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


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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