Before I headed up to Canada a few weeks ago, I did a quick search to find out what typified Canadian cuisine. Almost immediately, I found lots of references to ¨Poutine.¨ I wasn’t even sure how to pronounce it. Was it poh-tyn, poo-tyn, poh-tyn-ee??? Turns out, I was completely wrong. It’s pronounced, poo-teen.
Hmmm. Didn’t sound very appetizing.
But, I figured, it’s potatoes and gravy. Has to be good right? The wild card would be the cheese curds. Wasn’t sure I was going to like that little combo.
After a week traveling in Canada, I landed in Edmonton. After my early morning interview with Global TV, I asked the anchors and production staff, what should we do this afternoon? I had previously been told that the mall was not too be missed. Biggest in North America! 5th largest in the world! *Sigh*
Surely, the TV crew would give us a good, hidden suggestion. They told us to go walk along the River Valley Path. That sounded good. And, we had driven past it earlier and it did look beautiful.
But, the weather wasn’t going to let it. It got cold, windy was threatening to rain. So, West Edmonton Mall here we come!
After a lunchtime interview with CTV, we headed to the mall and wound up eventually at the food court. The poutinerie (yes, that’s what it was called), caught my eye. I figured, now was the time to give it whirl.
Tim, my colleague and friend from Gap Adventures, ordered the ¨Classic Poutine¨: fries, cheese curd and brown gravy.
I went with ¨The Works¨: fries, sour cream, cheese sauce, green onions and bacon.
Don’t worry kids, the menu at New York Fries is trans-fat free! It’s practically health food.
I LOVED IT!
(Honestly, was there ever any doubt?)
Why Poutine Is Canadian Nachos
While eating my poutine, and having a taste of Tim’s, it struck me that poutine is nothing more than Canadian nachos. It just has a name that sounds (to the foreigner at least) more high-brow.
- Both have a fried carb base: corn chips or potatoes
- Both are topped with whatever toppings you want
- Both are finished off with a sauce of some type
- Both are finger foods.
- Both are comfort foods.
Once I made the connection between poutine and nachos, my next question was: Why has this not taken off in the US…especially when the fast food place where we ate is called New York Fries???