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A Taste of History

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Words by Dalene Heck / Photo by Pete Heck

Upon our announcement that we were going to Montréal, recommendations started to pour in across our social media networks.

And 99% of them had to do with food.

That was not a surprise to either of us – tales of visits to Montréal typically are followed with a shy admittance of newly restrictive waistlines synonymous with addictions to poutine and other local delicacies.

To do our job properly (heh), we knew we’d *have* to get to taste-testing across the city. And so when we were offered an epic six hour food tour to sample all the staples, we accepted the challenge with gusto.

We put on our stretchy pants and walking shoes, and got to work.

What we didn’t expect, and perhaps enjoyed the most on our tour, was the history lesson that went with it. Montréal is so much more than its well known menu of bagels and poutine – the diversity in the cuisine follows the diversity of the immigration into the city. We followed Saint Laurent (main) street almost the entire duration of the tour, with stops in Chinatown, the Red Light District, the Jewish Quarter, Little Portugal, Little Italy, and more.

Along the way, we scarfed down everything from fortune cookies to the infamous smoked-meat, Portuguese pastries to cannoli. We sipped on blooming tea and sweet ice cider. We visited (and unexpectedly enjoyed) a small shop that dates back to 1932 and is entirely dedicated to homemade soda and fried bologna sandwiches that come with a dollop of mustard, whether you like it or not.

We got a true taste of Montréal in so many senses of the word, and were excited to bring you along for the ride…

Our tour was conducted by Fitz & Follwell. They offer it in two, three-hour segments, but we highly recommend doing the full day so that you don’t miss one tasty morsel.

We happily visited Montréal as guests of Tourism Montréal. All opinions, as always, are our own. We may need to bill them for some new (bigger) pants, however.

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  1. Yum! I’m finding that I really enjoy food tours more and more the more I travel.

    I like the little video tour, though – I may have to steal that idea for next time!

  2. Such a cool video. Glad you thoroughly enjoyed the culinary treats of my city 🙂

    1. I think that the last time I had fried bologna, I was 12. I had turned my nose up at the idea at first, but it turned out to be quite delicious.

  3. Food tours are such a great way to get to know the place you’re visiting. I recently took one in Hong Kong that was equal parts delicious and fascinating. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for tasty tours in future travels!

  4. Seriously, food tours are the BEST way to see the city, IMO. I just ate lunch and I’m hungry all over again after watching your video.

  5. Hello,

    Great video! My name is Mélissa Simard and I was the culinary professional who put together the food and business side of the tour for Fitz & Follwell, and Leah Blythe is the historian and now tour guide who put together the history side. I now have a food tour company called ‘Round Table Tours and Leah has put together a tour of the history of jazz in Montreal for the Montreal Jazz Festival. If you are in Montreal again, you are more than welcome to come and take one of my tours which focus on food in a very in-depth way. Thanks!


  6. I needed bigger pants after leaving Montreal too. I had no idea that there was so much delicious food to eat there. You highlighted some things I missed, most shamefully poutine.

  7. Great video! Seriously here in Montreal, most of my conversations seem to revolve around food (or the crazy weather), there’s so much great food to try!

  8. Food tours are fun. I know nothing about Montreal, but I’m interested in visiting one of these days, sounds like a great city.

  9. Great video! Glad you guys saw more than bagels and poutine – I got so tired of the constant association of Montreal with poutine, bagels, and smoked meat that I wrote my own post with some Montreal eating suggestions:
    You’ve inspired me to think about taking one of these tours in the near future.
    Thanks guys,
    Frank (bbqboy)

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