Canada doesn’t have an official national food, but our famous “poutine” is a strong contender for this title! What is it? A poutine consists of three main ingredients: fries, gravy and cheese curds.
Yup, basically a dish full of grease and calories and probably shouldn’t be eaten, but it is the most delicious thing ever. This is the best thing when you are freezing cold or if you are taking a break from skiing on the slopes.
Cheese curds, which is basically unprocessed cheese that should be eaten when fresh, was invented when dairy farmers in Quebec wanted to save excess production. It has a soft chewy texture with little taste and makes a squeaky sound when you bite into it.
Quebec is also where poutine has originated. Many Quebecois communities such as Drummondville and Warwick claim to be the birthplace of this dish in the late 1950s, but nobody really knows who or where this trend really started.
Now, poutine has become popular all over Canada and in the United States especially in New York and New Jersey. There are many variations to the basic gravy, cheese and fries with additional ingredients such as other cheeses, pulled pork, beans and barbecue sauces. Basically like a nacho, anything goes!
You might have to go to Montreal to find the best and most original kind of poutine, but here are some really good and cheap places in Vancouver to try this dish:
- La Belle Province (1215 Davie St. & Robson St.): This is where you are going to find the most authentic version as it serves traditional Quebecius cuisine.
- Fritz European Fry House (718 Davie Street & Granville St.): As the name hints, Fritz specializes in fries. That’s pretty much all they sell there with a whole bunch of poutine toppings and sauces to try.
- Costco Food Court (605 Expo Boulevard, right across Rogers Arena): This might be an unusual place for poutine as Costco is a warehouse that sells goods in bulk. (Psst, this is a special Smart Saver Vancouver for those of you who got this far in the post!) Their huge poutine goes for about $4.50 and everything on the menu is very cheap. While you need a membership card to purchase anything else in the store, their food court is open to anyone!
You must try this Canadian cuisine while you are living here! It might look kind of gross, but trust me, you’ll fall in love!