Posts tagged bonaventure
Posts tagged bonaventure
Le Vert Pistache
A few years ago somebody gave me a recipe for rice pudding that they insisted I had to try. The recipe was intimidating and complicated involving double boilers and custard bases, but darn it, I envisioned my rice pudding for dessert and was determined it would be worth the effort. Imagine my chagrin when I realized the recipe called for real vanilla bean. Where on the Gaspé Peninsula was I going to find vanilla bean? If I was going to go through the culinary gymnastics that this recipe called for, I certainly wasn’t going to substitute in some artificial vanilla extract.
The quest for the vanilla bean led me to Le Vert Pistache in Bonaventure. This fine grocer is fully stocked with unique and specialty items, both Gaspesian and imported. The store has since moved from its original location on route 132 to a larger store front at 130 Grand Pré in Bonaventure (right next door to La Pétrie). There is parking available on the curb side directly in front of the store.
Gaspésie Gourmande products are prominently placed near the entrance of this bright and welcoming shop. If you like to make homemade soups and stews I highly recommend you give Bio Jardins Rocher-Percé salted herbs a try. There is also an excellent selection of dried or powdered wild mushrooms from Gaspesie Sauvage.
If you are looking for specialty seasonings there is a wide variety of Spice Hunter’s herb and spice blends; not only are these blends exotic (silk road blend for example) they clearly label the region of origin of these worldly flavours. We have come a long way from salt and pepper folks! The shelves are also fully stocked with organic lentils, beans, peas, rice, nuts, figs and raisins.
Le Vert Pistache carries a varied selection of microbrewery beers including Quebec’s La Barberie and the Gaspe’s own Pit Caribou. You can also find Ferme Bourdages strawberry beverages. If you are in the market for a hot beverage, Brûlerie du Quai coffee beans are available, and there is also a wide selection of loose teas and specialty tea blends.
Looking for condiments you say? The store carries cheese chutneys, bread dipping oils, various vinegars, caramel spreads and Mrs. McGarrigle’s gourmet mustards (I am planning on trying both the wasabi lime and British beer flavours in the not too distant future!)
But, in my personal opinion, the crowning glory of Le Vert Pistache is their selection of over 15 artisan Quebec cheeses. What do I mean by artisan? Artisan cheeses are made fresh from the farm, using time honoured hand-made traditions, by master cheese makers. The store staff are happy to let you sample before you buy, and can cut your cheese purchase to order.
The store currently has a nutrition month promotion; if your purchase (even in cumulative visits) is 60$ or more, you receive a 10% discount on your next store visit. This promotion runs until April 15th 2012. Visit their website at www.levertpistache.com
So how was that rice pudding you ask? I honestly can’t remember, but it lead me to a Gaspesian store that I simply can’t forget!
Homemade bread is a hot commodity. Drop in to any local bake sale, and see how fast those loaves are snapped up (almost as fast as the fudge). When I was a child there was always a fresh batch of homemade bread every week in my grandmother’s pantry. How I relished those delicious crusty loaves and the aroma of fresh baked bread wafting through the kitchen!
I can make my grandmother’s homemade bread entirely from memory. I have all the ingredients and kitchen implements needed to make it. Yet, I have not made a batch of homemade bread in close to two years. Time is in short supply these days, and I am willing to bet that most households can recount a similar story. Everybody loves homemade bread, but nobody has the time to make it anymore.
Granted, “store bought” bread has come a long way over the last few years. Whole grain, multigrain, enriched and fortified varieties now stock grocery shelves, where once you had two options: white or brown. Many consumers have already shunned basic white sliced bread in favour of whole grain bread, which boasts complex carbohydrates, much more fibre and greater nutritional value. That being said, store bought bread is a far cry from homemade.
Luckily, those of us living in the Baie des Chaleurs region have the luxury of making the healthy choice at the same time as a delicious one; “Boulangerie La Pétrie” in Bonaventure is bread heaven.
To find it, turn north on Grand-Pré in Bonaventure (the street by the Catholic Church) and continue until you come to the building with the beautiful Acadian inspired mural covering the outside wall on the east side of the street. The civic address is 128 Grand-Pré and there is sufficient parking on the street for several cars right at the front door. Take note that they are closed on Mondays.
The bakers at “Boulangerie La Pétrie” bake their breads and pastries fresh every morning, all handmade using organic flour. In addition to the usual varieties baked daily (whole wheat, honey oatmeal, 9 grains) the baker makes a daily special every morning as well. To date I have tried the fine herb and cheese, raisin cinnamon and chocolate cranberry (which is to die for with your cup of coffee in the morning).
They also have a great lunch menu, with homemade soups, salads, grilled sandwiches and desserts. Their servings are very generous, and unless you are a lumberjack a shared lunch between two goes a long way. Coffee refills (from Brûlerie du Café des Artistes) are on the house! I kindly suggest you go before the noon rush as it gets very busy at lunch time, and also their bread selection is best in the morning.
The best surprise of all, their prices are not only reasonable, but competitive with grocery store prices. Do yourself a favour and put “Boulangerie La Pétrie” on your shopping list.
Boulangerie La Pétrie white or whole wheat bread —- 4$
white sliced bread grocery store —- 2.69$ to 3.29$
whole grain bread grocery store —- 3.49$ to 4.29$
specialty bread grocery store —- 4.09$ to 4.49$