Thursday, August 13, 2009

Break out of your regular Poutine!

The cheesesteak is to Philly as Poutine (pronounced Poo-tin) is to Canada. An artery-clogging street-food loaded with calories & flavor, available everywhere you look. Intrigued? You should be.

There are “chip wagons” spotting the countryside as you travel in Canada. You will be warned of their proximity by an old wooden sign that is strategically placed for maximum hunger-inducing visuals, and leaving enough time to slam on the brakes and grab some goodness.

They start with fresh cut fries, and fry them until golden brown. In the meantime, they generously layer the bottom of a traditional Styrofoam cup with white cheese curds and a scoop of the gravy that makes this snack a winner (cheese curds are basically the young version of cheese (pre-fermentation) that are skimmed off of the top aka “squeaky cheese”). Then they pile on those fresh cut fries, and repeat the process several times, gooey layer after gooey layer, finishing with another piping hot scoop of gravy over the sprinkled curds.

The gravy is brown, and tastes like a condensed version of French onion soup, in thicker form. Delicious. It is served VERY hot, and this helps to melt the curds into a stretchy, salty, stringy consistency that makes for some of the best cheese fries with gravy, ever. If we had a Poutine wagon here in Philly, it would make a killing. I know I would be no stranger.