The French-Canadian Poutine has gained a mythical status in the last decade or more. Vancouver has a number of different poutine restaurants, McDonalds has its own version, and I think it’s gone far beyond its origins in Quebec.
When I tried it as a university student, I remember the greedy pleasure of them, the weirdness of the cheese curds on the hot fries, melting them and mixing with the gravy. It was particularly good if one had been out late as night at bars, and had drunk a little (or a lot) beforehand.
I haven’t tried one in years, and not certainly since it’s become so popular.
At Christmas, my nephew Jerry wanted to eat poutine, and I thought, ‘Why not?’ His reasoning – that it’s something you can only get in Canada – is obviously genetic as it’s how my family thinks: eat the local specialties!
We found this loud and brash store, decorated in ironic Canadiana, and I ordered poutine but with perogies on top, the Ukranian fried dumplings, usually filled with mashed potatoes, another particularly Canadian delicacy (as the Ukranians settled parts of the Prairie provinces). As you can see, it came with bacon. And mayonnaise.
My better half had his with chicken and cheese sauce.
Have my taste buds changed? Were my expectations too high? I do like the idea of kind of trashy delightful fast food. But god, I found this disgusting: fried starch on fried starch with salty additives and a dairy sauce. Bleck. My apologies to French-Canadians and Canada. This may be not the fault of Smoke’s at all, but I will no longer be defending poutine as a national treasure.