I attended my first Women In Travel Summit in Quebec City, Quebec and looked forward to enjoying Canadian food. My only travel experience to Canada had been pretty unpleasant (story for another day) but I had been convinced to give Canada a second chance. In researching what to do and eat outside of the conference, I discovered the national dish of Quebec, Poutine.
In simple terms, Poutine is French fries, sprinkled with fresh cheese and covered in gravy.
I love fries, especially the house cut fries at Carrigan’s Pub. And I enjoy cheese. But gravy is an anomaly to me.
I didn’t grow up eating gravy. My mom was the chef in our home and did not like gravy so she never made it or cooked it or whatever you do to it. I didn’t know what gravy was until I was in high school and the lunch lady covered my potatoes in brown sauce that she said was gravy. I immediately asked or another plate and averted the gray crisis. I eventually tried it a few months later and found it to be too foreign for my taste. And I totally rejected it when I found out it was made from meat fat and flour Ugh. Nope. Nada.
But Poutine isn’t Poutine without the gravy and this would be a new food in a new country. Which leads me to my Poutine adventure.
My roomies, Bisa and Glory, plus our new friends Monique, Jennifer, and Gia went in search of it. We landed at Cafe de Paris and placed our order. Bisa and I (the vegetarians) discovered gravy can be made with mushrooms but Cafe de Pari offered chicken and pork only. We agreed to try the chicken gravy and placed our order. We had a wonderful time getting to know each other and then our waiter arrived with the dish.
There it was: fries with chunky cheese covered in gravy. I tried to find the fry with the least amount of gravy but that would defeat the purpose of trying new foods, right? So I dove in and chose a portion with everything on it.
So, I can check Poutine off of my list! The fries were not crisp, the cheese was not very “squeaky” and the gravy tasted salty and brown. I don’t know how else to describe the gravy because I am NOT a gravy connoisseur. If the cheese is fresh, it “squeaks” loudly when you eat it. Other members at our table enjoyed the Poutine so it was simply not for me.
Have you tried it? Will you eat it again?