Archive for March 10th, 2010

Canadian Cuisine

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

I am the first person to admit that I never really thought much about traditional Canadian cusine.  It’s not that I didn’t think it was any good, I just never stopped to think about what foods they might eat in Canada.  I just assumed they put mayo on their fries and pretty much called it a day.

Luckily for me, I have a friend who is not only Canadian, but she also revels in “setting me straight.”  Horrified by my lack of interest in the food enjoyed by our neighbors to the North, we took a trip up to Manchester to a little place called Chez Vachon.

Chez Vachon

See that?  Little, right?

Famous for their Poutine (more on that later) we managed to get there before their closing closing time of 2pm and had some lunch.

Pork Pie

I had their pork pie, which was pretty much your basic meat pie with a few things of note.  Firstly, the slice was drenched in thick gravy.  Secondly the meat itself was seasoned with what seemed like allspice and cinnamon.  This turned out to be a nice contrast to the gravy.  And thirdly, the meat itself was so soft that you barely had to chew it.  My guess that is that pork is blended with mashed potatoes or something because it was almost like a pate in texture.

Poutine

Poutine (which sounds more like putsin when you say it) is a very popular Canadian comfort food. So popular in fact, that in addition to an Ice Cream Truck, my friend claims that a french fry truck used to drive down the roads of her youth selling its delightful gravy-covered spudsy wares. Poutine itself consists of three things: french fries, gravy, and fresh cheese curds. While it isn’t uncommon for people to add additional ingredients, it’s not poutine without the cheese curds. The cheese curds must be fresh and almost squeaky as you chew them. To me, they tasted like a mild cheddar which in addition to gravy, pretty much goes well with almost anything. I will say this though, we barely made a dent in that plate. However, next time I find myself drinking in Canada, this is going to be the only thing I am going to want.

Maple Butter Crepe

We finished up the meal by sharing this crepe which came swimming in maple butter. Before you ask what maple butter is, allow me to spare you the smack on the head from my crazy Canadian friend. There is no butter in maple butter. Like apple butter and other such things, it is only butter in that it is smooth and spreadable like butter. Maple butter is made by heating and cooling maple syrup while stirring it. After some time it becomes lighter in color and takes on a consistency closer to frosting. I was worried that this crepe would just taste like it was doused in syrup, but the taste was much lighter than that. Since I’m not normally all that into sweets, I must admit that this was a pleasant surprise.

Overall, it was worth the hour trip from Boston for a really reasonably priced meal. It’s certainly not something I can eat very often, but if you are looking for comfort food, this kind of thing really hits the spot. Now, I just wonder what their salmon pie is like…