May 20, 2022 – It’s amazing how some people try to be things they are not. The truly best poutine on the planet is in Quebec. It’s an institution in the province, and while the dish is greatly copied and improvised in many places, if you truly want great poutine you have to go to Quebec.
Maybe it’s the cheese? For example certain cheeses have certain flavours based on the grass that cows eat. Maybe it’s the age old style in Quebec? Maybe it’s simply that certain je ne sais quoi that is Quebec cuisine?
It’s the same for the steamed hot dog. If I see another Eastern Ontario joint put creamy cole slaw on a steame I’ll scream! That’s sacrilegious.
One chain in Montreal cooks their fries in beef tallow. It’s amazing. Crispy, crunchy, instant heart attack served in a paper cone!
But the core and magic for poutine is the gravy and the cheese. You have to use really squeaky curd cheese, and the gravy has to be magical. It has to taste forbidden, deadly, and addictive. Gravy from a cannister of powder and cubed mozzarella just doesn’t cut it. That’s just fries n gravy, which is mostly what is offered in Cornwall Ontario.
And those fries have to be cut fresh from a hand machine and cooked to the right crispness. This isn’t British. No soft n soggy chips. No frozen “french fries”.
And yes. Price is a factor too. The price of Poutine in Cornwall simply is at a premium without the quality to match. If Cornwall wants to compete it needs to up its game.
Instead of trying to take glory in other places achievements and signature dishes maybe, just maybe, it’s time to invent something particularly local that you don’t wipe out like those poor Lancaster perch.