You probably haven’t ever heard of cretons before, but the Canadian folk of Quebec are devoted to this traditional, cold meat spread. The traditional recipe uses pork meat, but you can now find them made with poultry or veal, although strictly speaking this spread should be termed “cretonnade”.
Why do Canadians love this spread so much?
This unique meat spread tastes totally different to any other form of potted spreads or pates. Its texture can be anything from smooth and creamy to coarse and chunky. Canadians make the spread using leftover pork, which is ground up and combined with pork fat and other ingredients, then cooked in water or milk.
Why not sound like a French-speaking Canadian and pronounce cretons “cruh-tone” for best effect? Cretons probably originated as a typical working day breakfast meal for farm workers and forestry teams, as they are spread on bread to create a filling, substantial meal that will ensure hard-working labourers can last out until their main evening meal. Although cretons look quite like French paté, the spices, onions, breadcrumbs, and milk used in traditional recipes give them a unique taste, which Canadians say is unmatchable!
Traditional way to make this pork spread
The cretons recipe uses ground pork mixed with pork fat as its main ingredient. This can be mixed with either milk or water and breadcrumbs to achieve the required consistency. The spread can be smooth to very coarse in texture, which will depend upon the ratios of ingredients used. Onions and spice mixes complete the recipe. The traditional spice mix includes nutmeg, cloves, and cinammon.
You can eat cretons any time of day, and simply need to spread the required amount directly onto fresh and crusty white bread, or brown/granary bread. Delicious!
Where to find the best cretons in Montreal
If you’re visiting Montreal on business, you should check out the Marché Atwater to source all the freshest, locally produced cheeses and spreads.
Read more about unique dishes and meals from around the world in the foodpanda magazine, and if this short article has made you yearn for some Canadian food, why not check out our Canadian pizza article to discover ways the Canadians have made pizza recipes uniquely their own? You can order Canadian pizzas from a variety of Singapore restaurants, and some of these are listed in our article.