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Lou & Lucy’s Leftovers

Many years ago I went clubbing in the fun city of Montreal. I dare say it was almost 20 years ago. I could hold my own in the party department back then and danced the night away with some friends. We finally emerged from a club around
4 a.m. (Those were the days ...) After all that cavorting, we were starving. Where do you go at 4 a.m. in Montreal for a snack?

We found a fast-food type place after some wandering around. Hoping for fries — enter ugly American. We asked for french fries and after some grumblings in French and dirty looks from everyone within earshot we were handed a dish of something that didn’t resemble french fries at all, but apparently it was the Canadian version. It was poutine. When you get poutine and are expecting french fries with ketchup, and never having heard of poutine, it is something of a surprise. At the time I didn’t think a very good one.

Poutine consists of potatoes done much like a french fry alongside cheese curds— yes, cheese curds — all smothered in some kind of gravy. Not a very attractive dish. At the time it was a big turnoff. I really didn’t know what I was eating, but I ate it anyway. It was filling, at least it had that going for it.

Recently there seems to be a growing popularity for poutine in the U.S. Some restaurants locally are starting to serve poutine. I recently heard an ad on the radio for this poutine and that’s when memories of my wild night in Montreal came back to me in a flash.

I have decided to seek it out and try it again. I think I will have it at a more reasonable hour, perhaps 6 or 7 on a Friday night with a glass of wine. What kind of wine does one drink with potatoes, cheese curds and gravy anyway? And what is it about the words cheese curds? Doesn’t sound so appetizing. But what the heck, I’ll give it a try in homage to my lost youth.

— Lucy

What wine with poutine?

Why, the wine cogniscenti opt for a nice grüner veltliner. Maybe one by Willi Bründlmayer. He is one of Austria’s best winemakers. Bründlmayer’s single-vineyard grüner veltliners are legendary.

How do I know this? I don’t. I just looked for something online. I figured if you were going to talk about cheese curds and gravy I had to bring the conversation to a higher culinary level. Just the word poutine does not sound appetizing.

— Lou

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