Food

This Is So Not A Cheese Review

Recently, we were part of a very lengthy conversation about Poutine (pronounced pooh-tsin. Appetizing, I know.).  Ahhh, the great Canadian response to the Big Mac. Mike and I had been discussing what cheese we would be reviewing next and voilà, the decision to review Poutine came about.

For those of you not “in the know”, Poutine is credited as a Quebec invention (we are so proud) and dates back to the 1950’s. Basically, it’s a whole heap of greasy fries with a pound of salty cheese curds stacked on top, which is then drowned in gravy. Heart medication is usually served on the side, along with cole slaw and a beverage.

Cheese curds are usually cheddar, and are noted for their “squeaky” texture.  This is caused by tiny air bubbles trapped inside. The Wikipedia entry includes a description of this squeakiness as “balloons trying to neck

Here is what the average Poutine offers in the way of non-existent nutrition:

  • 640 calories
  • 33 grams of fat
  • 30 milligrams of cholesterol
  • 2,360 milligrams of sodium – WTF!! why not just empty a salt shaker into your mouth?!
  • 67 grams of carbohydrates
  • 18 grams of protein

Yum.

Mike and I went to one of the most popular Poutine restaurants in Montreal. La Banquise. It was Saturday, around 7ish, and there was a lineup to get a table. Can you imagine a lineup at Arby’s on a Saturday night? Or a KFC? We decided to order the Classic Poutine and a veggie version to go. Back at Mike’s we opened up the containers to examine the feast.

La Banquise poutinePretty disgusting, right? Now both Mike and I are not Poutine lovers, despite our love of cheese. I did have one once that was made with sweet potato fries, a light homemade brown gravy and a mix of melted cheddar and mozzarella that was delish! However, we believed by going to “the best” Poutine restaurant, we could at least be ensured a food poison-free evening. Looking at these open containers had us quickly rethinking that. But we promised a review, so we took one for the team.

Rather than tell you what we thought, I’m going to let you listen in on our dinner conversation.  Judge for yourself.

M – “Oh, so the Veggie Poutine has what, green peppers in it?”
N -“Um, yup, and onions too. There are supposed to be mushrooms as well, but I told them no mushrooms because mushrooms suck”
M – “They look sick”
N – “Yup”
M – “This is really fucking salty”
N – “This is disgusting”
M – “Ok, I can’t eat it with the vegetables. The peppers are revolting.”
N – “Are these fries supposed to be homemade? They really don’t taste like anything. Except salt.”
M – “The cheese squeaks when I chew it, so the curds must be fresh.”
N – “Man, this is so gross.”
M – “God, this is too fucking salty! As if the cheese wasn’t salty enough, they put way too much salt in the sauce.”
N – “I think they also cooked the fries in salt. Ugh.”
M – “This is supposed to be the best? “
N – “I’m so gonna puke.”
 

Mike’s house ended up smelling like armpits. We threw away most of the veggie crap, but Mike refused to put any of the uneaten poutine in his garbage, opting to toss it into a city garbage can on the corner. Three blocks away. Hungry yet?

 

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  • First, thank you for taking one for the team. This dish was obviously thought up during a severe snow storm after many Labatt’s were consumed… eh?

    Second, Jen, geoducks are delicious when prepared correctly. These are one of the many things that I miss about living in Seattle.
    .-= Todd (PhitZone)´s last blog ..Become a healthier you with beans =-.

  • First, thank you for taking one for the team. This dish was obviously thought up during a severe snow storm after many Labatt’s were consumed… eh?

    Second, Jen, geoducks are delicious when prepared correctly. These are one of the many things that I miss about living in Seattle.
    .-= Todd (PhitZone)´s last blog ..Become a healthier you with beans =-.

  • mike

    Ziva – See, that’s the thing. Meat and fish should never include gooeyness. Like that Geoduck thing!

    But you know, the first time I had sushi I just couldn’t deal with it. Now I can’t live without it. So yeah, maybe I’ll be able to deal with kalakukko. Bring a lot of wine though. A lot.

