Jean-Talon Market

vegetable stand

If I were Alice, the Jean-Talon Market would be my Wonderland. Located in Montreal, Quebec, it is a huge year-round farmer's market filled with every fruit and vegetable imaginable. It stocks rows and rows of some of the freshest produce around. It could take hours to simply stroll through. Once you enter the market, you are immersed in a world of sights, smells, and, best of all, tastes. Bring your appetite.

jean-talon market

Upon entering the market, you are immediately greeted by booths selling everything from pastries and polish doughnuts to crepes and samosas. You will want a snack when undertaking farmer's market this large, trust me. There are spice shops. Specialty olive oils (with samples!). Shops with unique frozen desserts. And this is all before you reach the real focus of the market—the fresh produce.

she sells the tomatoes

There are stands of all sizes, shapes, and colors. My favorite ones have free samples. While one may have the juiciest peaches, the next may hold the ripest tomatoes. Taste testing fruits and vegetables for quality before I buy is something I could definitely get used to.

a local produce grower
lettuce stand

The vegetable selection is immense. There are chili peppers, bell peppers (in every color), eggplant, green beans, artichokes, garlic, greens of all shades and textures, asparagus, radishes, leeks, onions, potatoes, pumpkins, herbs, and more. Much more.

curly beans
it keeps the vampires away
colorful carrots
asparagus
basil
peter piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
artichokes

The fruit selection is also intimidating with strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, pears, peaches, nectarines, grapes, plums, lemons, limes, tomatoes, apples, oranges... the list goes on and on.

jean-talon market
berries, berries, berries
basket of sunshine
so much fruit

And, if you are lucky, you might just stumble upon freshly made pasta sauce, ready for you to take home.

making a tomato basil sauce

Or a cooking demonstration here or there.

learning how to make ravioli

There is always something new to learn when going to the market. In my limited Midwest knowledge of vegetables, there are (surprise, surprise) gaps in my produce recognition. For instance, I did not realize cauliflower could actually be, well, colorful! Vibrant yellows, pale greens, and vivid purples. Does this mean each color has its own unique taste? I might just have to find out.

i didn't even know cauliflower came in different shades

And further still, some vegetables were just puzzling. This spiky little root left me with lots of questions about its mysterious identity. I shall call it an enigma vegetable until I can place its proper name.

spiky vegetable

Though the produce may glow with all the colors of the rainbow, there is something to be said about a dull, dirt covered root. Picked that morning, they come straight from the ground, still covered in their dirty little birthday suits.

straight from the earth