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day 11 – une grosse poutine

November 11, 2008

montreal

For this evening’s post, I decided to dip into my suggestion stash, my idea inventory, my reservoir of recommendations because, you know, the moon is 98% full, which can make a girl do crazy things such as riffle through her secret stash a mere 11 days into nablopomo like a smoker in desperate need of a nicotine fix.  Thank you for all your awesome ideas, folks, they are saving my ass tonight.

Randy asks: “What are some unique/quirky things that French Canadians do that might surprise or interest people from other locales.”

Well, Randy, there are just s’darn many… we are a quirky bunch.  Here is a prime example.  This is my friend Phil.

phil

Phil is originally from Nova Scotia via Ontario, but he lives here now and we are slowly converting him into one of us.  Case in point – Phil is enjoying a famous French Canadian staple. Phil knows that there are a trillion calories in this “meal”, none of which contain any nutrient value (last time I checked gravy wasn’t a food group), however Phil just got back from the Jazz Festival where he had a few beers and what do you do after a night of heavy drinking in Montreal, before retiring to the room that spineth? Anyone?  Anyone?  Why you head to the nearest fast food joint and grab yourself une grosse poutine (not to be confused with putain, which is phonetically quite close, however a courtesan might take offense to being compared with a big bowl of fries covered in gravy and squeeky cheese.)

I have to say, I’m pretty strict when it comes to the food I eat. Home cooked, vegetarian, whole grain, healthy foods are what you will find in my fridge and cupboards.  But baby!  Once in a blue moon (or full moon, as it were), I cross the street and need me some of that poutine.  True, it looks and sounds disgusting but where it lacks in visual appeal, it more than makes up for when it hits your taste buds.  Your arteries will protest, that there is a guarantee, but just go with it.  And if they do clog and you feel so inclined, you can always rinse it all down with Pepsi – that shit’s like draino (which is where I personally draw the line – poutine is one thing, Pepsi is an evil of another color).

Many other dishes were created in Québec kitchens of yore and continue to take center stage on breakfast plates and Christmas dinners throughout the province; such as creton, tourtière, pig leg stew and oreilles de crisse, but poutine is by far what we are most famous for.

On the sweet side, the sugar season is one of Québec’s oldest culinary traditions. In the spring, when the maples trees cry sweet tears, many of us flock to sugar shacks (cabanes à sucre) for a traditional breakfast, perhaps a horse-drawn sleigh ride in the woods and most definitely some tire sur la neige (taffy on snow).  Tire is basically boiled maple syrup dribbled over snow, which then hardens, and is rolled onto a popsicle stick and eaten like a lollipop.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

So if you’re ever up this way, be sure to go to La Banquise, they are the Kings of Poutine.  And if it happens to be in the Springtime, head to the nearest sugar shack outside of the city.  But whatever you do, steer clear of creton… that stuff is just naaaasty.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 12, 2008 10:14 am

    Amazing! I don’t how I missed that you’re Canadian, I’m from Manitoba! I’m vegetarian so I’ve never tasted poutine but the idea of it is amazing….

    Maybe I can make a veggie gravy and make it at home!

  2. Alison permalink
    November 12, 2008 12:07 pm

    I usually eat two poutines a year. One in the Spring when Le Gauzier opens up and another in the Fall just before it closes. And, note to all, if you can’t finish your poutine just THROW IT AWAY because this is one food you cannot save for another day.

    Also you are so right about creton. GAG

  3. Christina permalink
    November 12, 2008 6:44 pm

    boy do I ever miss la banquise 😦

  4. November 12, 2008 7:16 pm

    Never even hear of poutine before. Great post. Lovely blog.

  5. November 13, 2008 9:21 am

    Thank you for the shout out. One more thing to try before I die – poutine.

  6. November 18, 2008 10:49 am

    mmmm … poutine, there really is nothing better than poutine in montreal 🙂 i so love that city!! there is a place here that does a pretty mean vegan poutine, tee hee

  7. Eve permalink
    February 24, 2011 10:23 pm

    I must say I disagree: creton is delicious! It looks pretty gross, but it’s soooo goooooood! Les oreilles de christ, par contre, c’est assez dégoûtant.

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