Poutine: Ultimate Comfort Food, Ultimate Customization
Poutine, pronounced “poo-tin” is a French-Canadian dish that is made out of French fries, cheese curds and gravy. This classic dish has been enjoyed by the masses across the world and is known as a comfort food, generally because it isn’t all that healthy for you. But what makes poutine an amazing dish, is that it can be customized extensively. The classic is French fries, gravy and fresh cheese curds but you can add in pretty much anything like: tomatoes, bell peppers, ground beef, chicken, nachos, onions, sausage, sour cream, olives, bacon, mushrooms, and the list goes on. You can even swap out the cheese curds for grated feta, Swiss, cheddar or mozzarella. You could even swap out the gravy for tomato sauce, vegan sauce or any other sauce.
The Mysterious History of “Poo-tin”
No one really knows where poutine was invented other then that it is generally agreed that it originated from Quebec. There are several different stories that have gone around though including:
1. Poutine originating from Le Lutin qui rit restaurant in Warwick found in the Athabasca region. The story goes that the owner, Fernand Lachance had a regular client named Eddy Lainesse who asked him to mix cheese curds in with the fries. This is the most well known and widespread story about the origins of poutine.
2. Another story has a Drummondville restaurant called Le Roy Jucep registering them as the trademark stating that they had invented the dish. The owner of the restaurant, Jean-Paul Roy is said to have been the first to serve it in 1964.
3. The region of Nicolet in Centre-du-Quebec or from Saint-Hyacinthe in Monteregie is a likely place for the origins of poutine as there were a high number of cheese dairies who produced the cheese curds in the two regions.
4. The La P’tite Vache restaurant, founded in 1966, served cheese curds produced from the Princesse cheese dairy. Story goes that customers would order fries from the restaurant and then buy the cheese curds to mix with the fries.
Overall, no one knows which story is the right one or the true one. However, no matter which one it is, everyone certainly loves the dish.
Where to Get Poutine?
You can buy poutine from pretty much any fast food restaurant or in any region that has a high population of French-speaking people. For instance, in Ontario you can find a lot of poutine in Ottawa and Quebec. You can buy poutine in New Brunswick, Alberta, British Columbia, and the Yukon. In some cases, there are even dedicated restaurants that only serve poutine. In these types of restaurants, you will find a large variation of kinds, including one in Peterborough, Ontario that has over 100 different kinds of poutine.
You can also find it in the United States mainly in restaurants located in New York and New Jersey. However, these are called Disco Fries rather than poutine and it is their own mix of fries, gravy and cheese. You can also find it in Latin America in Mexico (Zipolite Island), Panama (Royal Decameron Hotel), Cuba (Melia Las Dunas) and Costa Rica (O Rancho Soluna).
You may also find it in Europe in France (Paris), at The Great Canadian (a Canadian pub), as well as at Place du Palais Princier in Monaco. If you head to The Maple Leaf pub in London or the Frittiersalon restaurant in Berlin, you will also find it there. Finally, you can get it in China, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea.
10 Best Poutine Recipes
1. Authentic Grilled Poutine Recipe By TheWolfePit
2. Poutine Pizza By Epic Meal Time
3. Poutine with Whisky & Maple Gravy By DJ BBQ
4. Middle Eastern Poutine for Canada Day by Food Busker
5. Poutine Gone Wild by Frankenfood
6. Lobster Poutine by Sam Carlson
7. Japanese Poutine by BusanKevin
Are you from Quebec? Maybe you visited there? Please feel free to comment and add your own thoughts on Quebecois ethnic food.