...oh well.

                    1. re: ios94

                      Thanks - I'll make sure to try Tania next time.
                      I agree that we have to lower our expectations based on our geography, but what bugs me is the lack of consistency; I have bought Ontario peaches here that I thought were great; but the next basket could be awful. So I was wondering if there was some trick that I'm missing or if some vendors have better ways of storing or handling their produce that would result in a better product; is there a way to know that one basket of rock-hard peaches will ripen beautifully but another will just turn to tasteless mush?
                      I've even had bad luck with apples in Montreal - even in apple season I've had great ones and awful ones; can a bad vendor turn a good apple to crap? Do you have any recommendations for apple vendors at JTM?
                      Interesting that you mention supermarket veggies; for some reason, I don't generally have the same difficulties with vegetables. They're not always fantastic and you have to watch out for rotten/ moldy/ wilted stuff when choosing at the store, but what I get is usually edible, at least.
                      EDIT: oops, that was supposed to be a reply to ios94...not sure why it ended up here.

                      1. re: stak

                        i'm not certain of exactly how it works, but a manager at a downtown grocery store told me most stores get produce from the same supplier - the provigo sorts usually get first pick, followed by the mourelatos types and PA gets the last pick. I didn't inquire further but he was insistent on it working like this

                        1. re: celfie

                          was it the manager at provigo...because that would be in his interest to say

                            1. re: celfie

                              I'm not sure how the whole process works but I have an idea, I have to believe there is more than one wholesaler (I believe that's what you mean when you say "supplier") in the city. Maybe the big chains deal with one wholesaler but there must be some smaller players out there. I could be wrong. Even if there is one supplier it doesn't mean that the supermarkets get the highest quality produce if anything they probably take the cheaper stuff.

                              I would be very interested to know exactly how the process works in this city if someone out there has any idea.

                              Obviously guys like Chez Louis for example pay more for the better produce come winter time as he typically carries fresher products with a higher price.

                              1. re: ios94

                                Heard an item on NPR's Planet Money podcast recently on precisely this topic. It was at a wholesale produce market in New Jersey, but it's probably a similar process here. Basically suppliers show up, try to sell their product at the highest price; the buyers for the higher end places show up earlier and are more willing to pay top dollar for higher quality items. As the night goes on the amount and quality of produce goes down, the prices do so accordingly, and the bargain basement buyers get their bargains then (when they're not too late). So a store like Eden would likely have a buyer more committed to high quality than say, the guy who supplies the 4 brothers on St-Laurent, and this is reflected inthe prices you pay at retail. I'm thinking that's probably what used to take place at marché central before it become a big-box parking lot; don't know where it would have moved to, probably somewhere in the burbs.
                                I would very much doubt that there is only one supplier for the whole island of Montreal, the amount of produce they would have to carry would be gigantic, and the buyers would probably not accept the kind of price-gouging that such a monopoly would inevitably lead to.

                                1. re: johnnyboy

                                  Wholesale fruit and veg is still sold at Marché Central. It's only the retail part that was shut down. I believe Canadawide, who are at Marché Central, is the biggest wholesaler in Montreal with Courschesne Larose being the other big player.

                      2. re: ios94

                        I agree that we are not a peach growing region but both Ontario and Nova Scotia have amazing peaches when in season. Its just disappointing to have such great peaches so close, yet sadly just out of reach. Even at JTM I find that only about 30-40% of the peaches are truly worth it.

                        Also in Ontario I've seen mini-sized baskets for sale that solves the problem of too many peaches for a small household. Haven't seen that here.

                        Forget the peaches at Costco - uggghhh!

                        1. re: buspirone

                          The peaches at Costco used to be excellent; in the past 2 years, they have been off. I'm not sure what changed.

                        2. re: ios94

                          ios, the so-called "banana belt" of the Niagara Peninsula also has excellent peaces, which could arrive here in a few hours by truck, but they are usually picked far too green. I did get some fine peaches Chez Louis recently.

