admin On January - 28 - 2014

poutine week

Oh, the things you learn at the dog park. Admittedly I become a wee bit of a hermit in the winter months and tend to keep to my own ‘hood, so it’s not entirely unexpected that this little gem of a culinary event nearly passed me by. But I do feel somewhat ashamed as a Quebecker of three years now, that I had no idea there was a “Montreal Poutine Week.”

That’s right, friends. For seven glorious days, thirty Montreal restaurants will duke it out for the title of ‘best cheese curd-adorned heart attack in a bowl.’  While this fine city is hardly at a lack for poutiney goodness, from February 1-7th they will be upping the ante and pushing the gastronomical boundaries of this Belle Province classic.

For those of you unschooled in the finer points of poutine construction, they require a few basic items: french fries, gravy, cheese curds. Now these ingredients can (and will, for this particular bacchanalian festival) be manipulated and substituted. However as a general rule, that last ingredient is pretty imperative. Beware of shredded cheeses masquerading as curds. Nothing, but nothing, gives a poutine the necessary ‘squeak’ like good old fashioned cheese curds. And you can’t really understand what is meant by ‘squeaky cheese’ until you have a real Quebec poutine.

lucy poutine

Montreal Blog has done us the great service of breaking down this year’s competitors, and I must say, it’s a fine list. I can categorically say I’ll be skipping those entries being executed with the use of seal and rabbit meat, but there are a couple entries definitely on my list: Sesame’s asian-inspired offering, Poutine Centrale’s butter chicken poutine, Mange Moi’s La Cochone (“french fries,chicken and spice blend gravy, and pulled pork cooked and marinated 8 hours in the oven,” sweet mother of god), and La Banquise (whose poutine is already pretty spectacular) are on the list–along with Lola Rosa Parc’s vegan version so that I can sample with my dear vegan friend.

The weather’s likely to put a bit of a damper on my stops (I really wish they’d have scheduled in in a month where I can legally drive the scooter), but I will try and hit a few. After all, I owe it to Miss Lucy!