As a displaced Montrealer, I naturally miss the tastes of home. Of course, living in New York, it’s not too hard to stay gastronomically satisfied. But, just as Sarah DiGregorio states in her column this week, New Yorkers who leave home crave pizza, Californians miss tacos and the Quebecois long for poutine. Poutine (literally translating as a “mess” of fries, gravy and cheese curds) is about to come to New York… again. But I’m hoping that this time, a born-and-bred Quebecois can make it right.
New Yorkers have seen poutine before. LW12 in the MePa district had several versions of it on the menu, but is now closed (hopefully not because of the fat-tacular dish). And EV Belgian fries joint Pommes Frites has one on the menu, but it’s made with shredded yellow! cheddar cheese, which is just plain wrong. Every self-respecting French-Canadian knows that the key to good poutine is the cheese curd. These salty, squeaky chunks of what would eventually become cheddar if allowed to age are best enjoyed day-fresh. Not sure where Thierry Pepin, owner of the soon-to-open (but not freakin’ soon enough) T-Poutine, will get his cheese curds. But I’m betting that, as a fellow countryman, he knows just how important those little salty morsels will be to the success of his venture.