FOOD OF QUEBEC AT MORTON WILLIAMS

For most people living in New York City and its environs, the most regular exposure they get to products of the nearby Canadian Province of Quebec is the annual December display of fir trees for sale on city sidewalks – most of which end up as Christmas trees in peoples’ apartments (and then typically are returned to the sidewalks once people discard of them after the holidays). A few years ago there was a sort of boomlet in poutine-themed restaurants – not surprisingly some were located in the Lower East Side area that’s become overrun with bars and bistros serving a youthful clientele both residing in the neighborhood and not; poutine is after all an ideal postprandial feast – but that trend seems not to have taken hold, lacking here the deep cultural roots which make poutine an essential element of dining options in any Quebec town large or small. However, there will now be a more sustained opportunity for New Yorkers to enjoy products of Quebec, as the year-long “Foods of Quebec” promotion will bring to the eleven Morton Williams stores of the Metropolitan area a number of fine brands produced in the Province.

Already with more than 50% of worldwide food-related exports of Quebec going to the US market ($3.1 billion out of the $6.1 billion total), there has been wide availability of culinary products displaying the traditional abundance, quality, variety and authenticity of Quebecois agriculture, highlighting the local-sourcing philosophy which has always informed the development and distribution of food there. Now, shoppers at Morton Williams will be able to purchase the following brands previously unavailable in the New York region.

DE L’AUBIER [www.delaubier.ca] sap water: A still water of vegetal origin made from maple sap; this pure and naturally filtered water is unlike any other bottled water, and the only still water of its kind.

AGROPUR [www.agropur.com] Dairy farm cheeses, including OLD QUEBEC VINTAGE CHEDDAR [www.oldquebeccheddar.com], a traditionally aged Canadian cheddar, cured a minimum of three years and sold only when the flavor meets strict standards; and OKA, a cheese with an extended ripening period in the original cellars of the Cistercian Abbey, with a characteristic aroma and subtle flavors of hazelnut and butter.

BOULART [www.boulart.com] artisanal bakery breads: varieties available will include a Ciabatta baguette, along with Parisien and French baguettes.

BOULANGERIE ST-DONAT [www.boulangeriestdonat.com]: a 70-year old bakery using traditional recipes for breads and pastries such as CREAMY FUDGE TWIRLS and OLD FASHIONED SUGAR PIE.

PREMIERE MOISSON [www.premieremoisson.com]: specializing in healthy gourmet products and specialties, including 189 HARWOOD, a line of bake-at-home mini pastries.

L.B. MAPLE TREAT [www.lbmapletreat.com]: one of the largest independent producers worldwide of maple syrup, to which absolutely no chemicals, preservatives or additives are added; both PURE MAPLE SYRUP GRADE A DARK AMBER, and delectable MAPLE CREAM COOKIES will be available.

UNIBROUE [www.unibroue.com]: a brewer of unique award-winning craft beers using traditional brewing methods – varieties include LA FIN DU MONDE, a Strong Triple Style Golden Ale, 9% ABV; and MAUDITE, a Belgian Strong Amber-Red Ale, 8% ABV.

While these fine products constitute the initial offerings of “Foods of Quebec” at Morton Williams, more brands will be added throughout the year. For more information, one can also visit the store website at www.mortonwilliams.com.