Last week I took a trip through Quebec’s poutine heartland, the Bois Francs region. This is where poutine was invented back in the 1950s. Unfortunately, it is also one of the uglier regions of Quebec. Think flat farmland, strip malls, 1960s bungalows, and asbestos mining. But it also has lots of fromageries. Not the kind that make artisanal award-winning raw milk cheese that stink up your house – you’ll have to go to more scenic regions of Quebec for that. I’m talking about industrial dairy factories that produce squeaky poutine cheese and soft-serve ice cream for the local population. But don’t let that turn you off. This squeaky cheese is outstanding. It pales in comparison to anything you’ll find in Montreal or even Quebec City, chunks the size of Texas that squeal in your mouth with every bite.
Fromagerie Victoria, in Victoriaville, was recommended to me by a local. It’s an institution around these parts. The parking lot was packed with people when we got there in the evening, mostly young families off for a Sunday-night sundae. Unfortunately, the restaurant was closed but we soon discovered that we could still get a poutine at the drive-thru. What a blessing!