| 1 Comment

Poutine: The Blog Entry

Print Friendly

Over a year ago (November 14, 2007), Marianne White from the CanWest News Service, published a piece entitled “The Curd Degree.” In it, she interviews Charles-Alexandre Theoret, the author of a book entitled “Maudite Poutine!” (rough English translation: Damned Poutine). The book, which seems to be only available in French, follows the emergence and growing popularity of the iconic Quebec dish of fries, cheese curds, and brown gravy. All the while, its author posits that how the dish has been viewed reflects Quebec and its relationship with the rest of Canada.

For instance, poutine was once described as “fat lumberjack food.” Today, the dish is recognized internationally and is even served in New York. There, it has been described as “a staple from Quebec, embarrassing, but adored.” Theoret further states in his interview that “as poutine stature grows…the emblematic junk food could succeed where no Canadian politicians have — bringing together the two solitudes.”

Champlain, holding poutine

Champlain, holding poutine

Perhaps to test Theoret’s theory, the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC commissioned a picture of famed French explorer Samuel de Champlain, holding a plate of poutine, to advertise its annual (2008) Canada Day party. The result: quite a few feathers were ruffled by the advertisement, some belonging to a French-language rights group that demanded the ambassador’s resignation. According to cbc, the image was intended to “play” on Quebec City’s 400th anniversary. It was also featured on a website, which is why the image can still be found on the Internet.

Au Pied de Cochon's foie-gras poutine

Au Pied de Cochon’s foie-gras poutine

The following month, from August 29 to 30, the residents of Drummandville, Quebec dedicated an entire festival to poutine. The town of 67 000 claims to originate the dish. Accordingly, restaurateur Jean-Paul Roy invented poutine in 1964 for his diner, Le Roy Jucep, which still stands today. The Canadian Press estimates that approximately 1500 servings of poutine were served during the first day of the festival, most being of the classic variety. Further, at $23, the most expensive preparation from the festival was a variation of Chef Martin Picard’s legendary foie-gras poutine, which still graces the menu at his Montreal restaurant, Au Pied de Cochon.

According to Theoret’s book, poutine originated in 1957 in Warwick, Quebec. There, restauranteur Fernand Lachance remarked to a customer on an order, “Ca va te faire un maudite poutine” (rough English translation: It’s gonna make a helluva mess). The order mixed fries and cheese curds together in the same bag. Lachance added gravy as an after thought to keep the fries warm. The customer enjoyed his “mess.” Poutine was born. Unfortunately, Lachance’s restaurant, Lutin Qui Rit, eventually closed, so there is no monument to mark poutine’s birth.

The coverage of the Drummandville festival also higlights that poutine, as a dish, has evolved several regional specificities. Restaurants in the Drummondville region add pureed tomato to their gravy for acidity and sweetness. Restaurants in Montreal use a chicken velouté. Additional variations have also appeared that go beyond adjusting the classic recipe.

  • Poutine Itallienne – Substitutes marinara sauce for the traditional gravy
  • Poutine Bourguinonne – Adds ground beef and fried onions to the traditional gravy
  • Poutine BBQ – Substitutes heated BBQ sauce for the traditional gravy
  • Poutine Mole – Substitutes a Oaxacan black mole sauce for the traditional gravy
  • Disco Fries – Substitutes shredded cheddar cheese for cheddar cheese curds

Gravy Packets

Gravy Packets

With so many variations, a website dedicated to the Montreal poutine, decidedly establishes the fundamental characteristics of poutine: “a heap of crispy French fries topped by a handful of cheddar (cheese) curds, and a chicken (sometimes veal) based sauce.” It further states that great fries do not make a great poutine. Instead, it is the combination of “curds and sauce” that make poutine a “trascendent culinary experience.” The cheese curds need to be fresh. They need to squeak when eaten. The sauce is best if it comes powdered from a pouch, labeled St. Hubert. This is because St. Hubert brand sauce packs contain thickened chicken-stock, seasoned with pepper and onions, in other words chicken velouté.

Personally, I feel that a good poutine could benefit from good fries. Take for instance the fries under the fois-gras poutine at Au Pied De Cochon (above). The fries look Belgian. That is, they seem to have been double fried to produce an extremely crisp exterior, while maintaining a tender interior.

