Canadian poutine

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By Olivia Critoph, Epigram Food Deputy Editor

This summer I was lucky enough to visit canada, where you can find not only wild bears and dangerously fierce raccoons (of which I saw 5), but also some very unusual dishes. Of course, maple syrup is the nation’s hallmark food, but have you ever heard of poutine?

Poutine came as a bit of a drunken home comfort to my friends and I. Any Bristol student of course knows of Donnavans cheesy chips, and most will know of the north's famous chips and gravy. In Canada a similar dish exists, known as poutine.

Poutine is essentially chips, gravy and cheese curd, and if you choose to you can normally add extras such as bacon . So there are some obvious similarities between poutine and cheesy chips and gravy . However, whenever I've had cheesy chips and gravy the cheese tends to be warm and melty. Sadly this does not happen with cheese curd.

Firstly, the curd is disappointing as it does not melt. Secondly, it is not very flavoursome, so whenever you get a clump of it, it’s just a cold blob of fat. Thirdly, it squeeks! All in all a, it's a very strange meal. Maybe I'm too accustomed to the British cheesy chips and gravy, but the cold, squeeky, bland blobs were just a strange sensation.

Despite all my complaints, it does satisfy the salty cravings I often have. However, if you ever are to get poutine I wouldn't recommend adding extra salt. It's a silly idea leading to many ruining their curdy poutines.

In regards to where to get good poutine, it depends on what sort of chip you desire. I personally have the most poutine experiences in Montreal where the two favourite restaurants are pattati pattatta and pitarifique. For those who prefer a skinny chip , as I do, pattati pattatta is certainly the better option. However, if a chunky chip is more up your street then pitarifique is the place for you.

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Gyro poutine to start my day #gainzzz ##pitarifique

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If you are interested in making the famous Canadian dish, then all you need is some chips of your choice, a thick salty gravy (beef gravy is the most popular to use) and cheese curds. Cheese curds can be made by heating milk and adding something acidic such as lemon juice. If all works out then you may start finding your classic cheesy chips and gravy too melty, and start craving those curdle-which could end up being a pain seeing as it's not sold in the UK.

Feature image: Unsplash/Ryan


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