La route poutine

Rather than recount our group trip to Quebec to eat poutine, I’ll simply refer you to Larry Moran’s post at Sandwalk, “Evolution and poutine.” It has pictures of the comestible and the amiable group of scientists and skeptics.

Yep, the poutine was awesome (I had a “large” size), and readers will kindly refrain from making cracks about health. I’ve had two portions of poutine in five years.

Thank you.


  1. docbill1351
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    In Chicago a railcar is sometimes referred to as a “portion.”


  2. Achrachno
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Poutine? Would anyone here make a crack about that? Inconceivable!

  3. bernardhurley
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    I’m speechless!

  4. dchezik
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    I really don’t understand why some of the postings are posted here. What is the purpose of this website?

    • bernardhurley
      Posted July 8, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      To confuse people like you?

    • raven
      Posted July 8, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      There are subliminal secret messages embedded in them.

      You are now demon possessed and should check in for an exorcism.

      • dchezik
        Posted July 9, 2012 at 4:45 am | Permalink

        Raven and Others: I just thought judging by the name of this website that I would find some stimulating intellectual discussion – maybe some arguments for evolution to use on those who don’t believe, (like why would God make humans with snake DNA in their genome?) or maybe some arguments for or against a god. Or maybe even some interesting oddities that scientists are struggling to explain. Or even theological questions like did Jesus believe in demon possession? Or why isn’t the devil smart enough to know he can’t defeat an omnipotent foe? How would Christians answer these? And why… Oh never mind!

        • gbjames
          Posted July 9, 2012 at 4:57 am | Permalink

          You do have a choice. You could hang around and read the site until you got a better understanding of the environment. Or you could go read some other site more to your taste.

          Otherwise, you are just trolling.

          • dchezik
            Posted July 9, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

            Ok, good advice. I’m outta here! I’m going back to Facebook and Twitter where, unlike this website, they talk about deep philosophical issues.

        • Marta
          Posted July 9, 2012 at 5:14 am | Permalink

          Jeepers. It’s really not good manners to complain about your host’s content; it’s the equivalent of complaining about the host’s furniture or drapes when you’ve come to their house for dinner.

        • BilBy
          Posted July 9, 2012 at 5:16 am | Permalink

          Think of it as a site which is like people sitting round a coffee table at lunch break at a university. Sometimes they talk about food and cats or music. Sometimes someone slams down a paper excitedly and says “read that!”. Sometimes they all grumble about what’s in the newspaper. The difference is, you COULD go and search back through previous posts to find the ones that interest you – unless you are just trolling of course.

          • BilBy
            Posted July 9, 2012 at 5:29 am | Permalink

            Or, in reply to myself: you could just go look at the most recent post on ‘disproving evolution’.

        • raven
          Posted July 9, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

          Those are all there and almost every day.

          You have to read the notblog entries though.

          If you are too lazy and stupid to read, that is your problem, not ours.

          You are just concern trolling and lying.

    • docbill1351
      Posted July 9, 2012 at 5:44 am | Permalink

      Perhaps you’d like a few rounds of Mornington Crescent!

      South Kensington, platform 2.

      • bernardhurley
        Posted July 9, 2012 at 6:03 am | Permalink

        Pour l’amour des chiens:

        • Theb Stolen Dormouse
          Posted July 9, 2012 at 7:05 am | Permalink

          Egad! I still have a two-LP set (The Best of the Bonzos,
          if I remember) from by college or early grad student days. Unfortunately, I don’t currently have a turntable to play them (and the rest of my LP classical and rock music collection) on.

          I’ll look sometime to see whether they have my favorite Bonzo songs on YouTube–“Release Me” and “I’m the Urban Spaceman.” I didn’t know that anyone still remembered them–other than people of a certain age from the UK, a category that I don’t fall into in terms of origin.

          • bernardhurley
            Posted July 9, 2012 at 7:35 am | Permalink

            Not forgetting “My Pink Half of the Drainpipe.”

            • Apashiol
              Posted July 9, 2012 at 7:58 am | Permalink

              “My Pink Half of the Drainpipe” is one of my favourite songs ever.

              Funnily enough I was just listening to “Canyons of your Mind.” on Youtube only today. Another fave.

      • Posted July 9, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        Hobbs End.


  5. the Siliconopolitan
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Two in five years?

    Well, I’m glad you at least got your book published. It was nice knowing you – even if just from afar.

  6. gbjames
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    If you have the hankering for more pouting, drive north a short bit. We have it here in Milwaukee. I can’t say I’ve ever had a hankering to have any, but you don’t need to leave for Canada for a plate of it.

    • gbjames
      Posted July 8, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      And sub.

  7. Posted July 8, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    HIPPO boots?
    I didn’t even know things like that existed.

  8. Heintje
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Prof. Coyne, is a more detailed post (complete with pics) about your gastronomic adventure forthcoming?

