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What to bring back from Quebec (Montreal, Gatineau, Quebec City)

I usually stock up on Quebec microbrew beer (not sold at the SAQ -- must search out at markets or small locavore shops), Qui Lait Cru and other local cheeses, fresh bagels (Fairmount, of course), Crudessence raw snacks, Liberte cream cheese (I've still never seen it in Ontario), spruce beer (pop), local sweets (chocolate, maple, sugar pie), local cured meats, etc. Anyone else have favourites that we don't easily get in Ontario that you bring across the provincial border with or without refrigeration?

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  1. Booze, the SAQ has a better selection of some spirits than the LCBO does, In the last year I've brought back Suze, multiple piscos and some other liqueurs.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bytepusher

      Poire Williams Liqueur - the kind the LCBO carries is very, VERY sweet. SAQ carries (relatively) drier varieties which are just lovely.

      Unrefridgerated fresh cheese curds! They won't keep long at peak but I stuff myself every time I go.

    2. Le Secret du Maurice!
      An ooey-gooey soft brie-like cheese with an almost liquid center that's out of this world. If you're bringing it back, find a shop that has it frozen, as it's extremely fragile and doesn't travel well (they ship it frozen to their retailers). Or just eat it as soon as you can. Make sure you have the very best bread you can find to sop up every drop!

        1. re: KhaoSanRoad

          Schwartz's sells their smoked meat cryovaced and unsliced, so it's very easy to bring back. They even make the first cut so you know which way to slice it.

        2. St Viateur is wayyy better than Fairmount

          I dont know if you can get them in ontario but if not you could stock up on lac brome duck breasts (bring a cooler).

          7 Replies
            1. re: KhaoSanRoad

              I would agree with the Creton recommendation - you can get it here but it just isn't the same.

              Also Herbes Salees du Bas du Fleuve. This stuff is amazing on chicken, potatoes... anything! - http://www.passiondici.com/producteur...

            2. re: kpaxonite

              I've done a bagel to bagel tasting. Fairmount wins.

              1. re: Food Tourist

                Depends. Fairmount's everything is better than St-Viateur's, but the sesame and poppy are better at St-Viateur.

                1. re: Food Tourist

                  I like St Viateur better when they're fresh baked. When they're a day-old and/or thawed from frozen, I prefer toasted Fairmount over toasted St Viateur.

                  The SAQ sells ice ciders from Ile d'Orleans and elsewhere that aren't sold at the LCBO

                  1. re: prima

                    There are some interesting ice ciders being made in Quebec but I advise generally to try and taste first. Some of it winds up with a funky character that I don't much care for.

                    I you can find "true" ice cider (juice pressed from apples frozen on the tree) like Frimas from La Face Cachee, it's more interesting and at it's best exhibits a noble rot character like a TBA dessert wine. Expect to pay about twice as much for this though. As far as I know the LCBO doesn't carry any true ice ciders, Domaine Pinnacle for example, which I actually like although it could be a touch drier are more accurately late harvest ciders.

                    1. re: bytepusher

                      Very good reminder about true ice cider. Agreed on "funky" for many ciders.

              2. horse meat is pretty common there... and seal meat whenever seasonal

                1. santa teresa rum, cheateau la coste belluge rose, nuts from sunsource in westmount

                  1. Fine sève: Maple eau de vie

                    1. We always tend to stop at Costco on our way home and load up on beer and wine. A wee bit cheaper than the lcbo here.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: BIGeater100

                        Fairmount bagels, Schwartz and the main smoked meats.
                        Terrine, pate and cheese from Jean talon mkt.

                        1. re: caitlink

                          I agree that The Main smoked meat is just as chow-worthy as Schwartz.

                        1. re: JonasBrand

                          Also Espice du Cru in the same market.

                        2. These would be my picks
                          Foie Gras (Au Pied De Cochon actually is the most economical for whole lobes believe or not! otherwise Le Canard Libéré is my pick)
                          Beers from Unibroue
                          Cheese (raw milk kind)

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: elvisahmed

                            Barley couscous from the shops surrounding Jean Talon Market in Montreal. $4 per kilo as opposed to $12 per half kilo at gourmet shops in Toronto.

                            1. re: jmk60

                              I was just thinking any North African food or ingredients in general.