21st stop: Canada

GN130911POJO_640x360_47687747961The conflicts in Lebanon lead people to immigrate, particularly Canada which also became the new home of some of my relatives and best friends.  This got my interest diverted to Canada mostly when I was a teenager. I day-dreamed of Canada becoming my future home, I had the application ready with some missing supportive evidence that I spent some times collecting… What happened? Did I walk through the wrong gates? No, it was just my fate that took me to the opposite direction towards Australia.

1966716_10152284353731397_1374765669_nI always cared so much for the people I love, particularly the ones I don’t see more often. The long distance always left a hole that I continue to fill with great memories, loads of imagination and high anticipation to meet again. I can’t complain! I was incredibly blessed with wonderful people such as my cousin Jimmy, and my two best friends Sabine and Sana, all residing in Montreal. I wanted to be familiar with their daily life; and from their bad weather to their hockey games, I came across their Canadian fast food: Poutine; Canada’s most ’embarrassing but adored’ rubbish food made of chips, topped with gravy and cheese curds.

From “The French Call It Poutine” South park Season 15

Originated in rural Quebec in the late 1950s, when Fernand Lachance was asked to put a handful of cheese curds on top of hot chips. Lachance hesitantly combined hot French fries and cheese curds and proclaimed “ça va faire une maudite poutine!” translated to “it will make a damn mess!” The sauce was allegedly added later, to keep the chips warm longer. The dish was welcomed first by the locals for its warming nature that sooths the chills of the province, then became widely available in small town restaurants and bars all over Canada (and Southpark, Colorado).

PoutineIn Australia, poutine didn’t know any fame and is available at The Lord of the fries for $5.95 for a Kids size serve. It was a “Horror well defined” experience for me and Thank God I was not born a potato!

To make a good poutine, you need to get the gravy right.

Start with frying some chips and spread into serving bowls. Sprinkle a handful of cheddar cheese on top. Can it get any worse than this? yes, if you add maple syrup..

In a sauce pan, add 20g unsalted butter to melt on medium heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons plain flour and cook for 3 mins.

Add 2 cups of beef stock and simmer, stirring for 3 mins, until thickened. Stir in 2 teaspoons of red wine, season and pour on top of chips.

Now I hope you have a private health insurance…just in case.



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