Poutine: Comfort Food Canadian Style
According to the Urban Dictionary, comfort food is defined as “food that gives emotional comfort to the one eating it, these tend to be favorite foods of childhood, or linked to a person, place or time with which the food has a positive association”.
When traveling in Canada, one of the dishes that travelers are certain to come across is poutine. In fact, to the chagrin of many high-brow gastronomes, poutine has nearly become the national food of Canada.
Poutine is a dish of homemade french fries topped with white cheddar cheese curds and beef gravy. It can be found in pubs and restaurants all across the great nation of Canada. And, Quebec chef Chuck Hughes won Iron Chef America 2011 beating out heavyweight competitor Bobby Flay with a plate of lobster poutine.
After completing two long, exhausting days at a travel conference in Toronto, Carol and I decided to kick back and take in a nice cold local micro-beer, and our very first serving of poutine.
Accompanied by friends David and Veronica (aka The Gypsy Nesters), we found a nice pub located just outside the Toronto Convention Center and soon had a piping-hot plate of Canadian poutine in front of us.
Now, every red-blooded American has had french fries slathered in gravy. However, for Carol and I, the addition of cheese curds presented unknown territory.
After our first bite, we looked at each other and declared, “eh”. After all, we’re talking french fries, gravy, and cheese here folks.
Nonetheless, we now feel pleased to have our “we ate poutine” badge.
As American’s, we love our hot dogs and apple pie. For our Canadian friends, poutine falls into the same class, a common food that brings with it all the positive associations of life.
So, when you visit the great nation of Canada, make certain to get yourself some poutine. We don’t promise you’ll like it, but take a quick swallow of beer and consider yourselves bathed in a wee bit of Canadian culture. 🙂
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