For those of you unaware, my visit to Montreal hasn't been all baked beans and poutine. In actuality, I have been subjected to the horrorshow known as an academic conference, otherwise known as Big Egos (and Small Social Skills) on Parade.
Every year I convince myself that it will be different--that it'll be a bunch of smart people sharing exciting ideas and intellectual inspiration with one another--but instead it's usually just a bunch of puffed egos wearing even puffier (usually khaki) pants puff, puff, puffing themselves into a frenzy of self-importance.
This year has been no different, unfortunately...but at least I have had this:
and most importantly, THIS:
to distract me.
That's right--the poutine has been eaten, and it was friggin' monumental. How to describe? Well, the fries are Belgian-style: fried to deep golden-brown perfection, but with a light and fluffy inner layer. The cheese curd was surprisingly firm and flavorful, and the gravy was sort of mild and mushroom-y tasting...but that might have been my vegetarian wishfulness hoping that I wasn't compromising my important values, but being too lazy to investigate whether said values were being compromised by asking what was in the gravy. Interestingly, the whole concoction never melded into a amorphous blob, as I expected. Instead the individual components remained surprisingly individual, even after my dining companion (a brave soul scooped up and carted away from the academic conference) and I had attacked it with frightening gusto.
Now that the Quest for Poutine has ended (and oh! what a glorious end!) I will have to find some other Canadian amusements to shield me from the evils of academia. Perhaps investigating the origins and veracity of this sentiment: