Crédits photos: Prune Paycha
Can you smell the Christmas mince pies, hot wine and gingerbread? The lights are twinkling in the streets, Christmas classics are playing on the radio, and Christmas trees are taking up residence in our neighbourhoods and living rooms. All this makes us want to think about the little presents we could give to the people we love. Here are 8 ideas – as many as the reindeer that pull Santa’s sleigh – that could inspire you to spoil your loved ones!
Whatever gifts you give, swap single-use packaging for reusable bags! Have you seen the new Marchés publics de Montréal bag? A single bag contains the greatest of gifts and will automatically become an indispensable ally of the recipient’s trips to the market!
❄️ A cooking or gardening class
Because I love “experience gifts” and “knowledge gifts”! Has your sister been dreaming of learning how to make pasta or cheese? Would your daughter like to learn more about Italian or vegetarian cooking? Is your brother-in-law planning to start a vegetable garden next summer? Keep an eye out for courses online and in your neighbourhood!
🎁 A tasty gift certificate
Did you know that gift certificates are available from the Montréal Public Markets that can be used at 150 retailers in both summer and winter? An idea that’s perfectly suited to the tastes and desires of the gourmets you want to spoil! It’s a great way to encourage your merchants and offer your friends and family an exciting outing to the market.
🎄 A Montreal’s public Markets Greeting card
An original way to make your loved ones happy by writing them all your love! A limited and exclusive series of greeting cards representing Montreal’s most emblematic markets (200 copies only). And don’t forget to include our gift certificates! And find all our products in our online shop.
🧚♀️ Local spices
I love putting local flavours on the menu in the form of spices and herbs from our fields, flats and forests. The festive season is the perfect time to offer dune pepper, birch syrup, seaweed or sweet clover! Having an ingredient handy in your pantry is the very first step towards getting inspired to try it in your recipes… and getting a taste for it! Available at various public market stands*.
✨ A cookery book
Food lovers can never have enough recipe books. Does a friend want to start baking bread? Audrey has a sweet tooth? André prefers stews? Sylvain is interested in wine? There are books for every taste (literally!). As well as recipe books, there are also a number of books on agriculture, self-sufficiency and food culture that could be of interest to your loved ones. Magazines devoted to cooking or the food industry are available as subscriptions, making them a gift to be savoured all year round. The Librairie gourmande is the place to go for inspiration! Subscribe to our newsletter for a monthly selection of new releases in the bookstore.
🥁 A delicious equipment
Would you like to surprise someone who likes to get their hands dirty? Why not give them a piece of equipment that will enable them to create new gourmet projects? There are lots of ideas in this category! A kit for lacto-fermenting local vegetables at home? A canning kit to ‘extend’ the seasons? A pasta machine to make your own spaghetti with local flours? A dehydrator so you can swap imported dried fruit for homemade fruit from the farm or market? There’s no shortage of ideas!
☃️ A reusable bag for all your shopping
A large natural cotton reusable bag made in Quebec with the public Markets’ branding to put all your purchases in when you visit our different markets. Size: 21″W x 18″ H x 6P (bottom gusset), with long handles. The bag will allow your loved ones to show their love for buying local!
🕯 Home-cooked delights
Have you put jams or marinades in jars? Are you baking small bites or shortbread biscuits? There’s nothing like homemade delight to give a gourmet treat to everyone you care about!
Happy festive season of generosity, sharing and togetherness.
* A selection of local seasonings from Montreal’s public MarketsLes Douceurs du Marché
Place: Atwater Market
Facebook page: Les Douceurs du Marché
Boutique aux Champêtreries
Place: Maisonneuve Market
Les Jardins Sauvages
Place: Jean-Talon Market
Facebook page: Les Jardins Sauvages
Épices de Cru
Place: Jean-Talon Market
Facebook page : Épices de Cru
Le Marché des Saveurs du Québec
Place: Jean-Talon Market
Facebook page: Le Marché des Saveurs du Québec
Julie Aubé is a nutritionist with a passion for the flavours of Quebec, sustainable agriculture and agri-tourism. As the organiser of the Prenez le champ! events, she plays the role of matchmaker, bringing curious gourmets together with local producers. A trainer and lecturer, she is a regular contributor to magazines and websites, as well as maintaining her own website JULIEAUBE.com. Follow Julie on Facebook and Instagram.