Photo cred - hatcweed
Montrealers know that our city is the world capital of poutine. Poutine Week exemplified our undeniable mastery of the dish, but anyone who’s ever stumbled down St. Laurent knows that a good poutine isn’t hard to find.
As many good poutines as there are around town, something’s holding us back from recognizing our full potential as a poutine-producing culture: the gravy.
I started to come to terms with this when I ate at the (since closed) Montreal location of Smoke’s. Before you jump on me for being a traitor to my city, hear me out.
Despite not having the finest cheese curds or fries, Smoke’s boasted a markedly tastier gravy than any I’d previously experienced on a poutine in the city. It had a savoury and flavourful quality to it that put it in a category unto its own.
Eager to learn more about what made the Smoke’s gravy so magically delicious, I did a bit of research. My intensive digging led me to the answer: Smoke’s (and many other Ontario poutineries) used beef gravy, whereas the Quebecois gravies tended to be made from chicken.
Here’s what I’m proposing: let’s help Montreal’s poutine recognize its full potential, and start using beef gravy in more restaurants. Sure, chicken gravy offers its own pleasures, but I see no reason why it should be the city’s standard, particularly when beef gravy makes for such a tasty alternative. Why deny Montrealers of the added flavour that beef gravy promises?
As of now, we’re missing a big opportunity. Montreal is already the undeniable king of fries, curds, and toppings, so let’s allow the city to dominate in the one poutine category in which it’s slacking. Start serving beef gravy, Montreal restaurants. Y’all won’t regret it.