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Taste of Montreal: Tracking Down the Foods of the World    by Barry Lazar order for
Taste of Montreal
by Barry Lazar
Order:  USA  Can
Véhicule Press, 2004 (2004)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Having accumulated a bunch of intriguing recipe books with exotic ingredients that I can't locate, I was delighted to come across Barry Lazar's Taste of Montreal: Tracking Down the Foods of the World. The author tells us that the book evolved from a series of articles on herbs and spices for the Montreal Gazette, and he offers directions to sources of both foods to eat, and ingredients to use in your own cuisine.

Lazar begins with Anchovies and ends with Zershk (dried red barberries served with Iranian dishes), stopping along the way for delights like Chocolate, Dulse (dried seaweed, which I tasted often as a child in Ireland), Pomegranate, Sushi and Sashimi. Information on each can include an anecdote of Lazar's encounter with the food, a historical vignette, a survey of the forms it comes in, where to find it in Montreal, how to cook with it, and a recipe. Though many of the latter appeal, I do not plan to try the modified Elvis Presley sandwich, thank you very much! I will, however seek out Vietnamese Banh Mi, Portuguese Pasteis de Nata, and Indian Samosas. I'll re-read the dissertation on how to make Sourdough Bread and try the varied Poutine (a local treat for those needing a cholesterol boost) recipes.

This handy small volume ends with a list of the city's public markets, and a guide to shops and restaurants. Barry Lazar tells us that 'food continues to be the path that leads me to new friends and old cultures.' If you live in Montreal, or plan to visit, tread some of the paths he points out in Taste of Montreal.

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