Make your way through the hustle and bustle of the Jean Talon market, past the Boitre aux Huitres, the colourful flower stalls and the smell of a freshly baked bread, fragrant cheeses, and the spice shop boasting mixtures from around the world. Browse the boutique specialty food shops and stop by the fruit stands to sample the carefully farmed fruits and vegetables and you won’t be disappointed. I tasted particularly juicy peaches along my sample route and ended up buying 6 for $4. Not bad at all!
Once you’re ready for something cold and sweet to cool you down from the summer heat outside, head towards Havre aux Glaces. It might take a little bit of searching if you’re coming from outside the market as the address is on Henri-Julien. Make no mistake though, the entrance is on the inside of the market. Showcasing their newest sorbet flavour – Quebec strawberries – on the blackboard outside, the other flavours are displayed on the wall, close to the huge ice cream cone replicas hanging from the ceilings there for decoration.
When we went there was a short line, hardly any waiting was involved. As we paid, we glanced behind and out of nowhere, a massive line had formed, spilling out of the store and into the market corridor. We were glad to have gotten there just before the wait and eagerly tasted our ice creams and sorbets. I got the pear and the hibiscus flavours put together while my friend had the mango malai and coconut. Both were delicious! Each had a distinct taste that hearkened to its name – the pear tasted like a cold, smooth, sweet version of itself that just melted in your mouth. The hibiscus? An intense flavour that somehow still remained light on the palate. The coconut was refreshing and the mango – a little heavier. The flavours all melded together nicely – I’m sure no matter what flavour combo you pick, it would be tasty.
On a side note, before going to Havre aux Glaces, I had read the comments on Chowhound and Yelp on the crazy flavours the place has previously served such as blood orange sorbet, strawberry-fresh cheese-peppercorn and burnt maple. With that in mind I was excited to order something of the sort. On our visit, there were great flavours on display but nothing quite the same. Because the place switches up its flavours quite often and I guess that means I have to go back. What a convenient excuse for ice cream!
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