What food is so ubiquitously Canadian? Yes, maple syrup and butter tarts are up there. But I mean a food that, if you aren’t a true world-cuisine gourmet or have been to Canada, you have absolutely no idea about?
A food that (and I’ve eaten it there) is served at movie theaters.
A food that is a bone of contention (mostly about the cheese).
A food that takes lackluster fries and makes them something worthwhile to eat.
A food that makes me wonder: potatoes and gravy are the ultimate combination, and we love our gravy in the South. So, why don’t we have fries and gravy down here?
A food that inspires its own restaurants and is served at most restaurants in Canada that sell fries.
(Although I’m looking forward to chip stand fries shortly. I would prefer my Canadian chip stand fries unadorned–no ketchup, no gravy, no vinegar–because they are crisp perfection!)
A food that has inspired a multitude of variations (but, let’s be honest those who have enjoyed it before, the original is best).
To those unaware of what it is, I give you leave to google. Clicking the “restaurants” link before will send you to a bevy of variations.
Poutine is simply fries, gravy, and cheese curds.
Josh insists they must be white cheese curds, the kind that squeak in your teeth. If you absolutely cannot find cheese curd, mozzarella string cheese is a substitute. I’m not going to say a good substitute or an acceptable one. It’s a substitute.
I realize I skirted heresy by even suggesting that.
Recently, our Kroger store (big big heart of love there) started carrying cheese curds…white cheese curds. We served that poutine with the diablo burgers.
So, here’s what I did. P.S. If you don’t have cheese curd and don’t want to risk being a heretic, you can have fries and gravy. Fries and gravy are pretty awesome!
French fries, fried crisp (we usually bake them; I know, heresy)
prepared gravy (It’s ok to use packet gravy. In Canada, there are gravy packets simply for poutine.)
white (or orange, if you must) cheese curds (or cubed mozza–eek!)
Layer hot fries on a plate. Sprinkle with a desired amount of cheese curd. Cover all of the cheese curd and fries with gravy. You want the cheese curd to begin melting. Serve with a fork.
What is your favorite Canadian food?