The Hidden Costs of Poutine

As many of you are aware I hatched a hairball scheme some months ago to bring hot steaming poutine to the playa (Burning Man) as a kind of Quebecois/Canadian pride and cultural envoy. It seems simple enough. Make French fries, add cheese curds, add gravy. How hard could it be? Well, everything is harder in the desert.

My initial choices for deep fryers failed to pan out. Both of the happy camping/outdoor fryers that I tried to get my hands on have been out of stock and on backorder all summer long. While a purpose built fryer would be ideal in terms of safety, convenience and efficiency there are other options. Today I bought a camping stove that hopefully has enough gusto to make a few batches of fries and keep a pot of gravy warm on the side.

The day previous I spotted a solution to the secondary problem, namely the problem of serving and preparation. I needed a table of some sort. To the rescue came a collapsing camp kitchen unit which the stove should fit into rather nicely.

Now the problem is all the stuff you don’t really think about until you’ve reached this point in a scheme. The big ticket items are bought, now its all about the details. Ladles, pots, trays, lids… I went to a restraunt wholesaler to buy those things today, but when the total price tag came up to $200 I took pause. $70 for a folding kitchen unit I could swallow, same for the $90 stove, I’ll get lots of use out of those and they’re well designed gizmos, but $200 for pots and pans?! Most of which I’ll only use in poutine preparation.


I’m going to hit up the second hand and dollar stores to see if I can do better. I may still end up buying some industrial grade stuff at the supply store, but not $200 worth. That’s insane.

So poutine continues to become more and more complex and more and more expensive. Alas. I’ll eventually recoup the expenses through fundraisers – I hope.


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