Sunday, January 3, 2010

You Ate What...?

Yesterday I ate something I have never eaten before. I'm probably the last Canadian who had never tried poutine, so after reading that it was highly recommended by the food editor of our local newspaper, I went to a delicatessen on Broadway that apparently makes the best poutine in Vancouver, and I had some. It was one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted. I asked for a small serving, because I wasn't sure how I would like it. The serving turned out to be enormous and when it was placed before me, I thought, "There's no way I can eat all that..." I ended up inhaling eating the whole thing. It was wonderful. Poutine originated in Quebec, and it is the ultimate comfort food. It consists of French fries that are crisp on the outside and still soft on the inside. The fries are topped with fresh cheese curd, and then the whole thing is covered with gravy mildly spiced with a hint of pepper.

For Christmas Eve dinner my son-in-law made Oysters Rockefeller. When I tried them, the only word I could use to describe them was "divine". They were definitely in the top ten of the most wonderful things I had ever eaten in my entire life. I could see everyone's face light up as they tasted them, and even Marigold loved them.

There are things I would definitely not want to try however, such as live octopus, crickets, blowfish (fugu), monkey brains, bird's spit soup, tuna eyeball, deep fried scorpion, sheep's head, jellied moose nose -- yes, people do eat that stuff. I am fairly adventuresome, but I think I will leave the more exotic dishes to the brave of heart. However, does anyone have a good recipe for Bubble and Squeak or Spotted Dick? I've never tried them.

What's on your list of unusual things to eat?

Cheers,

40 comments:

Kathryn said...

Jo, I've never tried poutine NOR oysters rockefeller. Just haven't come across them, but now I'm interested!
Weirdest thing I ever knowingly ate: Kraft Dinner with Pork and Beans mixed in. Yum! (so cultured, I am, lol).
I've eaten a lot of bison, but that's because we bought an entire side. Elk sausage? Is that weird? I've eaten that too.
Kathryn : )

PurestGreen said...

How wonderful! I miss poutine, although it is a bit like a heart attack on a plate. Glad you enjoyed it.

The Bug said...

Philip from Chronicles of a Croydon Boy mentioned Bubble & Squeak on my blog the other day. Brussels Sprouts - yuck! But I'm sure an adventurous eater like you would enjoy it.

Deb said...

Can't have the oysters, but I like them if they are hidden well. Does that count? Have never tried poutine, but why does it sound like chili fries?
As for me, I have not had anything weird in a while!

greenpanda said...

Well, I'm veggie, so I've had the most unusual things in Irish restaurants. ;)

Jan said...

Hi Jo
sounds wonderful . Bubble and squeak - here goes . You need left over's from Sunday dinner (I have been known to cook extra for Mondays Bubble and squeak) Roast potatoes , cabbage or broccolli or whatever veg you have put all in a bowl with a knob of butter , salt and pepper and mash roughly ( lumps are good , don't use a 'ricer' ) use a fork if necessary to do this . Now get your hands dirty by forming into cakes (patties)you may add a beaten egg to bind at this point, dust with flour and place in fridge till ready to fry.
For frying use dripping if possible (the fat off the sunday roast beef drained and left to solidify - also nice spread on toast) or goose fat or failing that a mix of oil and butter in a frying pan. Fr till nicely browned on one side then turn and do the other side . Serve with boiled bacon and baked beans or gammon or ham - scrummy !!!

Shaista said...

Jo, I am just catching up on blogs and emails - and I am so sorry I missed your lovely post on The Uncommon Reader - but so happy you enjoyed it enough to post about it :) You create so much interest and joy in our lives, so you deserve lovely presents! I hope you enjoy Guernsey Potato Peel Pie as much. Happy New Year!!

Land of shimp said...

Jo, it's funny, but I've eaten Poutine (funny only because I evidently tried it before you did!) and it is wonderful. So filling, and warming. You can really imagine doing a hard day's work, or feeling safe as houses on a frigid day after eating that. I think it's the words "cheese curd" that put people off, but it adds texture.

Like you, I'm an semi-adventurous eater. I used to think I was adventurous, but then several programs (Including No Reservations) proved that I exist in the mid-range spectrum of food risk takers.

I've eaten goat, and camel, and strangely enough Ostrich (don't do that last, very, very dry stuff). Unlike most U.S. citizens, I've actually tried things like kidneys (okay, so I've made some mistakes, clearly).

