Category Archives: Ideas & Info

National Poutine Day delicious poutine

Poutine, Reigning Champion of Canadian Junk Food

Do you pronounce Canada’s favourite dish “pou-tin” or “poo-teen”? Well, that depends on where you are and who you are talking to.

In the heart of poutine country in Quebec and New Brunswick, francophones vote “pou-tin” all the way. Outside of those provinces, it’s straight anglo with “pou-tine”.

Either way you slice it, poutine is the best thing to happen to potatoes since, well, cheese curds and gravy! And with National Poutine Day coming up on April 11, we ask you: 

Eat in? Or take out?


Coming out of mid-century Quebec, poutine’s true origin is not confirmed. One story from 1950’s Warwick, Quebec has a restaurant customer ask for fries, cheese, and gravy. To which the owner proclaimed, “Ça va faire une maudite poutine,” or, “That’s going to make a dreadful mess.”

Indeed. Poutine is a hot mess of the very best kind. What makes it so good?  

The Curds

Squeaky cheese curds are the benchmark for the very best traditional poutine.  You’ll only hear the squeak when the curds are very fresh, and some curd-experts insist that a curd must be eaten before it spends even one night in a fridge. However, although not as noticeable after refrigeration, the squeak will usually last a day or two before it finally dissipates. If you want the squeak, your best bet is to stop at our Cheese Shop in Courtenay (635 McPhee) around 1:30 on a Wednesday afternoon and you’ll be able to pick up a bag still warm from the vat. The taste, texture and shape also make it the perfect snacking cheese, as you can eat it straight from the bag like popcorn. We have customers who pick up two bags when they come to the shop on Wednesdays – one for making poutine, and one for the drive home.

The Gravy

Some gravies are lighter and chicken stock based, while others are dark and beefy. We prefer our gravy somewhere in the middle. For that, we look to French-Canadian and tv host, Ricardo. His recipe uses a 2/3 blend of both chicken and beef, which we think is the perfect balance. 

The Fries

We like our fries thick, hand-cut, and twice fried. The fries have to be heavily crispy to stand up to hot gravy, and will provide the best textural contrast in a meal with only three star ingredients.

From Vancouver BC, to St. John’s, NL you can find poutine in menus across the nation. When it comes to eat in vs take out, we like mastering the ingredients and preparing the best poutine at home. While there are countless recipes for it’s preparation, we like Ricardo’s recipe for Brown Gravy Sauce for Poutine.

Poutine with Ricardo’s Brown Gravy Sauce.
Image from the recipe link.

Our Pick for Healthiest Cheese Might Surprise You.

We love cheese – obviously!

It’s decadent, rich, and so tasty. Cheese is also an excellent source of vital nutrients such as calcium, protein and vitamin A. But along with the benefits of cheese, eating too much can hamper your clean eating resolution for 2019.

Not ready to dispense with our favourite indulgence, we asked ourselves: what is the healthiest cheese you can eat? Well, it turns out: that depends on your health goals.

A Little Goes a Long Way

Perhaps our favourite way to indulge is by choosing stronger flavoured cheeses, and using less of them. For full flavoured cheeses we recommend our Aged Boerenkaas, Smoked Boerenkaas, Parmadammer, King’s Peak, and Pacific Wildfire.

Perhaps our favourite way to indulge is by choosing stronger flavoured cheeses, and using less of them. For full flavoured cheeses we recommend our Aged Boerenkaas, Smoked Boerenkaas, Parmadammer, King’s Peak, and Pacific Wildfire.

Fewest Calories

Cheese is packed with nutrients, but some are higher in calories than others. If you are looking for the fewest calories balanced with the most nutrients, we recommend our Comox Brie. It’s a lighter cheese that sacrifices nothing in flavour or richness.

Low Sodium

Reducing your sodium is a great way to promote heart health and keep your blood pressure in check. For those who want to minimize their salt intake, we recommend our fresh Buffalo Mozzarella and our Buffalo Paneer. Try a light caprese salad with fresh tomatoes and basil with a crack of fresh black pepper. Delicious!

Highest Protein

If your New Year’s resolution is to gain more muscle mass, our cheese can help you reach your goals. For work-out heroes or maybe vegetarians who want to add a protein punch to their meals, our Buffalo Paneer is a great choice.

Fresh garden tomatoes and bocconcini

Digestion and Cholesterol

Cow’s milk can be difficult to digest for some, but did you know other cheeses can be perfectly fine? Our Buffalo cheeses are perfect for those who have difficulty digesting cow’s milk and are looking for other dairy options. They also happen to be lower in cholesterol – great!

During our first few weeks of the new year it’s important to make smarter, sustainable choices that we can stick to throughout the year. By choosing cheeses that fit our fitness and health goals, we can finally have our (cheese)cake and eat it too!