Quebec

Quebec is the largest province in Canada and the only one with French as its official language. It takes its name from an Algonquin word meaning "narrows" where the St. Lawrence River cuts deeply through rock cliffs.

Quebec has strong nationalistic feelings about its identity within Canada and has almost seceded twice (in fact, Quebec has held two referendums in order to seperate but it was not THAT successful.. though in 1996 it was really close...). It recently (as of 2006) acquired symbolic status as a Quebecois nation within Canada.

Quebec was founded in 1763 when France signed Canada over to Britain; the ceremonial head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, and the country's government functions as a parliamentary democracy.

That being said, we are free to talk about poutine.

Poutine is an amazing gastronomic assault weapon invented by a truck driver in 1957. If the Abominable Snowman could be a food, it would be poutine. Poutine is the heavy artillery of the food domain.

Like the foundation to the house, the hull to the ship, like a Red Cross blood drive to Count Dracula, is poutine to Canadians.

Now let me stop here to tell you: this is not the only amazing food combination that a truck driver has come up with. In Pittsburgh there's a place called Primanti's that serves sandwiches with both french fries AND coleslaw piled on top. They're too big to pick up even with both hands. Legend has it that a trucker with no time to spare ordered a plate of food, mashed it all between two pieces of bread and took it on the road.

Well, poutine has a similarly glorious beginning except it's about sixteen million times better (and that's saying a lot).

A hungry truck driver came into Fernand LaChance's restaurant one day and ordered LaChance's special potatos and cheese curds combination. Then he asked for a side order of gravy and POURED IT RIGHT INTO THE BAG ON TOP OF THE FRIES!!!

The earth shook, stars fell from the sky and a few deep sea creatures stirred in the muck as he plunked down at a table, ripped the bag apart and ate the whole thing.

Thus poutine was born and it is here to stay, probably in your arteries somewhere next to the bacon. Empires may crumble and fall, mountains may wear down to dust, glaciers may creep across the face of the deserts but a Canadian's love for poutine will echo onward through the madness of space, for all time.

The End.

Text by Steve Smith.

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Musée d'art contemporain
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Place des Arts
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Redpath Museum Lobby
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Padure
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