Strange Snacks of the World – Poutine


Not to be confused with the former prime minister of Russia, poutine is Quebecois soul food, a crazy toss of French fries, pale squeaky cheese curds, and brown gravy. Since this is really French food we’re talking about, the gravy is not the floury kind that comes in cans, but a sort of transparent demi-glace.


I’ve got to admit to being kinda fond of poutine, but I really only eat it when I go to Montreal. My favorite place there is Union Pool Hall, but you can get it in nearly any fast-food establishment in the Francophone parts of town. Upscale restaurants offer all sorts of souped-up versions, and I’ve loved these too, including the one at Globe decorated with duck confit, and the one at Au Pied de Cochons featuring foie gras.


But it was with some trepidation that I learned recently that McDonald’s had started serving it. As an American gourmand, could I even be seen entering a McDonald’s in Montreal?


But enter I did, the branch accessible through the lobby of the Gare Centrale. The poutine cost slightly over $4 in Canadian money, including tax, which would come out to about $3.25 in American money at current exchange rates. Compared to other renditions, it was a bit undersalted, the fries were too pale, and the cheese curds a little less squeaky than usual, though the gravy was oddly acceptable. Maybe it had been made from the grease on the griddle, because I’ve never seen canned gravy that looked like that. All-in-all, not a bad rendition, though, with so many in town, who’d go to McDonald’s for it? The best part, is that it represents McDonald’s rather lame attempt to be Canadian.


By the way, several variations on poutine–some of them quite good–are available locally at The Inn LW12.  




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