But I can't overcome my squeamishness enough to try true sweetbreads (brains...yeah, I haven't tried very hard to overcome that one).

Fun post, sent me back down memory lane of all the "What the heck, I'll try it." moments.

Oh! The one I wouldn't try because of how it looked? Squid ink on top of a dish. Between how it looked, and the promise of blue/black teeth for a bit afterward? No, thank you!

kenju said...

I have never hear of poutine, and the cheese curd will keep me away!

While at a convention, I once ate rattlesnake meat and alligator sausage (which is common in Louisiana), and in college, I ate chocolate-covered grasshoppers and ants. EW!

PinkPanthress said...

I heard a lot about Poutine, and somehow thought that every Canadian had eaten it at least once when they were young or so...

Before I went vegetarian, I ate a few times chicken hearts, cow tongue and liver... my Family still eats it though...

The weirdest stuff I eat these Days is not really that weird...
Seaweed/Nori, Shiitake & Mung beans... :D

HAPPY IN NEVADA said...

This reminds me of the American's version that we call Chili-Cheese Fries.

You can use any kind of cheese. You can use spiced chili; or simply a dark, delicious gravy to top the fries with.

The secret on making those fries the way they do, is to first soak the raw, cut potatoes in cold salted water for at least 4 hours.

Then you fry all of them at a low temperature setting (in oil) ab around 300 degrees. You remove - drain, and put the oil up to 375, and then put them back in to 'crisp them up'.

I like to vary my fries - call it weird, but taking the raw fries; then putting them through a raw-egg and buttermilk dip; then putting them into Panko bread crumbs mixed with just a wee amount of corn-muffin mix, then popped into the fryer makes for a delicious fry. You can enjoy them plain, or put some gravy or chili over them - toss them with thinly-sliced Spanish onions, and then dip them into sour cream mixed with a small amount of catsup.....

I love Oysters-Rockefeller; one of my favorites. Any oyster or clam - anyway you fix it, I'm always game.

Donna B said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR JO!!! I have never heard of poutine and never have tried Oysters Rockefeller...but the poutine sounds somewhat like something I tasted at Fausto's Mexican food. It has french fries, hamburger, veggies, corn, sauce, a little bit of everything, but is DELICIOUS and HABIT FORMING! So watch out. Also, Chili Cheese Fries (with ketsup) at der Weinersnitzel!!! Yum, yum, yum...

Jo? How do you sign your name JO in your blog???? That is soooo coool!!!

Kimberly said...

Oysters Rockerfeller are the best...try them raw with a little lemon, horseradish & hot sauce...just as fantastic & 25 calories a piece to boot.

In the south we have Hog's Head Cheese or Souse. I bet it is simply delish but this is one southern gal who is not gonna try it.

Canarybird said...

Jo I haven't tried poutine although I've heard of it. I'm sure I'd love it though as it sounds just like the sort of thing I could get hooked on!
Lucky I'm a long way from Canada. Although here they have churros ...equally decadent and delicious crispy hot deep fried dough sticks. I try not to go near places that sell them.

I hope you don't mind that I went to your blog signature site and had mine done there too. Cheers,
Sharon.

Owen said...

Oh jeez Jo, now you've made me hungry, just when it was time to head off for bed ! That's cruel and unusual !

Can I get a cheese steak with the poutine ? Or would that be overdoing things ???

;-)

Cloudia said...

Ever tasted school paste?
POI! LOL!


Aloha, Jo


Comfort Spiral

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

I've lived in Quebec for years and only ever took little samplings of poutine from my children's orders. I'm not so keen on the cheese curds - but french fries with gravy are always good.

Happy New Year Jo.

Country Girl said...

One of the dishes that my husband used to make for special occasions was Oysters Rockefeller. It was the best I ever had, better than having it out in any restaurant.
It takes a lot to make, what with all the shucking, and we haven't had it in awhile. Sometimes I still get it at a restaurant but it's never as good as he used to make it.

Good for you, trying new things!

Alicia said...

Lets see. I've had alligator nuggets and eaten bear jerky. We have a New Years tradition in our culture where we eat Tripe in the form of a soup called Menudo. I'm sure not many people eat Tripe, but it's actually very good if prepared correctly.

It's good to try new things, maybe we should all attempt to try new things in 2010! Happy New Year Jo!

Firefly said...

