Saturday, February 8, 2014

In Defence of the Basics

Not sure how many of you are in the local poutine loop, but for those of you who may not know, here in Montreal the days between February 2nd and 9th are dedicated to sampling and rating of glorious poutine (quelle bonne idée!). 

In local parlance, we've taken to calling this 7-day clogged artery crawl, La semaine de la poutine


Which, don't get me wrong, is all good. A whole calendar week dedicated to the tasting and talking of poutine? What could be a more perfect winter sport? Especially when Poutine Week corresponds - oh so poetically - with the opening week of the Olympic Games. 


It's just that the thing that's missing in our far more inclusive version of Poutine Week is, well - poutine. 

The raw material of that beloved national dish of comfort - fried potatoes, fresh curds and gravy - are the only merits on which any poutine can truly be judged. In my humble-pied opinion. 

So, heaping a bunch of other weird stuff on top, or (worse) tinkering with the very definition of what those three basic ingredients should be, pretty much violates the whole natural order of poutine - and by extension, the world. 

Alas, most of the competitors featured along the Boulevard of Broken New Year's Resolutions that is La semaine de la poutine here in Montreal are all pimped out to the point of being rendered completely unrecognizable. 

Here's just one example of a per"version" that's on the list for this week: A "poutine" featuring gnocchi, seal meat merquez sausage, Brussel sprouts, and cheese (oh, cheese! remember cheese?), all covered in a "robust sauce". Which is good, because something with a certain amount of robustness has got to spread itself out and pull all those disparate interlopers together ...! 

God forbid our children get exposed to this kind of french fried freak of nature.

I love a good, HEALTHY COMPETITION as much as the next person. But as a fries, curd and gravy purist - and a personal rights and freedoms loving humanist - I must state here for the record that the wrong version of Poutine Week is promoting and celebrating the idea of unconditional inclusiveness. 

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