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Let the battle begin!

When homesick, people search for ways to connect to the things they have left behind.  A taste of something comforting…

By Daniel Hallen , in La Vie Vancouver , on March 20, 2010 Tags: , , , , ,

When homesick, people search for ways to connect to the things they have left behind.  A taste of something comforting or a familiar smell can help to quench that pain in the belly.  French Canadians have many dishes that can serve that purpose: ,  , , – but none has been so universally adopted by the rest of Canada as poutine.

Poutine from Resto La Banquise, Montreal, courtesy of Flickr user wallyg

Primer:  Invented in rural Quebec in the 1950s, poutine is to one of Canada’s greatest inventions.  It marries the unholy trinity of French fries, cheese curds, and gravy to create a cardiac-arrest-inducing melange that can be described only as magical. Or as it was first described, a “mess” which is a rough translation of the slang word “poutine.”

There are various iterations of the dish which add hotdog bits, smoked meat pieces, chicken chunks, pepperoni, or an Italian meat sauce. A true poutine must be able to survive without the extra accoutrements.  As this is a distinctly Quebecois food, places that serve it well tend to attract a Francophone crowd.

A battle royale

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