i may as well say right out that i am not a huge fan of poutine. i respect and appreciate it, as a culinary phenomenon, especially in its living of the principle of Go Big Or Go Home, but perhaps as my once-ardent love for french fries has receded over the years, it has happened that i never found a place for it in my life, or on my plate. nonetheless, a permutation of the poutine that i can really get behind is the poutine Galvaude, which is effectively the hot turkey sandwich of poutines, adding peas and shredded turkey or chicken to the already daunting mix. i was in an argument recently over whether or not this was merely disgusting (it has always struck me as the least offensive of variations. so much less so than the “Italian” poutine, for example, which somehow manages to be so grossly unlike chili fries as to boggle the mind/belly), when it occurred to us that neither of us had any idea to what “Galvaude” actually referred. i presumed it to be someone’s name, or perhaps an obscure sub-region of France or Québec, but lo and behold, it turns out to be so much more interesting (if slightly detrimental to my argument):
galvauder (v) “Compromettre par un mauvais usage, en prodigeant mal à propos”
the rough English translation is something like to sully, tarnish, waste, or squander, but what it’s really about is ruining something by doing wrong by it, and i (as always) appreciate the deftness of the dictionary definition, to compromise by a wrong or inappropriate usage. there may be some further context for this that could be provided for me by a local, but as it stands it seems like galvaude is just a funny reference to abusing a poutine by subjecting it to turkey (or chicken) and peas; somewhat ironic as poutine already supposedly derives its name from being itself a fucked-up mess.
then just a few days ago we randomly stumbled upon this entry for poutine in the Larousse Gastronomique:
A dish from the south of France, consisting of a mixture of tiny young fish, particularly sardines and anchovies which are fried like whitebait. The name comes from the dialect of Nice, from the word poutina (porridge). Poutine can also be made with poached fish sprinkled with lemon and oil, and can be used to garnish a soup or fill an omelette.
which, btw, sounds delicious, and i wish was as easy to find in dirty neighbourhood diners as is its QC counterpart (although if prepared with only as much care as the average poutine, perhaps it’s better off this way). this is yet another instance when i wish i had an older edition of the Larousse, for i am as interested in it as a historical document and source of anachronistic culinary miscellany as a contemporary resource. so if anyone happens to have an early edition of the LG, i would happily take it off your hands for you know, like, 20 dollars.
yeah, such is my devotion to my craft. TWENTY DOLLARS. commence champing at your bits, you poor starving gourmands, you.