I have never heard of poutine but from your discription it sound like something I would like. Njam.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Spotted dick? Um. I'll have to Google that one.

Being a vegetarian saves me from eating a lot of exotic things like chocolate-covered grasshoppers and ants, any kind of eyeball, and even oysters, which I loathe. But your Christmas Eve dinner sounds like a beautiful family gathering, and that's what really counts.

Nancy said...

Wow - cheese curds, french fries and gravy? Wow!

I'm not very adventurous - and I'm allergic to oysters. The only thing in the world! But we dined on crab, fresh from the Oregon coast, for the whole two weeks we were in Portland for the holidays. It was heaven! The crab catch is really good this year. A nice pinot grigio, some friends, and several crabs - it doesn't get better than that! Except french fries, cheese curds and gravy maybe...

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

You should try the uniquely English dishes of "Toad in a Hole", "welsh Rarebit" or how about "pigs in blankets"?

Carl said...

I'll try anything once.... Well maybe not... but the poutine I think I'll take a stab at.

C

Russell said...

Let's see. Out here in Iowa an exotic dish is New York strip as opposed to Iowa Chops or All Iowa Beef! Heh!

Spotted dick? Hmmm..... no, I won't say it. But you know what I am thinking!! Heh!!!

Okay. I will go to my corner now and sit in my chair for 10 minutes....! (Can you step away from the mirror so I can see the cartoons on the TV?)

Katy said...

They used to serve "Figgero Fries" at Disney World... French fries with cheese, ranch dressing, lettce, tomattos, onions and bacon on top. Heart attack waiting to happen, but a nice treat once a year.

They have sadly discontinued it though.

A.M. said...

ummmmmmmm the best is when you drive to A&W at midnight and just divulge. Obviously, I don't do this all the time, but I love poutine. Next time you crave it...let's go to A&W for lunch, they make it so cheesy and saucy!

Have a great day Johanna!

Charles Gramlich said...

Gravy and fries. I'm IN!!!!

pilgrimchick said...

Wow. I had never heard of poutine before. Sounds like you had a great time in the world of new and interesting foods.

Mary Ellen said...

Fries with gravy...that sounds so odd! I think I would pass, mostly because I don't eat fried food. But I would try Oysters Rockefeller, I love seafood and even started eating sushi in the last six months, something I swore I would never do.

I'm Italian and should be willing to eat Octopus, but that will never happen. Ever.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I love cheese curds! Have never tried poutine, but I certainly would. I was raised on a tobacco farm in the deep south. My grandparents raised most all the food they ate..... and wasted nothing. I am sure that I have eaten things that I don't even want to know about. Eggs and pig brains is something I would never eat now, but no doubt did as a small, innocent child. Chitterlings are still sold in the south. These are the intestines of the swine and why anyone would want to eat them is still a mystery. The strangest thing I have seen here in Missouri is a billboard for the testicle festival. This event is held after a massive castration of farm animals and I am told that the by-product is prepared and offered as a delicacy. I won't be in attendance!

Mia said...

Disgusting is relative. Americans eat hot dogs. Scots eat haggis. I eat ice cream.

Wolynski said...

Poutine? Hmm... Looks yummy.

The trick to exotic foods is that you're better off not knowing what you just ate. Once you've decided it's disgusting you'll never enjoy it.

I was always against tripe soup -ugh, the very thought - but once I tasted it...

Elayne Boosler won't eat tongue, because she doesn't want to taste anything that can taste her back.

Kitty Moore said...

I want some poutine - there must be somewhere in London where they serve it!

Kitty x

Jo said...

Thank you, everyone, for your fun comments. I will be over to visit all your wonderful blogs...!

Cheers,
Jo

Paula Slade said...

Poutine - I had never heard of it until my daughter mentioned it to me the other day and she too said it was divine! I must absolutely try it now! My mother-in-law used to make (what she called "Squeak and Bubble") - is this a tomato/macaroni/meat dish? If so, I'll check with my husband, as he would remember exactly what her recipe included - and it was good!!

TheUndertaker said...

Mate, and you ATE that??? Each to their own, I suppose : )
Take care, you adventurous soul... Rather you than me!

Sam Sklover said...

From New York, I rarely get the chance to venture into Canada (Montreal always) and I always make it a point to get some Poutine from Orange Julep or Ducarey HotDog. Delish.

Alice Thomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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