Local Ottawa

Ottawa PoutineFest

In anticipation of Ottawa PoutineFest, I’m going to be doing a series of posts all about… you guessed it, poutine!

If there is one dish that screams “Canada” it’s got to be poutine. In fact, Canadians love their poutine so much that when the Bank of Canada asked for suggestions of images to put on commemorative bills for Canada’s 150th birthday, poutine was a popular response. Can you imagine pulling out a twenty-dollar bill with big plate of poutine on it? Doesn’t seem like such a bad idea to me!

Poutine Bill

Now, all of this talk about poutine had me wondering, what makes a great poutine? As a relatively new poutine convert, I thought I’d reach out to some of my foodie friends and see what they think makes for a great poutine.  Is it the fries? The gravy? The curds?

While of course everyone has their own opinion, there were a few common ideas on what makes for a great poutine:

  • Layers – layering the cheese curds and gravy between the friesis essential for ensuring you get a better distribution of cheesy-gravy goodness.
  • Crispy, Thick, Fresh Cut Fries – frozen fries are just a no-no and thick, crispy french fries will stand up much better to the cheese curds and gravy. You don’t want your poutine turning into a soggy, mushy mess.
  • Hot, Hot Gravy – whatever gravy you are using, whether it is of the chicken, beef or vegetarian variety, the gravy has got to be piping hot. You don’t want that gravy congealing before you get a chance to finish your delicious poutine.
  • Cheese Curds – don’t even think about using shredded cheese and make sure those cheese curds are super squeaky. After all without the cheese curds you are just eating chips and gravy.

So while poutine is a relatively simply dish, there are some specific components that can take a poutine from good to great. And whether you decide to opt for a classic poutine or something extreme with crazy toppings, it’s important that you’ve got the basics covered.

Ottawa PoutineFest will be running May 5 – 8 in front of Ottawa City Hall and I know there is going to be no shortage of great poutine to sample.


Happy Tuesday!

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