Thursday, 1 November 2007

Living the Hundred Mile Diet: Bread Made from Locally Grown Organic Wheat Now Available in Montreal

The walls have gone up at the Jean Talon market for the winter. From May until near the end of October, producers from the Montreal region sell their fruits, vegetables, plants and flowers in outside stands at the market. But this is Quebec after all and it is supposed to be cold for five months of the year, so about now moveable partitions are put up in the central area where about 25 kiosks operate during the winter. When I was there on Tuesday, only the pumpkin and squash merchant was still outside, and he is scheduled to close this weekend.

Locally produced root vegetables, apples, other storage crops and eggs will still be available, but for the next several months it will be harder to eat locally even when shopping at a farmers’ market.

Harder, that is, for everything, except bread. Première Moisson, a local chain of excellent bakeries producing 350,000 loaves of bread a week, has recently announced that it will be using nothing but organically grown wheat from Quebec hence forward. “We're very proud to be supporting local farmers and easing the environmental burden by not using flour that travels great distances," Première Moisson founder and president Liliane Colpron told the Montreal Gazette.

A step in the right direction, and not one that is hard for the consumer to take: Première Moisson’s baguettes are excellent, and available fresh daily at many groceries, as well as at the chain’s 16 shops.

Photo: The gorgeous squashes at the Jean Talon market, with the sign for the Première Moisson bakery in the background.

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