Love chips? Adore cheese? Crave gravy? You are in for a hearty treat, because there’s a comfort food from Québec that combines all three! Allow Eddy Frankel to introduce poutine.
Poutine? As in Vladimir?
No, no, that’s Putin. There are no topless Russian despots here. We’re talking poutine, which, depending on who you ask, translates from French-Canadian to either ‘pudding’ or ‘mess’.
Oh neat! French-Canadian food is my favourite!
You joke, but this incredible mixture of chips, gravy and cheese curd is one of the greatest things that will ever pass your lips.
Hold on, let me get this straight – you’re trying to sell me cheesy chips and gravy?
Not just any cheesy chips and gravy. This dish has been a staple at Québecois greasy spoons since the 1950s, keeping French-Canadians going through unbearably cold winters. Now it can be found everywhere across the province from roadside truck stops and McDonald’s to high-end Montreal restaurants.
Yeah but still, cheesy chips and gravy… Come on, mate.
Okay, hear us out. This is no ordinary cheese. Poutine is usually made with cheese curds, the solid bits left from acidifying milk which have a chewy, squeaky texture halfway between mozzarella and halloumi. When combined with fries and a traditional Canadian brown gravy, they semi-melt, making for the perfect winter warmer, drunken dinner or hangover cure.
Maintenant I’m interested.
And so you should be. Clever chefs around Canada, and in the USA, have updated poutine with fancy toppings such as pulled pork, lobster or jerk chicken. Now, the dish has finally made its way over to London.
Okay, I’m sold. Now pout it in my mouth, eh?
Très bien. See below for three London poutine purveyors that are chips off le vieux bloc.