                          -----
                          Chez Louis
                          150 Rue Saint-Georges, Drummondville, QC J2C4H1, CA

                  2. I live right across the street from a Metro supermarket. It's not my first choice of where to shop, but I find myself going in there often for a few things because its convenient. I've been particularly unimpressed with their "fresh" produce. I've seen tomatoes that are soft to the point of being almost soggy and with flies crawling on them. What's more (and this isn't a knock against Metro specifically) a lot of the big chains like IGA, Maxi, Metro etc. seem to never or rarely bring in local field tomatoes when they're in season. Instead they sell hothouse ones all year round. A friend told me its because they now have contracts in place with Quebec hothouses and are committed to selling their product 12 months a year. I don't know how true that is though.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Haggisboy

                      My biggest problem in the fruit area is what happened to juicy peaches? Either they are too hard and need to go into a brown paper bag and then come out mush and no juice, or they are a little soft but still no juice. I miss the good ol' days when you bit into a peach and the juice trickled down your face.

                      1. re: blondee_47

                        The basket of Ontario peaches I got at PA sat and ripened a bit and I put the rest in fridge and have enjoyed sweet juicy peaches all week. Let them warm up a day as the poster above suggested. This basket was from Nickel Orchards, RR2, Ruthven, Ontario. Go Nickels Orchards! But I agree that luck is involved.

                        Did you know there were fruit-ripening and storage tips on the bottom of the basket? I didn't until right now when I looked for the orchard name.

                        Apples are now happening.

                        Apples are one of the few fruits where we get a lot of different varieties. Some of it is really fresh off the tree too.

                        you can get info on which apples are ripe during what part of the season at the apple producers lapommeduquebec website. Go to the mise en marché section for the latest communique about what varieties are now on the market.

                        Montreal is surrounded with apple areas, but I am partial to the covey hill area, where I get my crabs for my year's supply of crabapple jelly.

                        For those interested in producers and intermediaries, the apple producers website is part of the food marketing and distribution system.. For more info on the marketing thing, Quebec's (industrial scale) agricultural lobby, the UPA, has links to all sorts of food producer groups in quebec.

                    2. I am just back from 2 weeks in Kelowna, BC. Can anyone tell me why we do not have access to the fruit from BC? All I saw in JTM on Sunday was cherries from Washington state - what's up with that? Just about around the corner from my friends' house was a cherry orchard with big lucious sweet cherries. About 20 or so miles south of Kelowna is Peachland then Summerland where we stopped alongside a roadside fruit stand & I tasted the best peaches of my life, freshly picked. Heavy heavenly peaches, sweet, juicy drip down your arms peaches like I remember when I was a child. The basket of cherries and the 10 or so peaches I came back with did not last too long. Compare that to a basket of (mealy) nectarines I got at JTM on Sunday, by Monday 3 were rotten! Bring on BC fruit!

                       
                       
                      10 Replies
                      1. re: RhondaB

                        I'm sure there are a lot of reasons why we unfortunately don't have BC fruit, I would say the main one would be cost. They probably don't output mass amounts like the big US producers. I bet you couldn't find our delicious Quebec strawberries in BC, it's pretty much the same idea (imagine how much those strawberries would retail for in BC, at least double the price if not more). As much as I've had great nectarines all summer long, I too had a mealy batch from JTM this past Sunday. Unfortunately like every year, quality is going to start diminishing as the summer slowly starts coming to a close.

                        1. re: ios94

                          We do get lots of BC blueberries everywhere I look (Metro, Loblaws, Provigo). Maybe they don't produce enough cherries to export out-of-province?

                          1. re: kpzoo

                            Hard to fathom this - especially considering all the cherry orchards I drove by.

                            1. re: RhondaB

                              i've bought BC cherries in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Yukon, NT and (wait for it) JT Market

                              1. re: RhondaB

                                Well there must be some reason we don't see them in supermarkets here, but I don't know why! It was just a theory, I'm no fruit-business expert. ;-)

                            2. re: ios94

                              The strawberries I tasted (grown in BC) were outstanding, equal if not better to what we find in QC. I found wild blueberries growing along all sorts of trails.

