The Chimney Corner Lounge at Sunshine Ski Resort serves poutine, a pile of French fries topped with cheese curds and hot gravy. (Their version includes short ribs, just to make sure it sticks to YOUR ribs.) Pam LeBlanc photo

Texans eat breakfast tacos and nachos, Canadians prefer poutine.

But if you’re going to partake of the famous food, gird your loins. The dish, a favorite here in the land of sub-zero temperatures, snow-laden trees and incredibly beautiful mountain scenery, features French fries, cheese curd (read on) and hot gravy.

I ordered up dish of poutine last night with my burger at a great little hole-in-the-wall joint called Eddie’s Burger Bar in downtown Banff. I could have made a meal out of just the poutine.

But, honestly, I’m still trying to figure out the “why” of poutine.

Why take a perfectly good pile of fries, toss them with a handful of lumpy, tiny-dumpling-shaped globs of cheese (that’s the curd part), then suffocate them in dark brown gravy? It turns into a soggy mess.

I forgot to take a picture of last night’s poutine, but when I stopped for lunch at Chimney Corners Lounge on the mountain at Sunshine Ski Resort today, the guys at the table next to mine had ordered up a gourmet version of poutine topped with short ribs. (I ordered an amazing Sunshine Salad, loaded with broccolini, portobello mushrooms, carrots, arugula and pickled onion.

They were filming the food with their professional video cameras, so I horned my way over and asked if I could take a shot myself. They filmed me, narrating that “the poutine has attracted visitors.”

I’ll stick to the breakfast tacos, thanks very much.

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