Video interview with Hélène Raymond about regions and terroirs.
Duration: 01:59
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The title Biting into places appears. Journalist and author Hélène Raymond speaks into the camera.



Regions have always developed their own specialities. Every region in Québec has created its own cuisine, and, for many, many years, there were very few exchanges. Then industrial foods came onto the scene, and we all started eating the same things and seeking the same restaurants across the territory. Today, we’re revisiting these regional identities. For several decades now, we’ve been seeking to get back in touch with regional cuisine and rediscover its origins through local products. And this territorial approach, the terroir approach, is extremely interesting because it’s driven by the past, the present and the future.



It’s driven by the past because with the terroir, through the terroir, we understand who we were, what we ate and the ways ancestors used the territory. By the present because it’s about current consumer and citizen demand: they want to know where the foods they eat actually come from and they want a little fantasy in their plates from time to time. And finally by the future because the terroir is the future of certain regions. It’s part of their future, part of their development. So the terroir is all of these things. It’s who we are in our corner of the world—what makes us unique and typical—it’s our readiness to occupy the space and territory. So it’s rooted in the past with a view towards the future. It’s how the food in our plate defines us. It’s knowing how to use the climate, the land, climate change, the landscape to…And, of course, it’s the skills of those who occupied the territory for a new twist on our meals and what we eat. 

Biting into places

In Québec, regional specialities have long histories. In an era when modernity and uniformity have become synonymous, Québecers are taking renewed pleasure in local foods. Radio-Canada journalist and author Hélène Raymond explains.

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The foods we eat tell the stories of the places they came from. They transport us to exotic lands and remind us of our holidays, childhood, loved ones and roots. They communicate the passion of food producers and territorial histories.

Gaspésie has cipaille (sea-pie), Montréal has bagels and Côte-Nord has snow crab…Certain foods are forever part of the traditions of particular cities and regions. Even a freezer full of trout fished just a few weeks ago or jam made with strawberries brought back from an escapade to Île d’Orléans tell the stories of the territories that are dear to us.

Biting into a local specialty evokes the people who produce them as well as local landscapes and terroirs. Knowing where our food comes from adds to the pleasure of eating, and memory emboldens tastes.