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Aug 19, 2011 11:15 AM

Fiesta des Cultures

Has anyone ever been to the Fiesta des Cultures in Saint-Rémi? They're holding their fourth edition this year.

If so, how is the food?

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  1. You can read about other hounds' experiences from the 2009 & 2010 editions and see photos here:

    Fiesta des cultures de Saint-Remi (Mexican and Guatemalan Festival)

      1. Went today (traffic off Champlain and Mercier was a real bear, but Champlain was worse) with my husband and a friend (he's vegetarian so choices were a bit more limited for him but he still found enough to eat LOL)

        There's quite a bit of food to be had, most of it is pretty good. Nothing I had blew me out of the water but we enjoyed ourselves. We simply could not try everything that was on offer.

        Had a sampling of cheeses as part of a quesadilla at one stand. It was simple, nice. Their horchata was too sweet for my taste buds.

        I liked the cochinita pibil tacos, and I also got a trio of tamales (one beef rojo, one chicken verde, one dulce with strawberry jam which was weird... just for the meaty options) from the same place. Cochinita was nice. I liked that stand. They had two salsas and plenty of pickled onion to put on top. If you go there, don't forget to get lots of onion!!! (photo provided so you know what to look for!)

        Also shared a plateful of enchiladas, one was chicken, one was bean and the other was potato I think. Greasy, but not as flavourful as it could have been?
        (the tamales, the cochinita and the enchiladas are pictures in the first photo)

        Had very nice meat tacos with fresh coriander and lime. Simple, a bit chewy, delish. (That is the second photo)
        Had a guava icepop from a little stand that had nothing but icepops on offer. That was not too great. I am not sure I would recommend that stand.

        Had a churro, but not freshly fried. It was fine, it was a churro.

        Also spotted, a freshly fried potato chips truck, painted bright red and called Jaloux.

        My friend loved the strawberry lemonade so much at one stand, he went for a second. I had their jamaica agua fresca (a bit sweet for me, but that's cuz I prefer sour flavours more).

        There was a lechon truck (last photo) but by the time I got to it, I was stuffed to the gills. Someone please go try that for me!

        3 Replies
        1. re: TheSnowpea

          More photos.

          There were strolling mariachis, stands offering sweets and candies, others t-shirts or silly wrestling masks. The Mexican embassy was there, and a few cultural or social groups. A few crafters, artwork... there will be dance demos too.

          There were a few large groups of happy Latinos in their best clean shirts, probably farm workers come to take advantage of some soul food :)

          Anyway a few more photos: 1) mixed cheese quesadilla; 2) the cochinita pibil stand; 3) the soft taco stand (taco shown higher up); 4) another interesting looking food stand; 5) a happy chef at work!

          1. re: TheSnowpea

            Thanks for the report & the pics, Snowpea - it looks great! I may try to go tomorrow, depending on the weather & other factors.

            1. re: TheSnowpea

              Thanks from me, too. I was gonna go Sunday for the tomatina... yeah, pretty sure that didn't happen. I know I wasn't going anywhere (for future readers: Hurricane Irene). Oh well, there's always next year.

          2. In years past, we attended early afternoon. Had to work this past Saturday and arrived at the Fiesta around suppertime (sixish).
            Line-ups to the food stalls were 20-25 deep.
            We waited an agonizing 53 minutes at the "Michoacan" stand just to see most of their remaining food be sold before we ordered. One guy just in front of us bought a display plate off the table...
            I thought it might be interesting to visit at this time, but it seems many vendors are either selling out of items, or their food (prepared ahead) is getting a bit long in the tooth.

            On a positive note, they offered Tecate beer (a bit more in line with the festival, than say Coors Light) and there were two stands offering alcohol other than beer (no such thing year 1 and only one smallish place last year).
            The midway fairgrounds seems alot bigger this year.

            I was in the tomatina last year and might have considered entering again if it wasn't for the stench (and the huirricane of course). There was way too many rotten tomatoes which smelled realllllly bad.

            2 Replies
            1. re: porker

              porker, did you go on Saturday or Sunday? I'm confused. The schedule on the web site said the Ruelle marchande closed at 1pm on Saturday. I didn't go because I couldn't get there before 1pm

              1. re: SnackHappy

                We went on Saturday.
                I checked out the website and couldn't find the times as you said. Not saying it ain't there, just that I didn't see it. Looking through it reminded me of two additions I forgot about: the kiddie pool with hand driven mini bumper cars and a "mini farm". The event is very child-friendly. (they also had motorized para gliders buzzing the area).
                When we arrived, everything was still bopping. Maybe winding down, but there was no indication of anything being closed since 1:00pm. In fact, while in line at the Michoacan place, the women were still chopping onions to be fried up with chicken, then tongue. I think its part of the reason the line took so long - the food would run out and people would continue to wait until another batch of anything was cooked up. It would then run out, people wait, cook another batch...
                As I mentioned, it was ahhhh, peculiar to see a young man shrug and point to a display plate (must've been sitting there 8 hours), pay (I don't know if it was full price or not), and wait while it was microwaved...
                I did try esquites here as it was available (and plentiful). Basically cooked corn shaved off the cob and mixed with spices in a watery broth, served in a styro cup. I had similar in the Yucatan, but they simply called it elote, not esquites. It was good, but as Snowpea says, didn't blow me outta the water.
                Barring hurricanes, I'll return next year earlier in the afternoon!

            2. Dates for the Fiesta des Cultures 2012 have been announced.

              24 to 26 August. Mark your calendars.