Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Serendipitous First Poutine Experience

Brett H. is a guest writer on the subjects of healthy living, eating, and lifestyles.

A couple of weeks ago, my associate asked me if I wanted to write an article about poutine for the Poutine Chronicles. I had never heard of the dish before, so I didn’t feel fully equipped to write about it. This past weekend, though, I had the pleasure of actually experiencing the glory of poutine. It all started when my friend called me to tell me he was in town and asked me if I’d join him for dinner at a specialty hot dog restaurant downtown. I’m trying to eat healthy meals on a consistent basis, but I find that sometimes it’s all right to reward myself with a few decadent meals a month. So, I agreed to join him for dinner.

I arrived to the restaurant fashionably late and my friend and his girlfriend had already ordered an appetizer. I sat down at the table and saw a big basket of waffle fries covered in what appeared to be, at first glance, a strange sort of chili and cheese concoction. My friend was kind enough to offer me some of the appetizer. I hadn’t eaten much that day and was starving, so I obliged. A few bites in, it occurred to me that I had no idea what the waffle fries I was eating were covered in. It definitely wasn’t chili. And it was definitely delicious. I asked my friend what it was. He said, “It’s a Canadian thing. It’s gravy and cheese curds and maybe some other stuff.” And then his girlfriend chimed in, “It’s called poutine. I used to eat it all the time when I lived in Canada.”

When I realized I was eating poutine, it reminded me of how delightful coincidences can be. It was like one of those moments when I have a song stuck in my head, and then I hear that song a few seconds later when I walk into a store. Except this was even better and it seemed even more serendipitous. I live in Texas and poutine is definitely a rarity here. What are the chances I would actually have the opportunity to try it where I live? Slim. I’m really glad the universe gifted me the opportunity to try out this Canadian delicacy.

Now that I’ve tried poutine, I definitely want more of it. Whoever thought of putting gravy and cheese curds on top of fries must have been a culinary genius. Whenever I need a break from healthy eating in the future, I think I’ll take a trip downtown to get some hot dogs and poutine!

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