Weekend Plans Post: Poutine
The first time I had poutine was probably… 1996? I was visiting Maribou in Montreal and, one day, we went to McGill and there was a guy with a little cart there in the quad and he was selling poutine. He dumped a buncha fries in a cup, a two-fisted serving of curds, and then poured gravy all over all of it and handed me a fork.
Now, back in the states, I went to Gunther Toody’s semi-regularly and enjoyed seeing “Elvis Fries” on the menu. These are fries with sausage gravy poured on top and then shredded cheddar sprinkled on top of that. It’s not something you’re supposed to eat every day but if you find yourself thinking “I DESERVE TO CELEBRATE!” and want something really carnal but also something that you can post to your Facebook wall that you know your youth pastor will see, then “Elvis Fries” will get nothing but smiley faces and wows.
So I thought I was prepared for poutine.
One major difference is the order of operations. In poutine, the curds go on the fries and then the gravy goes on the mixture. In Elvis Fries, the cheese is the garnish. Secondly, the cheese in Elvis Fries is shredded and sprinkled. Curds are *CHUNKS* of cheese. So curds melt differently. On top of that, the curds are a curd variant that squeaks when you bite down into them.
Everything works together to make something absolutely *AMAZING*. On top of that, it feels different.
If you go to Gunther Toody’s and order Elvis Fries, you know that you’re doing something vaguely sinful. “This is not good for me”, you think as you reach for your fork. Poutine? Hey, you’re just getting some poutine, man. It squeaks.
Coming down to the states, I figured that poutine was something that I’d only get when I went back to Canada. Visit Maribou’s sister, drop by McGill again, maybe drop into Halifax or something… but here? Nah. Then, back in the beforetime, we were at some local park for some local holiday festival when we found a food truck called “Potato Potato” and they had poutine on the menu.
We were skeptical but… hey. Let’s give it a shot. As it turns out, they didn’t put anywhere *NEAR* enough curds on there and the gravy wasn’t quite right but it made us remember poutine. Anyway, we haven’t seen Potato Potato for a long while.
Then, a few years after that, we went to a little place called “The Roundhouse” and they had “Duck Poutine” on the menu. Duck Poutine? Again, we were skeptical. We ordered it and asked for “extra cheese, seriously, extra cheese. We don’t mind paying more for extra cheese!”
And they still failed to put anywhere near enough curds on there but they got the gravy right. It was weird.
A few years back? They took it off the menu.
So we pretty much resigned ourselves to getting poutine when we flew back to Canada.
Then, back in 2021 after I got my shots and went down to Disneyworld, there was a kiosk that claimed to sell poutine. I told my buddy about it and he wanted to try it. Disneyworld poutine is, of course, *NOTHING* like real poutine. I was kind of surprised that they’d fail so hard at it. They’ve got a Canadian Pavillion in EPCOT and everything.
But he said that he wanted to try it and try it for real. Well, I had already resigned myself to it not happening unless we went to Canada.
And then I remembered: Packets.
I had seen poutine gravy packets in the various grocery stores around PEI and Montreal. I laughed a little when I saw them but gave them no real further thought. Why make it at home? You’ve got the guy in the quad!
But I’m not in Canada and not going there any time soon. So I wanted to see if I could get them from Amazon. AND IT TURNS OUT THAT YOU CAN.
So, this weekend, we’re going to make Poutine. Or we’re going to try. Whole Foods has squeaky curds. The packets arrived just today. Tomorrow I will go out and get some fries to bake in the oven. Probably crinkle fries, now that I think about it.
And we’re going to do it *RIGHT*.
So… what’s on your docket?
(Featured image is “Stretch”. Photo taken by Maribou.)
I always like the line Jay had in Modern Family. “I’m not poutine that in my mouth.”Report
Jay missed out.Report
Big day for Slade today. Soda bread baking then off the see the pride of the Maritimes tonight. Sloan! I’ve been a fan for 30 years and never miss a chance to see them.
Sunday I’m introducing my new lady friend to a couple who are some of my best friends. Big step!Report
Maribou said “It’s not the best poutine I’ve ever had, but it’s the best poutine I’ve had in Colorado.”
So I will declare that minor victory and say that you should buy some squeaky cheese curds (Ellsworth will suffice) and some of the gravy packets linked in the OP and we used Ore-Ida Golden Fries and we got a solid “B”.
So it’s doable even at this latitude.Report
Congrats. Love a good poutine.Report
When I was a kid, Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” was a song about environmentalism.
It was a song about how we were turning all of these big fields of flowers into business parks. We were supposed to think, as children, about how we shouldn’t need DDT or parking lots or anything like that.
Now that I am 50 years old, I listen to this song and I think that it has *NOTHING*
NOTHING AT ALL
about environmentalism in it.
That’s the culmination of the song.
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
’til it’s gone?Report
Songs are poetry, so they shouldn’t have only one meaning.Report
“They took all the trees/put ’em in a tree museum. And charged all the people/a dollar and a half/just to see ’em”?
though that’s arguably more about commercialization/monetization of things (“They took all the newspapers/put ’em on the internet/ but you gotta pay money/ for the ones you wanna get”)
I’ve also heard of something called Disco Fries, which sounds poutine-adjacent. (New Jersey, I think? Or eastern Pennsylvania?). I’ve never eaten poutine despite arguably having some French-Canadian heritage; just never something I got a chance to try (and am not a big fan of gravy, dare I say?)Report