This travel and food blog has been live for more than one month now and I am proud to say that I have been able to hold off writing about poutine…. until now.
My earliest memories of eating poutine are from grade 7 eating in the food court at the mall at A&W. I’m not sure when it became one of my favorite foods, but it might of been in recent years from one too many late night drinking sessions ending up at Halifax’s pizza corner and one of my favorite poutine places called “Williy’s“.
Some might call it a Canadian icon, many think its a staple of our every day diet, it isn’t… well not for most of us but I’m telling you one thing, for those of you that have never tried it, it is delicious.
The best way to have a poutine is “the classic” french fries, cheese curds and gravy. Thats it. Nothing else added. (well sometimes I add ketchup which some consider food blaspheme). One of the most important things that makes the poutine real is the cheese curds. The cheese curds should be so fresh that before melted they literally squeak in your mouth against your teeth.
I have tried poutine at many different places, I’ve eaten a “Donald Trump” poutine in Banff with frites and fancy cheeses, I’ve eaten it at Ashton’s in Quebec City said to be one of the first places to have poutine, I’ve tried it at the poutine chain “Smokes’s Poutinerie” (blech), I’ve eaten it many a times from A&W, today I was one of the first in line at a new Poutinerie restaurant called “Cheese Curds” here in Nova Scotia and I always go back to Willy’s, as it is by far my favorite to date. However I will keep searching to see if better is possible.
Are you a fan of poutine? Where have you had the best?
A&W photo by edkohler , Estatic girl with Poutine photo Anna Jura
Nomadic SamuelFebruary 26, 2012 at 9:40 am
MelissaFebruary 24, 2012 at 5:43 am
Oh my god! I miss poutine soooo much! Not gonna lie, I’m a sucker for New York Fries poutine for a quick fix. But my favorite has got to be Poutinis in Toronto – Queen St. West. Absolutely to die for.
And i love to refer to cheese curds as ‘squeaky cheese.’ I’ve been poutine-free since SEPTEMBER! How sad is that!?
Cailin O'NeilFebruary 24, 2012 at 8:42 pm
@Melissa: Yes! New York fries makes a really good poutine too! No shame in that!!
I can fedex you some poutine if you would like? Let me know :)
Nate RobertFebruary 22, 2012 at 2:53 am
That looks hideously delicious!
Here in Australia (at least in Western Australia), “chips and gravy” is pretty common – add some cheese? Genius!
I also do this thing were I have really soft, well mashed potato, with gravy, and then use chips (french fries) to scoop up the mixture. Oh too much info? ;)
Cailin O'NeilFebruary 24, 2012 at 8:41 pm
@Nate Robert: When I was in Scotland I tried their version of it but it was cold shredded cheddar cheese on fries with gravy…. very “interesting”…. haha I think every place has their own little versions of it :)
But fries to scoop up mash potato?? You might be crazy haha
CamFebruary 21, 2012 at 1:43 am
Nom, Nom, Nom… I love me some poutine!
We got some great spots in Vancouver… best enjoyed with a cold beer!
Cailin O'NeilFebruary 24, 2012 at 8:39 pm
@Cam: Agreed! I’m pretty sure anything tastes awesome paired with a nice cold beer! Even another cold beer! ;)
Pete HeckFebruary 20, 2012 at 8:42 pm
Hellz to the yeah for POUTINE. And yes it deserves all caps :)
Cailin O'NeilFebruary 24, 2012 at 8:36 pm
@Pete Heck: MEGANOMS POUTINE!!! haha :)
Cailin O'NeilFebruary 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm
@Tiffany @ Snack Snark Bark: You definitely need to give it another chance! The place that makes my favorite actually uses vegan gravy and I like it way better than other gravy! But it couldn’t of been real cheese either if it was a vegan place right….? haha Either way make sure you try it again :)
Alexa MeislerFebruary 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm
I love how you can’t get enough of Poutine! No matter how different each one is I’m glad that you still don’t get enough of it! This a good article. Thank you for posting!
Cailin O'NeilFebruary 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm
@Alexa Meisler: hahaha thanks Alexa! I can get slightly carried away with my obsession… haha
Nora - The Professional HoboFebruary 20, 2012 at 11:37 am
I have a poutine thing. And by “thing”, I mean mildly-obsessive-but-slightly-secretive addiction.
I’ve also had it at Ashtons in Quebec City (at some bizarre hour of the early morning – great hangover preventative!), and although that was good, the best poutine I’ve ever had was out of an obscure chip truck in rural Quebec about half an hour outside of Ottawa. Y. U. M.
When I lived in Australia, I decided to let my Aussie friends in on the fun, and although I couldn’t find cheese curds (and even explaining them to my friends – squeaky teeth thing an all – was a chore), so instead I used fresh mozzarella…..despite this poutine-transgression, I made many, many friends with my culinary introduction! :-)
Cailin O'NeilFebruary 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm
@Nora – The Professional Hobo: Nora I would of never known this about you! Sometimes the late night poutine eating sessions are definitely my best.
I’m headed to Australia myself in April so I would definitely try that to make new friends ;) hahaha
David / HitTheRoad.caFebruary 19, 2012 at 12:21 pm
If you want the REAL Poutine experience, it has to be at 4 in morning, the corner of Ste-Catherine and St-Laurant, Centreville Montreal! La Belle Province after closing the bars…. You don’t know Montreal until your have :)
Cailin O'NeilFebruary 20, 2012 at 5:15 pm
@David / HitTheRoad.ca: Poutine to this day has been one of my favorite hangover cures :)
David / HitTheRoad.caFebruary 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm
@Cailin O’Neil: With you there! :P
LaurenceFebruary 19, 2012 at 7:08 am
I’d never heard of poutine before this post! A quick google later, and now I am au fait with another weird Canadian food stuff. Certainly I’ve eaten chips with gravy, and chips with curry sauce, and chips with cheese.. but I’ve never tried mixing them all together. Or cheese curds. In fact, I’m not even sure I know what a cheese curd is either. Clearly, Canada is a place I need to visit ;)
Cailin O'NeilFebruary 20, 2012 at 5:11 pm
@Laurence: Laurence have you been living under a rock ;)
A cheese curd is cheese before its cheese but after its not milk anymore…. I think hahahaha Whatever it is its DELICIOUS!! Come to Canada ASAP :)
AndreaFebruary 19, 2012 at 5:06 am
Mmmm – I’ve never had the real thing but am addicted to cheese fries and gravy at New York diners – can’t wait til the day I can go to Canada and try poutine. I used to eat cheese fries and gravy at least once a week when I lived there. My mouth is watering!!
Cailin O'NeilFebruary 20, 2012 at 5:10 pm
@Andrea: OMG You should probably get on a plane and come to Canada right now! :)
The World of DeejFebruary 17, 2012 at 6:23 pm
How I have not had poutine before still amazes me…Guess I gotta go to Canada first:)
Cailin O'NeilFebruary 17, 2012 at 7:15 pm
@The World of Deej: I’ve seen it in New York and Seattle and I am sure you can get it many other places, but of course Canadians know how to make it best ;)
Stephanie - The Travel ChicaFebruary 17, 2012 at 9:23 am
I simply don’t get it. I first heard about this last year. I have never had it, but I cannot understand how this could possibly taste good. Guess I’ll just have to try it.
Cailin O'NeilFebruary 17, 2012 at 7:14 pm
@Stephanie – The Travel Chica: It is definitely something that you need to try, but trust me its delicious. and I don’t even like gravy! But on poutine its great! mmm hahaha