  9. Posted July 8, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, I’d be far more worried for your health if you never indulged in gastronomic excesses. i mean, what’s the point of having (as all but the poorest in the West do) wealth beyond the wildest dreams of kings of yore if you don’t get to spend some of it on a good meal every now and again?

    If anything, poutine twice a decade (assuming you like it) ain’t nearly enough.

    (Then again, I’ve never had it, myself…it’s not exactly a local specialty here in the Southwest. I did enjoy some quite nice tamales during the Grand Canyon eclipse trip, and I’m sure the anti-poutine brigade would be almost as aghast at a tamale as at poutine. All that lard, meat, and corn meal?)


    • Posted July 8, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      Tamales are good for you! And green corn tamale season will be here soon…I make them every year.
      As for the tacos de tripas that I had for lunch today at El Manantial in Tucson…probably right down there with poutine for “health food”, but yummy!

    • Posted July 8, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      We’ve figured out how to make blue corn masa tamales WITHOUT the lard. And they’re still great. We’re having a Santa Fe culinary expert (former cooking columnist) as a guest here in Colo Spgs in a couple of days. We’ll be trading recipes and working on a new one for a mescal margarita from hell.

      We need an excuse to get you out here. Photograph the ruins left by the fires? Piano-trumpet duet? Random acts of vandalism on certain area tax-exempt businesses?

  10. Posted July 8, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    I’m really bemused about all this. What exactly is this poutine? Or pouting? I’m glad it’s enjoyable & bad for you, but what *is* it?

  11. Bebop
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    I’d never thought that poutine would became an issue on an evolution blog, but keep on your mind that no matter how unhealthy it is (freedom fries + cheese + bbq sauce), you should know that in this part of north america where poutine was invented and where french is mainly spoken, it is irrelevant to talk about religion on the pubic space.

    But… even if Quebec and Vermont are nationally very distinct, isn’t it strange that they both share “lefty political” orientation?

    Like if Toqueville was right about some political currant that would go with the geography.

    • RFW
      Posted July 8, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      Poutine is not made with cheese. It is made with cheese curds, the first step in making cheese. But curds ≢ cheese.

      • JohnnieCanuck
        Posted July 8, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

        Exactly. First clue is that good curds squeak when bitten into.

        Also it’s made with gravy, not bbq sauce. Or at least that’s the only way I’ve had it served in the Outaouais region.

        • M31
          Posted July 9, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink

          I love the name “Outaouais”–a full 5 vowels in a row. Anyone know of a place with more?

  12. Posted July 8, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    Sounds pretty good, if indeed unhealthy. Some of the posters led me to believe it was as unappetizing as a haggis.

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted July 9, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      I resemble that remark!

  13. MadScientist
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    I object to Larry’s classification of poutine as “French Cuisine” – I hope he was joking.

  14. Dominic
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    I am still baffled as to what Poutine actually is. Food??!

    • Dominic
      Posted July 9, 2012 at 1:54 am | Permalink

      Ah – cheesy chips with gravy. Consider me enlightened. I had never thought of Canada as a dairy country, but now I come to think of it I have seen Canadian ‘chedder’ in UK shops..

      • bernardhurley
        Posted July 9, 2012 at 1:58 am | Permalink

        But have you seen any Cheddar Cheddar?

        • Posted July 9, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

          Yes! My wife tells me that the cheddar we buy from Sainsbury’s is cave cheddar, that is, local cheese matured in the caves at Cheddar Gorge. Near to the Neolithic human remains… iirc.


          • MadScientist
            Posted July 9, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

            The neolithic human remains add that extra bit of taste. However, if you want a smell to go along with it, I’d recommend maturing the cheese around mummies.

      • Posted July 9, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        Put that way, it could very well be a Northern English dish… in fact it probably is. It sounds perfect for rounding off a lock in.


    • bernardhurley
      Posted July 9, 2012 at 1:59 am | Permalink

      Well, I wouldn’t eat it!

    • RFW
      Posted July 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      Food, definitely. Junk food, admittedly.

      French fries (aka “chips”) with a handful of cheese curds (not cheese sensu strictu) scattered over it, the whole slathered with gravy. And not just any old gravy: it’s about what you get from making any “brown gravy” mix from powder in an envelope.

      I suspect it’s a fairly recent invention. I lived in eastern Ontario (Kingston and Ottawa) ca 40 years ago and while cheese curds were readily available, poutine and I never crossed paths.

  15. Hempenstein
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    There’s a place in Pittsburgh that serves it too. I’d rather have gravy (especially of the chicken variety) over pancakes, or cream gravy and biscuits. And, in the heat of summer, vinegar on my fries.

    Still, I think Taj Mahal did a song about it:

    Champagne don’t make me crazy
    Poutine won’t make me lazy
    Ain’t nobody’s business but my own…

    Or something like that.

  16. Kevin
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I had my first taste of “chili cheese fries” at the baseball game on Saturday. With the fake “cheese sauce” and everything.

    OMZ. I could feel my arteries creaking and my liver groaning. My gall bladder literally said “watch it, buster!”

    It was delicious, though.

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