Culinary Mystieries of Quebec: Galvaude au fromage

High time for another English post.

My mother sent me some money last week to help pay some bills, since my paycheck seems to be late. I think sending out our paychecks from New Brunswick via Toronto (!) is putting entirely too much faith in Canada Post, but then that’s just me. I digress.

My mother sent me some money and told me, when I was finished paying the bills, to go get an actual meal. I was going to wait, but the line to pick up the transfer was so long, and there was an Ashton right next door…so I went into the Ashton. I was thus initiated into the mystery of the galvaude au fromage.

Just what is a galvaude au fromage? It was clearly invented one night in Quebec when someone had two separate plates of leftovers– one plate of french fries and one plate of Grandma’s hot chicken– and neither one was enough for a meal, so our intrepid inventor just slapped the two together.

It consists of french fries, slathered with a ton of chicken gravy (for my European friends– brown sauce made by combining the juice and the fat of a roast chicken with flour and water, or combining water with a weird sandpaper-coloured powder), with a healthy handful of bits of hot, soft, cooked white-meat chicken on top. Add the contents of a can of peas– not fresh peas, no way, canned peas only, they have to be mushy. Then add a handful of “fromage en grains”– those pebble-sized cold white balls of fresh cheese that squeak when you bite into them, that Quebecers eat the same way people from other cultures eat nuts, or raw grapes. Add a tiny bit more gravy for good measure. Then add a ton of salt, a ton of pepper, a few good squirts of vinegar and perhaps some ketchup. If you haven’t already, slap the whole mess into an aluminum takeout container. There you have it. A balanced diet or death on a plate? All of the food groups are present, after all, especially if you add the ketchup.

My overall impression? It was mush that squeaked, but tasty and comforting mush that squeaked.

Up to you to decide what the mystery is: “Why the hell would anyone put all this together?” or “Why didn’t anyone think of this before?” 🙂



About msmarguerite

Young Quebec City-based freelance journalist. once and future nomad. I blog about life, about travel, about things I notice and every so often about work. I enjoy language learning, singing, swing dancing, skating and...other stuff, sometimes. My heart is somewhere in East Africa, Haiti or Eastern Europe. English, français, русский, malo slovensko, un poco de espanol, um pouco de português ndiga ikirundi, mwen ap aprann kreyòl...
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