Saturday, December 26, 2009

Local Eats: Great White North Edition

I'm north of the border visiting family for the holidays. I'm not in Quebec, though I do have childhood connections to La Belle Province. I miss it terribly. [Mental note: really, there isn't anything stopping me from running up there for a few days; maybe in the spring.] Much of the food I think of as Canadian is Quebecois. The three I think of most are poutine, sugar pie, and tourtiere. I was also offered another very Canadian food over the holiday -- Nanaimo Bars. I really don't like them, but it was very homey to see them!

Poutine: Fries. With gravy. And cheese curds. The best poutine comes from snack trucks on the side of the road, with the fries fried in lard. The cheese curds must be FRESH. I mean, so fresh they squeak (unfresh cheese curds do not squeak. Never eat a cheese curd that doesn't squeak; they get gross). Is it a heart attack on a plate? Yes, it is. Is it a hella delicious heart attack on a plate? Yes, it can be (really good poutine is worth it, imo). Is it the same as fries with cheese and gravy? Not even close.

Sugar Pie: Not the same as shoo-fly pie. So sweet your teeth will hurt. I don't have a sweet tooth, but, as horrifically sweet as it is, I will eat more than one piece.

Tourtière: A traditional meat pie, served mostly around holidays. I've tried making it, but haven't found a recipe as good as I remember the pie of my youth. Pork, beef, onion, spices... the recipes I've linked to don't include them, but some recipes include nutmeg and cloves. I will have to try again, when I finally get an oven that has enough temperature control that I can bake in.

Nanaimo Bars: These are so Canadian. I would love to like these, but I just don't. They turn up on all holiday cookie platters up here though... and every time I see them, I wish I liked the damn things.

I am trying to schedule some time with a dear friend before I leave; it will involve poutine; photos may follow.

Edit: thanks, lephysiologiste, for the spelling correction!


lephysiologiste said...

For the benefit of your followers, you probably wanted to say Tourtière, not Tortiere :-)

A reader from La Belle Province who likes poutine, sugar pie (tarte au sucre) and tourtière (but who don't have a clue what is Nanaimo Bars!)

RPS77 said...

I used to work with a guy who visited Quebec frequently, and he told me all about poutine. I've never had it myself, though - I don't like gravy on anything else, so I doubt that I would like it on fries either.

The sugar pie and Nanaimo bars sound great, though - I've always loved super-sweet food over the holidays.