An Ode To Poutine (What Is Poutine Anyway?)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

As any traveler to Québec knows, there’s one delicacy that stands out from the rest when describing the culinary scene in the French-speaking part of Canada: poutine. Okay, that’s kind of like describing pizza in New York as a delicacy, but the two do share in the common trait of representing, perhaps more than any other dish, what visitors will remember most about eating there.

For the uninitiated, poutine consists of french fries, cheese curds, and brown gravy. Like pizza, this is only a traditional framework, and poutine comes in all sorts of varieties — including Italian, Greek, and even Mexican takes on the dish. It’s popularity has been spreading over the past few years, and you can even find it in outposts in New York City now (although the sole Poutine shop in New York closed recently — sometimes great ideas go unappreciated).

And as GoMad Nomad recently explored, there’s plenty of poutine to be found in the rest of Canada, including Ottawa where author Jett Thomason wandered the city with camera in tow recording the various outposts where those in dire need of a quick heart-clogging snack can stop in to fulfill their fix.

My favorite has to be Island Flava which advertised that they are the first in the city to serve “Jerk Poutine.” Would this statement really come as a surprise to anyone walking by the shop? Does that name make you want to stop in and order up a portion? Does anyone else have the nagging feeling they’ve been called that by someone at the end of a bad date before?

[Image by Jett Thomason/GoMad Nomad]

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