                              1. re: RhondaB

                                I think that's exactly it - fruit is better the closer you are to where it is produced. Quebec strawberries in Quebec are bound to be better than BC strawberries that had to travel across the country; and BC strawberries are best eaten in...BC. I believe it's because those crunchy white things that Driscoll's sells as strawberries all over the world (they even have then in Hong Kong!) have been bred to travel well, not to taste good - and they're picked before they're ripe for the same reason. One bonus for us, if I recall correctly, is that Quebec has developed strawberries such that local ones are available all summer, whereas in BC they are still only good for a few weeks in June-July.

                                1. re: stak

                                  Haha, I love that link that automatically showed up for some restaurant in Gatineau...

                                  1. re: stak

                                    We removed the bad auto-link. If you see another in future, feel free to use the "Report" link below the post and we'll be glad to take care of it.

                            3. re: RhondaB

                              The problem is that BC is far away. And nectarines and peaches are delicate fruit that cannot travel ripe and do not ripen well if picked completely green. I have never been happy with the peaches/nectarines I found in Montreal and I think the problem is just that those fruits have to travel too far to get here. Better to enjoy them when visiting the Okanagan valley or whenever you're near enough to orchards that they can be sold closer to ripe.

                            4. What about the fruit market on Queen Mary corner Decarie?

                              I used to do all my shopping there years back when I lived int he naighborhood. Now I mostly stick with Fruiterie Atwater at the market because it's so close to home, but as discussed, the quality really varies. I prefer to pick up my berries int he Laurentians and Eastern Townships when I head up for a weekend, fromt eh local farmer's markets along the highway as those are generally the best.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: OliverB

                                B.C. Bing cherries available today at Marche Tania at JTM, they are nice and tarty like the Washington ones have been all summer.

                              2. Did you try Adonis. They have the freshest fruit and vegetables, meat ,fish etc. I go to the one on Sources, its always good and fresh.

                                11 Replies
                                1. re: ricknelcan

                                  "They have the freshest fruit and vegetables, meat ,fish etc"
                                  Hmmm.....I don't know about that, especially the fruit and vegetable part.

                                  1. re: ios94

                                    I think they do have very fresh produce. A lot fresher than what you find in supermarkets and often as fresh as JTM or Atwater sometimes, fresher. They have a very high turnover, and that helps a lot. On the other hand, as far as quality goes its always a crap shoot. I think whoever buys for Adonis places more importance on price than on quality.

                                    1. re: SnackHappy

                                      i think their meats, fish, cheeses, nuts and prepared foods are very fresh. i think their clientel expects freshness and they deliver. i don't think it is a crap shoot at all - that's why it is such an appealing grocery store and perhaps the best in the city

                                      1. re: celfie

                                        the place vertu location in particular is THE best grocery store in the city.. and SPOTLESS. oooh that chickpea salad is calling me.

                                        1. re: C70

                                          I could agree with C70 that the Place Vertu location is much better, their Sources location when it comes to most produce I feel is terrible.

                                          Fresher than JTM though? I don't think so. I wish it was as I live 5 minutes away from the Sources location and have to head to JTM every weekend. You are contradicting yourself in your own statement by saying first saying that "they have very fresh produce" but then stating, "as far as quality goes its always a crap shoot". I agree with your latter statement.

                                          It could be fresh and not good but what good is that, although I find you really have to dig to find something that is fresh there.

                                          Fish is decent, other stuff I guess is alright but we were focusing on fresh fruit in this topic.

                                          Sure, overall for a supermarket under one roof it beats the other chains but again freshness is lacking IMO.

                                          1. re: ios94

                                            I believe that was me you intended to reply to even though you replied to C70.

                                            I'll start off by saying that most of the time I go to the Adonis on Sauvé so I can't say much about the other locations. I've only been twice to the one in Place-Vertu, but the produce situation looked pretty much the same to me.

