Poutine According to Anthony

Along with being our esteemed pre-press expert in our platemaking department, Anthony is also our resident expert in all things poutine. Wondering what poutine is and how you can enjoy some of your very own? Anthony is here to the rescue. Poutine is a traditional Canadian dish, originating in Quebec and it involves three basic ingredients near and dear to many people’s hearts – fries, cheese and gravy.

Now, our sources tell us that the best place to get poutine is in Montreal, naturally, at a place called Peel Pub. While you can get poutine in Upstate NY, our restaurateurs are sadly not up to par with the Canadian originators of this fine delicacy. If you’re in Syracuse, you can check out Empire Brewing Company, where they serve up poutine that Anthony gives a rating of “okay”, but he notes that their fries are sliced too thickly. Therein lies the secret to good poutine, folks – thin cut steak fries.

Bearing that in mind, Anthony suggests you cook up some poutine of your own instead of risking a run-in with bad poutine out in the wild. You’ll need steak fries, remembering to ensure they are thinly sliced so you have more surface area to coat with your cheese and gravy. On top of the fries goes a big pile of shredded cheddar cheese – Anthony prefers mild although he notes you might want consider sharp cheddar if you’re into that kind of thing. Drench your cheese-topped fries with beef gravy and you’ll have awesome poutine in no time. Anthony’s secret is that you’ve really got to have warm fries, cold cheese and then warm gravy on top, in that order. If you’re wondering, yes, it’s imperative that your cheese be cold in order for the flavors to meld properly. Traditional poutine often uses cheese curd, so you could give that a whirl, too, but Anthony suggests you give the shredded cheddar a go first. Hungry yet? We are! The entire Boxcar office is now thinking about poutine.

Oh, if you’re not already, you should probably be following Boxcar Press on Twitter where Boxcar Press founder Harold Kyle happily shares endless insight into all things letterpress and occasionally, on days like today, poutine as well.

{Photo from Splitbrain.org}

5 thoughts on “Poutine According to Anthony

  1. I was just like, HOLY CRAP, Empire Brewing!! Until I remembered that y’all are in Syracuse. Doy. Nevertheless, it’s nice to see some of the old grad-school haunts get a nod in the blogosphere. I never had this at Empire but am considering a honeymoon in Montreal where I have at the top of my list to sample the real deal 🙂

  2. That’s the most accurate description of making poutine I’ve seen yet. Its so simple, but so easy to mess up and end up with a plate of soggy fries. Another variation popular in Montreal and Ottawa is to add shaved smoked meat on top (to be consumed only after a long night of drinking).

  3. I visited Montreal back in the 90’s, but I still remember how good poutine is, I am convinced that it is in fact, the worlds most perfect food. I also love the fact that you can get it all over Montreal, including at McDonald’s! Until I can get there again, I’ll just have to settle for boring gravy fries that you can get at the local Hawaiian restaurant.

  4. This reminds me of my early university days back in Ottawa, where the best place to get poutine was at the chip stand on campus…one of my classmates, who is now a doctor and health fanatic, used to scarf down this daily, and gleefully say, “oh poutine, what don’t you make better?”

    Reading your post, I was afraid that you were going to overlook the most shamefully neglected element to poutine: cheese curds. These are not optional, and I’m sorry to say, cheddar, while it is a fine cheese, is no substitute for curds in poutine. I must regretfully inform your readers that poutine without curds is indeed, not poutine. I’m sure it’s tasty, but it’s something entirely different!

  5. Hey Boxcar crew! Just a note to say that the site is incredible, the blog is entertaining and education and we love your work!

    Warwicks sells the cheese curds for those who have discerning taste. This is the original poutine connoisseurs choice, and they invented the ingredient combination so it is trusted to be amazing.

    Oh and Ruth, you are quite correct, Ottawa has some great poutine by proximity to Quebec. Oh the good old days of abusing ones body and being able to get away with it. The workout required now makes me cry.

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