So, further to my last fascinating post about potatoes, today's informative item is all about Canada's potato-based contribution to the health food scene --
YES / OUI, POUTINE!
In Quebec where this dish originated, poutine is pronounced "pooTIN" and in English Canada where it has now spread, poutine is pronounced "pooTEEN."
Poutine consists of beautiful greasy French fries smothered in beef gravy and cheese curds.
That's right -- cheese curds, as in Little Miss Muffet's "curds and whey." Cheese curds are rubbery and kind of squeaky when you eat them. They are crucial to the dish because cheese curds do not melt very much from the heat of the fries and gravy and so retain their shape and chewiness. Sometimes bad restaurants or evil people will try to pass off fake poutine with grated or cubed cheese (typically mozzarella) but accept no substitutes! Ugh, that messy melted cheese -- not legit!
And of course, I was just kidding about the health food aspect of poutine. If you ever visit Canada, don't let us BS you that way, eh?
Poutine, of course, is horrifyingly but deliciously high in fat and calories --
But on the upside, poutine is still healthier than certain other bad habits you could acquire.
It's pretty easy to find poutine being sold now in every province of Canada.
Even McDonald's serves poutine up here.
Canadians love poutine so much, we've decided to change the words of "O Canada" to celebrate what has become our National Dish --
Over the past month, three quirky Canadian news stories about potatoes caught my eye (get it? get it?sorry). Links in the text are to the original news item.
Yes, it's been slow around here lately and I am reduced to this.
1. The Spud of Honour
[photo courtesy of
PEI Potato Board/Facebook]
"Tate the Tater," industry mascot for the Prince Edward Island Potato Board, was invited in August to attend a local PEI wedding. The groom, not surprisingly, works on a potato farm and the wedding took place on another potato farm. Who wouldn't want a real "bud the spud from the bright red mud" at their wedding? (to quote Stompin' Tom for the first and last time in my life).
2. The Little Potato
The Associated Press]
One of the more interesting facts to emerge from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's recent trade trip to China is that he is known in that country as "the little potato." It's a play on words because the Chinese word for "potato" apparently sounds just like "Trudeau" but without the "r" in it. I wonder if this means they called his old man "the big potato?"
3. Smite the Unbelievers, O Lord!
About a month ago, the latest Holy Sign from God revealed itself in a potato that was being cut up for supper at a Quebec seniors' residence. Devout residents are now drying out the Holy Potato so it can be preserved in a custom-made display case in the dining room. No word yet whether the seniors' residence has become a place of pilgrimage.
Some sceptics suggest that the markings may be the result of "hollow heart," an affliction found in potatoes grown in heavily irrigated soil during wet seasons. This condition causes cells to die and results in brown tissue at the centre of the spud.
A brand spanking new downtown arena for our hockey team, the Edmonton Oilers, that's what! Yes, they are one of the worst teams in the NHL. Thank you for feeling compelled to point that out. But things are gonna turn around any day now, just watch!
Rogers Place is shaped weird, you say? No no no, it's supposed to look like a big drop of oil from above.
There now, does this graphic make that clearer?
See, it's sort of just like the Oilers'logo with its drop of oil!
I live on the edge of downtown Edmonton -- oops, pardon me, downtown Edmonton has just been rebranded and is now called TheIce District instead -- about 4 blocks from the new arena. Everything within two square blocks around Rogers Place is also under construction with more office towers, apartments, hotels, restaurants, a casino, museum, luxury cinema, etc etc etc. The new arena and all the surrounding growth it's attracting are going to transform downtown Edmonton and make it vibrant again in a way that it really hasn't been for the past 50 years.
Here's a cool time-lapse video of the construction period from March 2014 to August 2016, boiled down to a little over a minute:
And here's what the Oilers' new dressing room looks like. Pretty swanky, eh?
So, boys, get your asses out on the ice and start winning some goddamn games now, okay? Return us to the glory days of Gretzky and Edmonton's five Stanley Cups! That's not too much to ask in return for all our tax dollars, is it?
Before that post, I did not realize tiger tiger (or tiger tail) ice cream is only available in Canada. But all the mystified comments from American and British readers taught me otherwise! So just to let everyone in on the secret of how it tastes -- tiger tiger is a strongly orange flavoured ice cream with a thick swirl or stripe of black licorice in it. YUM!
In an understated and restrained manner, Wikipedia simply notes that tiger tiger ice cream "is popular with children." I take this as a subtle and somewhat snide suggestion that tiger tiger's flavour might be considered (shall we say) too garish for a more sophisticated adult palate. Well, FEH to that assessment. All who are young at heart enjoy tiger tiger ice cream!
Here in Edmonton, there's a delightful young woman named Alexis Hillyard who hosts her own very funny YouTube cooking show in her apartment's teeny-tiny galley kitchen. She specializes in making vegan and gluten-free fare. But what I like most about her is the fact that she is not slowed down one bit by having only one hand. She's got a great attitude, a wonderful sense of humour and is just loaded with personality!
Here's an intro video if you want to see more!
And this next video is my all-time favourite episode where Alexis and another stump buddy named Molly make sushi rolls! It's a little longer to watch but well worth the time to do so!