Poutine in Montreal, CanadaOkay, okay… it sounds disgusting, I know.  French fries, tossed with cottage cheese curds and then several dollops of gravy?  Yuck, right?  Actually, it’s delectable!

Maybe it’s the texture: crispy fries, squeaky curds, velvety gravy.  Maybe it’s the magic fusion of cream and potato.  Or, maybe it’s just that it is exactly what you want when, as is often the case in Montreal, you are cold, tired, or perhaps at the tail end of an enjoyable evening dipping in and out of Montreal’s jazz clubs.  Or the next morning…

Nothing hits the spot like poutine.  Except maybe gourmet poutine.

Poutine is Montreal’s national dish.  Invented, so legend says, by cold and hungry truck drivers the exact ownership of poutine is a hotly debated but it is clear that it originated in Quebec in the 1950s.  Long the provenance of fast food joints, food trucks, and rural diners, in recent years the gourmands of Montreal have parlayed poutine into something a bit fancier with a phenomenal range of ingredients and sauces.  Gourmet poutine has become so popular that Montrealers celebrate their national dish each year with a week-long festival in February. 

During the festival, Montreal’s justifiably renowned chefs compete to produce innovative and mouth-watering riffs on the original, goading one another on to greater heights each year.

There are the ethnic riffs: using Tex-Mex ingredients, Eastern European ingredients, Far Eastern ingredients, and (my favorite) Caribbean ingredients.  There are the haut cuisine riffs, using foie gras, smoked fish, and tangy goat cheese.  There are breakfast poutines, with bacon, veggies, and onions thrown in the mix.  There are hot and spicy poutines, using merguez sausage, and poutines that include ground beef, which some feel is gilding the lily. 

And yes, there are vegan poutines, and vegetarian poutines.  In fact, the only thing they haven’t come up with yet is a diet poutine.  

Alexander+Roberts offers unforgettable coastal and Great Lakes cruises which begin or end in Montreal.

Posted: 7/29/2015 11:02:50 AM by Alexander + Roberts

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