Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/07/08/parmo_poutine/

Parmo v poutine: The ultimate post-pub nosh deathmatch

Middlesbrough battles Canada for supersaturated supremacy

By Lester Haines

Posted in SPB, 8th July 2011 11:57 GMT

It's Friday, and since we have no doubt you lot will be rolling out of your local hostelry later having partaken of a few liveners, you might want to consider just what mouthwatering treat will best cap off your night on the town.

Well, we at the El Reg Special Projects Bureau have a couple of suggestions from the wonderful world of post-pub cuisine.

As promised, our highly-trained operatives took time off from audacious spaceplane projects to tackle the parmo – a Middlesbrough delicacy whose fame has already spread as far as Sunderland, but is now set to burst onto the international stage.

However, in the interests of science, we decided to pitch the parmo against another dish whose name is uttered in hushed tones: Canadian poutine.

Yes, we hear you ask, qu'est-ce que c'est this poutine of which you parlez? Since you ask, it's an unholy alliance of chips, gravy and cheese curds, which will now do battle with the parmo's deep-fried pork fillet for the ultimate post-pub nosh deathmatch crown.

So, let's get straight down to the kitchen, where my son Rui agreed to tackle the parmo/poutine challenge, as long as he didn't have to wear a dress.

First up on the poutine front is the small matter of knocking up some cheese curds. It's a simple matter involving milk, lemon juice, a pinch of salt and some cheesecloth, but you'll have to do it the night before. Here's Rui getting stuck in:

Rui making cheese curds

The next day, we decamped to the more ample kitchen of local bar owners Tito and Yolanda to tackle the poutine proper, and were joined by my daughter Katarina after she heard the word "chips" and developed a sudden interest in the project.

Since you'll probably be tackling this recipe when you're a bit the worse for wear, we've provided this handy cut-out-and-keep pictorial recipe guide, with easy-to-read captions. We suggest you print it out and laminate it, then nail it to the wall above the cooker:

Photo guide to preparing poutine

Et voilà! Your poutine is ready to serve...

Rui and Katarina serve the poutine

Right, that's the Canadian contestant, now let's see how the English challenger measures up.

For the parmo you'll need pork fillet, eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese and the ability to conjure up a béchamel sauce. Here's our visual guide to how to make a parmo:

Our guide to preparing parmo

Now just stick the parmo under the grill for five minutes or so and serve – with chips, naturally:

The finished parmo and chips

So, what's the verdict? Well, I'd like to be able to report that the Spanish locals were willing to give these two tempting dishes a go and report back, but no sooner did we emerge from the kitchen bearing platters of goodness, than the bar immediately emptied.

Among the excuses offered for not being able to stick around to try our hearty fare was one bloke who'd forgotten it was his mother's funeral in 10 minutes, and another chap who after 40 years as a committed atheist, decided it was an opportune moment to go to Mass and be reclasped to the bosom of the Church.

It was left to we plucky Brits, then, to risk all for the advancement of culinary science. My kids rated the poutine as "nothing special", but were rather more taken with the parmo:

Rui and Katarina tuck into a parmo

In fact, as Rui pointed out, there's no reason whatsoever you can't serve the poutine as a side dish to the parmo, and which case you get the best of both worlds, even if your heart probably won't thank you for it. ®