The Word on the Street Is . . . Steamé

Word on the StreetYou might be tempted to use the term steamé to describe the current weather with all the humidity that’s been hanging over Montreal like a wet rag in a sauna, but its true meaning refers to another Montreal summer classic—the hot dog.

If you’re at Lafleur, for example, and you order a steamé (steamie* in English), expect to be handed a wiener that’s soft on the inside and out, in a soggy bun. If, on the other hand, you prefer yours crispy on the outside, ask for a toasté (toastie in English, which sounds a lot like baby talk), and you’ll get a toasted or grilled dog. If you ask for a grillé, however, I’m not sure what you’ll get.

Steamés are the plat du jour of hotdogerias and casse-croûtes (snack shacks) throughout the province and are typically served all-dressed (Montreal-speak for with the works), including mustard, relish, onion, and slaw.

What good Montrealer hasn’t enjoyed a 3 a.m. steamé?! What’s the late-night specialty in your town? Let us know!

*steamie merits a raised eyebrow, given its multitude of meanings in the ever-enlightening Urban Dictionary


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