Thing #27 – Quebec City

Most mornings we walk past our neighborhood bakery and I say, “Mmmm, smells like a train station!” Fresh bread floating in the morning air gives me memories of filling my purse with pastries in Munich.

The smell of a bakery instantly whooshes you into a memory. And it’s personal for everyone. Bakers have the magic power to transport you. And the stories behind their recipes are often rooted in something deeper than we realize. This is why I initially started my blog, after all.

I was reminded of this in Quebec City when I went into a bakery for a baguette and left with an education on French literature.

At Le Paingrüel, we had the treat of talking with the baker of arguably the best artisanal breads in town. He uses traditional baking practices and has committed to studying and perfecting them.

During our visit, we got a crash course on baguettes and learned the Swiss-style baguette was discovered as a result of a mistake. (A delicious one, incidentally.)

He stood alongside a rack … Read the rest

Thing #26 – Bagels

There wasn’t a day in Quebec where we didn’t eat french fries for at least one meal. And I indulged in so many buttery pastries that I had to delete some of my photos because my greasy fingerprints made the camera lens too blurry.

But this is what vacation is for. Tasting all the flavors, walking all the miles and sleeping all the hours without setting an alarm. (I can easily go uninterrupted for 11 hours.)

It’s no secret that the province of Quebec has the charm of Europe with a fraction of the travel time. It’s one of the reasons we visited. But more importantly, I went for the bagels.

There’s a longstanding rivalry between New York and Montreal bagels. Moreso, there’s a rivalry between two bagel shops in Montreal. We hit up Fairmount and St. Viateur back-to-back on Thursday morning to see what the fuss was about.

Both stores were small and understated. Get in, get bagels, leave. Maybe they have napkins, maybe not. This is because Montreal bagels are all about the … Read the rest