Poutine A Sloppy Canadian Favorite
November 19, 2011 § 1 Comment
When I was eighteen years old, I took my first trip without my family and boarded a plane to Montreal to visit friends. In Montreal I was of legal drinking age at the age of eighteen. Late at night after a night on the town dancing, my friends took me to a chip wagon that stood at the edge of a parking lot. That is where I tried poutine for the first time. The salty and gooey cheese strings nestled among crisp french fries and drowning in gravy was delicious. Fries with gravy was a weakness of mine and a childhood favorite that I often ordered when my family went shopping at the mall and stopped at the Bay restaurant for refueling. The Quebecois took fries and gravy to another level, they added cheese.
The quality of the cheese curds is what makes a good poutine. The long stringy and squeaky cheese is my favorite. Cheese curds are hard to find in grocery stores and if you do, they are usually sold frozen as the shelf life is only two weeks. I buy my cheese curds from the Little Qualicum Cheeseworks at the Vancouver Winter Farmer’s Market at Nat Bailey Stadium.Their long, stringy and squeaky curds are made fresh on Thursdays and sold on Saturdays. A bag of curds costs $7 and makes about 4 servings.
This weekend, on Saturday November 19, 2011, francouver.ca is hosting Festival de la Poutine de Vancouver (The Vancouver Poutine Festival) at the Helenic Community Center at 4500 Arbutus Street, Vancouver. The festival starts in the day with a guided Poutine crawl that leads you through some of the best poutine that downtown Vancouver has to offer. The festival continues in the evening at the Helenic Community Centre with a poutine contest where 12 chefs compete at inventing palate tantalizing poutine. Guest judges include food critics, restauranters and poutine experts. Samples from the competition will be availabe for tasting as well as all you can eat poutine. The sold out event costs $20 per person.
When I make poutine I use frozen fries and vegetarian brown gravy from a package. The heat from the fries and gravy is what melts the cheese so the timing of when you add the ingredients together is important. Be sure that the gravy is hot when the fries are ready to come out of the oven. If the fries or gravy are cold, the cheese will not melt or become stringy.
veggie brown gravy
1. Layer french fries in a bowl.
2. Sprinkle with cheese curds
3. Smother with gravy