    Todd – Welcome! I like to think that poutine happened like the Reese Peanut Butter cups. Labatt 50 was definitely involved, and two people collided while hammered. It happened like this:

    “You got fries in my cheese!”
    “You got cheese in my fries!”
    “OMFG!”

    Then they fell into a pot of sauce, and poutine was born.

  • mike

    Ziva – See, that’s the thing. Meat and fish should never include gooeyness. Like that Geoduck thing!

    But you know, the first time I had sushi I just couldn’t deal with it. Now I can’t live without it. So yeah, maybe I’ll be able to deal with kalakukko. Bring a lot of wine though. A lot.

    Todd – Welcome! I like to think that poutine happened like the Reese Peanut Butter cups. Labatt 50 was definitely involved, and two people collided while hammered. It happened like this:

    “You got fries in my cheese!”
    “You got cheese in my fries!”
    “OMFG!”

    Then they fell into a pot of sauce, and poutine was born.

  • Hi Mike and Nicky!

    I’m new to blogging and to your site and was poking around when I found this post. Very funny, especially since I don’t like Poutine. I like fries, I like gravy, I like fries with gravy, I even like cheese curds – and, yes, they must be squeaky – but I can’t stomach the site of fries with gravy AND cheese curds. I did try a nibble once, but never again (I used to live near Belleville, Ont. where quite a few places served it).

    But I do like Labatt 50! Cheers!
    .-= 00dozo´s last blog ..Foot-in-Mouth Disease =-.

  • Hi Mike and Nicky!

    I’m new to blogging and to your site and was poking around when I found this post. Very funny, especially since I don’t like Poutine. I like fries, I like gravy, I like fries with gravy, I even like cheese curds – and, yes, they must be squeaky – but I can’t stomach the site of fries with gravy AND cheese curds. I did try a nibble once, but never again (I used to live near Belleville, Ont. where quite a few places served it).

    But I do like Labatt 50! Cheers!
    .-= 00dozo´s last blog ..Foot-in-Mouth Disease =-.

  • Pingback: We Work For Cheese » Blog Archive » Night Of The Killer Cheesecake()

  • Welcome 00dozo! It totally grossed us out too. NEVER again!
    .-= Nicky´s last blog ..Night Of The Killer Cheesecake =-.

  • Welcome 00dozo! It totally grossed us out too. NEVER again!
    .-= Nicky´s last blog ..Night Of The Killer Cheesecake =-.

  • Pingback: We Work For Cheese » Blog Archive » Cheese In The News – Vol. 10()

  • Giant

    FUCK man. I mean fuck because poutine is delicious. BUT you NEED FRESH AND CRISPY FRIES, GOOD FRESH CHEESE from local farm AND FUCKN GOOD BROWN SAUCE. so next time, select a better fuckn restaurant than La Banquise or some shitty place like that. instead, go to ASHTON in Quebec City. and for FUCKSAKE dont judge food by the worst place ever… man. its like judging burgers in general from a fuckn Macdo/Wendys burger. peace

  • Hey, we went to a very popular, highly reputed poutine restaurant. We didn’t go to a fast food joint. Didn’t you read the part about the line-up? Your passion about poutine is making me reconsider our decision to never eat it again. The next time I’m in Quebec City, I’ll make it my mission to get to Ashton. But if it sucks, I will totally trash you in my review. 🙂

  • Which place did you go? Every time I’ve been to Montreal (which happens usually on a yearly basis, though the last few years I’ve missed), I have excellent poutine. I have scouted many places out and always seem to get lucky. I can only remember one time where I didn’t have the best of poutine, but it was at a Burger King at 4 in the morning after going on a total bender on Crescent Street. 

  • Jay of The Depp Effect

    I ate poutine once, just outside Vancouver. I love chips (fries), I love cheese (especially cheddar) and I love gravy, but you’re right, it is DISGUSTINGLY salty, and a big mess. I make my own version at home with oven chips, grated cheddar and gravy and I add broccoli. ALL unsalted. Then – and only then – it’s wonderful. If you add a little freshly grated parmesan, it’s a delight.

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