07 April 2014


The Quebec election is over. The Liberals have a majority and Pauline Marois is out. Perhaps now is the time for Quebec to repeal its repressive language laws so that “poutine” will be listed on the menu in both its French and its English name, “gross-sloppy-mess.” Just kidding. I don’t actually really have much of an issue with Quebec’s language laws—except when they insist that the menu listing for “pasta” in an Italian restaurant be changed to “pâtes,” which is unnecessary and tedious.
The term “two solitudes” has often been invoked to describe the troubled relationship between Canada and Quebec, and although in this sense it has been used descriptively, I also yearn for the day when it will be prescriptive and poutine will be served as two (three) solitudes: fries on one plate, a little dish of gravy on the side, and if you’re particularly depraved, a small heap of cheese curds on a separate plate. As it stands, poutine is disgusting and sloppy combination of all three ingredients that has more in common with the lump of rotting and mouldy hair that I pull out of my drain every month or so than it does with food. That said, poutine is actually my favourite national (I mean “Quebec nation”) dish—I just happen to enjoy mine plain, with the gravy and cheese curds on the side (read: in the garbage).
I'm not even sure what part of the poutine disgusts me the most: the gravy or the cheese curds. On one hand, I think it would be easier for me to eat fries just topped with cheese curds than it would be to eat fries covered in gravy. But there's something about those cheese curds--and I'm not sure if it's because they're called "curds"--that makes me wince. I guess they're find if you get the good ones that melt on top, but I feel like too many of them would just sit like firm, gelatinous lump. They look like the teeth of teratomas or something. 

I might think that poutine is disgusting, but I disparage it with the utmost respect for Quebec's rich culture.

It shouldn't be a surprise that I won't eat poutine,
And my reasons for which should by now be routine:
It's sloppy and gross and a waste of good fries
And I can't stand the sogginess all of that gravy implies.
But yet--in between my gags and my heaves--
I will still find the voice to beg: "Quebec, please don't leave!"

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