Friday, September 17, 2010

Quebec, French and English and uniquely itself, Canada

Quebec really is its own unique culture, neither French nor Anglo Canadian, and certainly not American. No place I visited in the city so perfectly encapsulated the melange of cultures as the Cochon Dingue in the Lower Town portion of Old Quebec. Inside the atmospheric cafe (the name translates as "Crazy Pig") you could almost think you're in Paris. Coffee: strong and aromatic. Croissants: properly light and flaky. Newspaper-reading patrons: appropriate air of studied nonchalance. But one bite of the delicious, buttery toasted pain aux canneberges (cranberry bread), and you know you're not anywhere near the Eiffel Tower. Cranberries just aren't a French thing; they're a North American crop.

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