A month or two ago I decided I had had enough of the sub-par American so-called poutine I have received here. I miss the cheesy, gravy goodness of my homeland! So I gathered my favorite Americans, and showed them the light (heavy).
I know I’m being a snob, but please forgive me. There are three main problems (in my opinion) with how Americans tend to make poutine:
- Using grated cheese. DON’T DO THIS! You need those squeaky cheese curds for texture, for flavour, the whole deal! If I see orange grated cheddar on french fries referred to as poutine one more time, I’m leaving. In this batch of poutine, we went to the Tillamook Dairy and got fresh cheese curds. They weren’t actually orange in person, thankfully.
- Not using enough gravy and cheese curds. Poutine is not about the french fries. It’s about the gravy and the cheese. Seriously, cover that stuff with gravy. Kill it with gravy. You should be questioning whether or not there are actually fries in there.
- Trying to ‘improve’ it. When you get it right, then you can add things. Green onions? Delicious! Putting green onions on your poutine when you haven’t even figured out the cheese? NO! The beauty of poutine is how simple and bad for you it is. You will taste french fries, you will taste cheese, you will taste gravy, you will taste salt. I seriously had some stinky-cheese and mushroom poutine with oysters in it (I’m looking at you Les Caves). When I expected poutine! The shame, the shock… I ate it though. I mean it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t amazing.
So here are a few pictures from the poutine making experience. The bowl of water is salt water for soaking the fries. Just cut some potatoes into fry shapes and soak them for a few hours in water with salt and sugar in it. Then deep fry them, in a deep frier or just a pot with hot oil. Make sure the gravy gets nice and thick too!
The most important thing at this stage is to not just eat all the fries. Now, you put the fries in, then the cheese curds (lots) then the gravy (lots). I actually did not have enough cheese it turned out, so I ended up being a little shy of ideal. Still, it turned out great!
That is good poutine (to me).