The place most people think of when hearing about a taste of France in Canada is Quebec, the French-speaking province with cosmopolitan Montreal and the walled old town of Quebec City. But San Francisco Chronicle Deputy Travel Editor Spud Hilton has a different take and a different place in mind: Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, an archipelago of eight tiny islands (only three are inhabited) off the coast of Newfoundland that not only offer a taste of France, they are France.
The islands are officially known as the Territorial Collectivity of Saint Pierre and Miquelon and are the last remnant of the colonial empire of New France still under French control. As Spud Hilton reports, they are famous for the only use of the guillotine in North America and for being a bootleggers’ haven during prohibition, where even Al Capone spent some time overseeing operations.
The islands are French soil and some locals consider the place more French than France because of its isolation: with little reason to change with the passage of time, the people of the islands have maintained their traditional ways of life.