In this modern world where people can work remotely from anywhere on the globe and therefore move to a place of their choice, there are major pluses as well as minuses. When moving from one area to another, the experience is fascinating but there are frustrations that come along with it. Yes it is always fun to discover new places, meet other people, learn another culture, add an additional language to your repertoire and discover new dishes. This is the thrill of moving away and you don’t have to move far away to experience changes.
Just moving out of Québec to Ontario was a big adaptation on many levels… well back there it was. Clubs in the 80s’ were closing at 1am instead of 3am in Québec. Drinking age was 19 versus 18 (I moved when I was 23 so I was okay). Everything was mostly closed on Sunday in downtown Toronto whereas in Montréal it was another crazy day to go out. People were dressing very conservatively in comparison to the ones from Montréal which back then the city held the reputation of being North America’s Fashion Destination next to New York City. With only 5 hours of driving between Toronto and Montréal, I couldn’t understand why there were so many food items from Québec we couldn’t find in Ontario.
Nine years ago, I fell in love and moved with David here in British Columbia. I didn’t move from Canada to Asia although sometimes it feels like this here in Vancouver… lol! Almost the same thing happened then when I moved in Ontario back in the late 80s’. I won’t pinpoint all the differences except food again – of course, this is a cooking website… lol! When I just moved in Ontario when visiting family and friends in Québec, I always had a cooler in the car so I bought food items, filled the cooler and brought them back home to Toronto. Now it is quite difficult to do that considering that I would have to drive 4 days non-stop going through the Rockies (this is if the weather is nice) just to have my fav food items. So the solution was to make my own!
There’s one food item that is incredibly delicious and till this day, I still don’t understand why butchers don’t carry it. It is Merguez sausage! I used to buy it often when living in Montréal. This sausage has so many earthy flavors and the spiciness in it is perfect! After inquiring at over a dozen butcher shops around and getting that puzzled look on their faces when asking for it, I’ve decided it was time for me to try making merguez sausage. This North African sausage is not for the faint of heart… it is spicy! If you like spice in your food and are not afraid to try something new then you definitely need to add this to your “must try” list.
FOOTNOTE: If you cannot find the harissa paste but only the spice blend, combine 1 1/2 tbsp. of it with 1 tsp. grapeseed oil and mix until it forms a paste.