                                            I don't see how I'm contradicting myself in saying that the produce is always fresh but the quality is uneven. The two don't go hand in hand. In my experience Adonis buys pretty good produce, but sometimes sells lesser quality, lower grade or smaller sized produce. Just because it's a lesser product doesn't mean it can't be fresh. Adonis has very high turnover and produce is always very fresh. And yes, sometimes even fresher than what you'll find at JTM.

                                            Not everything at JTM is as fresh as the vendors would like you to think. There are lots of ways to hide the fact that something's not so fresh. And a lot of what you buy is much older than you think. I should know, my family has been in the produce business for generations. I've worked in public markets, including JTM, and I've done my share of mixing, sifting through and trimming of bad produce to make it look fresh. you'd be amazed at the kind of stuff people will buy. There's a lot salesmanship involved.

                                            At places like Adonis, they don't have time to do those kinds of things. Of course not everything there is super fresh all the time. Even though I still get fooled sometimes, I like to think that I know more than the average bear about what's fresh and what's not and on a day-to-day basis Adonis will have produce just as fresh or fresher than your average stand at JTM. And the bonus at Adonis is that they don't lie about where their produce comes from or how fresh it is, and they always charge you the price that's posted.

                                            1. re: SnackHappy

                                              I'm glad to hear you mention this, SnackHappy. I've more than once gotten home from JTM (and a few other stores / markets) and felt ripped off after going through the stuff more closely...or after I go to use it after 2 days and it's already gone bad.

                                              Ever thought of doing a Chowhound info-tour/master course on picking out fresh stuff around town? :-) I'm sure I'm not the only one who could learn a lot from you!

                                              1. re: anachemia

                                                A classic recent experience was coming home from JTM a few weeks ago and discovering that a vendor had used one of those little fruit & veggie identification stickers to cover up a rather big blemish on a red pepper. (I should have noticed that there were stickers in the first place!)

                                                1. re: kpzoo

                                                  Stickers on bruises - whether they are deliberately used to cover a blemish or cause the blemish because someone got too pushy with their sticker finger - so frustrating!

                                                  1. re: unlaced

                                                    It was definitely a case of intentional covering up - it was a defect in the pepper itself. I was quite astounded!

                                  2. re: ricknelcan

                                    I also usually end up at their Place Vertu location and their produce is fresh. Tasty fruit are not a guarantee but the odds are better of finding great stuff there than any other supermarket and even sometimes than at JTM.

                                    The only advice I can offer anyone buying fruit would be the following: Trust your nose. If it doesn't smell sweet then there is a good chance that it is not sweet. The only exception to that rule would be for when the fruit is too cold to release any smell in which case you should try and warm it in your hand a bit to see if any aroma comes through. Good fruit shopping.

                                  3. I'm guessing you live in or near the plateau by the stores you frequent, and if this is the case I would suggest you try the farmers market that is on every sunday from 10-2:30 in the schoolyard on Marie Anne, between St Denis & St Laurent. I've been finding the most delicious tomatoes, apples and other produce, at exceptionnally good prices. Every thing is freshly picked and organic. They sell meat, bread, cheese and jam too!
                                    $20 this week got me a bunch (6) of leeks, bag of apples(around 8), 2 litre's fresh apple juice, bag of tomatos(8), loaf of bread and a pot of jam! All locally produced too.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: english muffin

                                      Thanks - I have been to that market several times. Both last year and this year, I went earlyish in the summer hoping for local strawberries and it seemed like all anyone was selling was kale! (I exaggerate...a little). But I have had good tomatoes, fleur d'ail, and pickled beets from there. I do find it a little awkward because it's SO small - you can't just scope things out anonymously, I end up talking to people and feeling obliged to buy something from every stand!

                                      1. re: stak

                                        Snackhappy, I've been to both PV and Sources and trust me the Sources location is horrible compared to PV. Perfect example was last week when we forgot to pick up spinach, we stopped at the sources location and all the spinach was wilted. I'm not saying all 100% of their stock should be in the dumpster, you'll find something decent some of the time but not everything decent all of the time. I gave them a chance last year when I first moved to the area and kept having bad experiences (i.e bad garlic, bad melon, inedible peaches/nectarines) in the middle of the summer to top it off.

