Monday, 24 November 2008

Canada's national dish

Every country has a speciality food. England has fish and chips, Ireland has stews, Italy has pasta, Finland has pea soup, Canada has...poutine. It sounds nice, doesn't it? All French and sohisticated. It was invented in Quebec, but is eaten all over Canada now, generally as a sort of fast food. And it consists of...chips, cheese and gravy. Wikipedia tells me the word poutine translates (loosely) as "fat person, especially a woman". So maybe not as nice and sophisticated as it first sounds. In fact, poutine is pretty much something people would eat at the end of a night out in Northern England. And it tastes bad. I actually think it would be nicer with British-style chips, which are chunkier than the North American fries we've been eating. The fries here are ALWAYS thin-cut and crispy. At the restaurant of the hotel here, they sell fish and chips every Friday. The Canadian locals LOVE this. However, let me assure you that these fish and chips are nothing like what we eat at home. The fish is small and the chips are stupid, crispy fries. Chef James tells me that if he made the kind of chips we eat in the UK, no Canadians would eat them. Along with my newly-found evidence of poutine being disgusting, I am now convinced Canadians have very bad taste.

So, poutine. It wouldn't be that bad if the chips weren't so thin. But the gravy just makes them all wet and soggy, there's not enough cheese and the gravy is too thick. I was not a fan of poutine.

On the subject of strange Canadian food, Seamus had his heart broken earlier when a can of Campbell's beef soup turned out to be....brown water. He was hoping for soup with meat in and instead it was just thick brown liquid. I think the intention is to use this soup as a base for beef stew or something, in which case it was poorly-advertised. Our Walmart trips are so confusing. We have no idea what we're buying half the time. But the good things we've found so far include the previously-mentioned Oreos and really good bread (even if it does cost $3.47 a loaf). And I had a really good cocktail the other night. By the way, do Caesars even exist in Europe? It's this spicy cocktail with Vodka, Clamato juice, Worcestershire sauce, tobasco and....asparagus. They're so popular here but look so wrong.

1 comment:

Jesse A said...

I am shocked! You didn´t like poutine?! It is so good! I can understand what you are saying about the fries. I, too, prefer them to be a bit thicker in my poutine. Not as thick as they are in the UK (I asked for fries, not potatoe chunks, thank you very much) but still a bit thick. But saying the gravy is too thick?!?!?! It is impossible to have gravy too thick! You should be able to stand the fry up! Ah man! Now I am craving poutine and there isnt any on this side of the world....