Wednesday, January 27, 2010

At Aux Anciens Canadiens in Quebec City which is housed in a building in Vieux Quebec, the city’s historic area, that was built in 1675 making it the oldest building in the city, we saw a bottle of wine listed at $12,000 (and no we didn’t order it) and poutine. Besides that, poutine has morphed and restaurants like Montreal Poutine now offer the dish topped with marinara sauce (an Italian take on a Canadian dish) and barbecue sauce – maybe a Texas take.

But one of the most interesting poutines I saw when in Quebec was Michigan poutine. Now for some reason, many restaurants in Quebec advertise Michigan hot dogs, much in the same way we talk about Chicago hot dogs. And Michigan poutine is French fries, gravy and sliced up hot dogs. I did not try that.

It is said that more Canadians have eaten poutine than have seen a moose (and there are signs all along the highways warning of crossing moose) or been in a canoe – two things I associate with Canada way before fries with cheese and gravy. At almost 1000 calories a serving, why aren’t the French Canadians fat? I don’t have an answer to that but I can tell you that poutine and French fries in general here in Quebec are very, very good. They’re crisp, very hot, not that greasy and are often served, when not topped with gravy and cheese curds, with mayonnaise instead of ketchup. And, while standing in the train station, my daughter spied a French fry making vending machine the size of a soda pop machine that promised freshly cooked French fries in two minutes. I wish we had tried it.

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