                                        But the two should go hand in hand. I understand that fresh looking does not necessarily mean fresh tasting but IMO they miss the target on both. If it's lesser quality then chances are it's probably not good (it could look as fresh as can be), it might be good sometimes but it won't be consistently good and that's the problem with Adonis. You are correct to assume that "a lesser product doesn't mean it can't be fresh" but once again what good is that to me the consumer if it will not taste the way I expect it to taste.

                                        I'm aware that not everything at JTM is fresh and definitely not all from "the local farm" and there are certain vendors (the big ones in the middle and a few others) that I don't bother with. It is rare that I buy something and have to throw it out because it doesn't taste the way it should whereas last year I found I was throwing away too much fruit from Adonis. That to me says a lot, I'll pay the extra $1/lb knowing that I will probably not throw it out because it has no taste as opposed to saving that $1/lb but end up throwing out stuff or not enjoying it. As I mentioned earlier in this post, I have a relationship with a couple of the vendors and they steer me with what tastes the best and they never disappoint. i.e. Tania, Chez Louis (wintertime), Birri

                                        Anyway, I guess no point going in circles with this, maybe if you ever have the chance you could check out the Sources location to see what I mean.

                                        BTW, great apples are available from the new season, picked up some nice ones from the north west corner at JTM. I forget the name of them, Mallory or something like that.

                                        1. re: ios94

                                          It is too far for me (bicycle or public transport) to go to any Adonis other than the Sauvé one, as I usually buy some meat and cheese there, and may even succumb to some of their savoury pastries (sin). One has to shop carefully everywhere, but personally I still prefer JTM for fresh produce overall - of course that is also because I live very close by. I also shop a lot at PA - lovely pears this week, and from tomorrow to Saturday, baskets of Ontario peaches for $2,99.

                                          I have foodie friends in Laval who actually didn't know there was a PA on Samson there now, and one drives all along that street on his commute to Mtl every day!

                                        2. re: stak

                                          Lol, that nice jam lady reels me in every time! Plus I have a toddler that insists on sampling everything, so when she's polished off a whole plate of raisin bread or apples I end up buying something. Luckily it's all delicious!
                                          Those tomatos, and the heirloom ones though- they taste of concentrated summer. Yum!

                                      2. Well, the crap shoot continues...since my original post, I got 4 bulk peaches at JTM for $4 that were pretty good, then took a chance on a plastic 3 litre basket (at least with the plastic baskets you can see the peaches on the bottom layer!) with about 8 big peaches in it, for about $3.50 at the Metro on Laurier east...and they are divine! And thanks to some of the posts below, I remembered my old method of peach management: on the counter in a single layer with daily rotation and inspection for ripeness and soft spots, then into the fridge as they ripen, if they get ahead of me. It's shocking how fast a little moldy spot can spread at room temp!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: stak

                                          Oops, sorry - I meant "thanks to the posts above"...and the great peaches were actually from Maxi & Cie on Jean Talon east. Don't know where my brain was when I posted last night!

                                        2. I would normally agree that, while Chez Louis' fruit and veggie presentation is very attractive, I find that their quality is often deceiving. For instance, they are one of the only vendors to sell the flat peaches I found in Italy a few years back. I bought them at a pretty hefty price but I thought to myself, if they tasted half as good as the Italian ones, then it was well worth the money. After I bit into one, I was sorely disappointed. I tried a second one, same result. After the whole kilo ended up in the garbage. I'll ask the owner for my money back on my next visit.

                                          This is not the only unpleasant incident I had with this store. I bought a few products and found them to be lacking in quality. After all, they sell their products much more expensive it is not unreasonable to expect more from them than the other stalls. And their uppity attitude certainly does not help ("we cater to all the good restaurants", the employee said). And what is this «Ici on mange seulement avec les yeux?». We're not in Europe here! Everyone else encourages you to taste their fruits. What does Louis have to hide exactly??