World Cuisine - Canada
My first road trip into Canada was when I was around 12 with my family to the Canadian Rockies. It was such a long time ago, that the only things that I remember from the trip were how gentle and nice the Canadian people were, and Poutine!
Since then, every chance I get to cross into the Canadian border, I look for Poutine. Poutine is a dish from rural Quebec, consisting of Fried potatoes, cheese curds and light brown gravy-like sauce. The history of the dish is still in contention, and so is the etymology of the word “Poutine”. According to Wikipedia, one often-cited tale is that of Warwick restaurateur Fernand Lachance, who is said to have exclaimed, "ça va faire une maudite poutine" ("it will make a damn mess") when asked by restaurant regular Eddy Lainesse to put a handful of curds on some french fries, hence the name. The sauce was allegedly added later, to keep the fries warm longer. Over time, the dish's popularity spread across the province (and later throughout Canada), being served in small-town restaurants and bars, as well as becoming quite popular in ski resorts and arenas. Here is more information on all things poutine.
One key ingredient you don’t want to compromise on, is the white cheddar cheese curds that squeak when chewed -- or as they say in French, “le fromage qui fait ‘squick-squick.” If you can’t find a place to supply you with this cheese curd, here is a step-by-step on how to make the cheese curd, and the gravy as well.
If you are missing Canadian poutine and end up in Tokyo, you are in luck! Here is a restaurant dedicated to delivering the Canadian Poutine in its true authentic form, or at least he tries. On this article on CNN, it focuses on Robson Fries in Tokyo where a young man tries to recreate his experience living in Canada.
If you have a chance to make your way over to Canada, the beautiful country with snow-capped mountains, easy-going gentle mannered people and its French influenced culture, be sure to try out Poutine! You might end up trying to recreate it at home like this guy.
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