Ask any Montrealer to name the city’s most iconic foods and without hesitation, they will answer smoked meat and bagels. But what most probably don’t know is how Jewish immigrants brought those foods here and how they managed to endure as favourites.
One Montrealer who knows that history and is keen to share it with locals and visitors alike is Kat Romanow, the Director of Food Programming at the Museum of Jewish Montreal.
“Jews have lived all over the world and wherever they’ve settled they’ve taken the cuisine of that region and adapted it to the Kosher food laws — so when we talk about Jewish food, we’re talking about a cuisine that is very diverse,” she explains.
Romanow’s enthusiasm for the community’s history is contagious and the perfect starting point to understand how the city’s 93,000 Jews and their cuisine fit into the story of Montreal.