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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Friday, November 05, 2010

Ugly Fries

Poutine is a truly Canadian dish, uniquely French-Canadian cuisine.  There are three key ingredients to good poutine.  They are white cheese curds, real gravy not packaged* or from a tin and fresh-cut fries.  When I first wrote about poutine I mentioned that some call this wonderful side dish ugly fries.  In reality ugly fries while they resemble poutine are quite a bit different.

ugly fries
The only thing poutine and ugly fries have in common is the basic concept of topping French fried potatoes with cheese and gravy.  In a flavour comparison poutine wins hands down.  The reason is three fold.  Fresh-cut fries form the base and if you've ever had fry truck fries you will know how much better they taste than the anemic, thin fast food fries.  The potatoes must be fried in pure lard for an authentic taste.  French-Canadian gravy is very dark and thick with the consistency of molasses.  True poutine uses fresh white, cheddar cheese curds.

In comparison, ugly fries (pictured) are closer to American Gravy Cheese Fries.  The fries are cooked from frozen.  The gravy quite often comes from a tin can or a powdered mix.  The cheese is usually shredded mozzarella rather than cheddar but in this case the cheese was a mixture of shredded mozzarella and cheddar.  While the taste is not authentic poutine, ugly fries are quite popular.

*Some in Quebec use a packaged vegan gravy by Warwick.  It is one of the best poutine gravy mixes available.

5 food lovers commented:

Self Sagacity said...

the name is funny but the fries aren't. I would love to try.

Agnes said...

I love fries but have never tried ugly fries before, guess could only find it in Canada.

Garden Gnome said...

They are quite good :)

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Agnes, you can make them at home quite easily.

JeanC said...

I make these on occasion when the hubby is feeling in need of comfort food. Of course we can't find decent cheese curds here in Idaho that don't cost a small fortune :( so we make do with shredded cheese.