Now that the history and political science lessons are over, it’s time to put the characteristics to test:
Exhibit A:

Styrofoam container, dripping with gravy

Styrofoam container, dripping with gravy

Food court poutine

Food court poutine

Cheese curds, check! Freshly made fries, sorta check! These fries are from frozen. I’m pretty sure that potatoes do not naturally come pre-cut or covered in frost from a plastic bag. Also, because the Franx Supreme in my building’s food court specializes in hot dogs and hamburgers, I doubt the gravy is fresh, so…Instant gravy, check! While it was a little salty for my liking, this is poutine.

Exhibit B:

$8 USD brick of fries with cheese

$8 USD brick of fries with cheese

Source: Really cool photo essay on a visit to the Los Angeles County Fair

Cheese curds, zilch! Freshly made fries, check! Instant gravy, zilch! Cheese fries, brick or otherwise, are not poutine.

Exhibit C:

Sweet Potato Fries, topped with whipped cream and cinnamon sugar

Sweet Potato Fries, topped with whipped cream and cinnamon sugar

Source: Related entry on a re-visit to the Los Angeles County Fair

Cheese curds, nope! Freshly made fries, sorta! These are not strictly potato fries. Instant gravy, notta! While this is not poutine, I think I just found an unhealthy dessert that I want to try making at home…

Filed in: restaurants

Mild-mannered IT professional by day and food blogger by night, I founded foodiePrints with a single intention, to share my love of all things food. My first post shared a recipe. Many followed. Eventually, I learned Ottawa prepares and serves great food. Thereafter, I started meeting restaurateurs, chefs, cooks, farmers, and other local producers, all good people. Ideas for food-related content swirled in my head. foodiePrints grew into a place to put them. From exploring foreign and domestic cuisines to shopping for exotic ingredients and cobbling together my takes on dishes in my meager kitchen, there are stories to tell. Welcome to foodiePrints. Here, you will find stories about food and drink, cooking, and eating in Canada’s capital. Be it food-related or just food-for-thought, I hope you find something tasty here.



i vi mt cm gic khng thng xuyn kim tra t-irt Garbstore phng khng sn xut. This drawbk will certainly put a damper on what would have otherwise been a fun day. Cheap Jerseys China.good4shopper.Cheap NFL Jerseys. Green algae enters the pool by nurous ans as well as wind and rain and begins to multiply terribly quickly, especially on heat, sunny days.Protein bars are great to have around to give you that extra boost of energy.Completely totally different kind sunglasses which can be turning heads have rhinestone decorations.Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping. For millions there is no better thod to bat the warmth and have heaps of fun and exercise than to travel for a swim.Reading was the easy part! Putting into prtice what you have learned will take a little more effort but be well worth the energy spent and even give you more energy in the long run.When you are ho based work marketing, it is important to learn from your mistakes in order to suessfully forge ahead. They’re acceptable for each girls and boys with completely fully totally different colours relying with the child’s style.


Try your luck on the two 18-hole courses on the Island of So Miguel or on a third located on Terceira, also an 18-hole course. Wholesale Jerseys Cheap.Wholesale Jerseys. As an example, the SW animal print with rounded lenses and a pair of rhinestones engraved on the temples will tickle your fancy.The fat cells are normally ford into a cluster. Gets into sothing are especially vital over a unit which is to be worn daily and exposed to rugged use. You ought to underhand toss the baseball several tis eh to the outside, inside and down the middle of the plate. He is a little bigger and probably has better ball skills than Dennard. Miguel Fonseca, Turangra General Manager, considers this challenge to serve as a form to promote the Azores and reaffirm the deep knowledge of the potential products for customers who fit ARTEH?philosophy. Since printed poly bags are ordered in large bulk, it certainly imperative that you take the time to get to know the major ones.If you’re trying for sensible baseball batting drills, there are lots out there. When batters take swings at pitches thrown at 35 feet,Wholesale NFL Jerseys China, the batter is seeing and reting to pitches that simulate higher speeds at the conventional pitching distance.

Inspired Thanksgiving Leftovers – Turkey Pasta Casserole | foodiePrints

[...] after Thanksgiving dinner? Turkey, gravy, stuffing, and Brussels sprouts (or peas?). What are the elemental components of poutine? “A heap of crispy French fries topped by a handful of cheddar (cheese) curds, and a chicken [...]

Leave A Comment


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

  • Cubrik Pendant Lamp
  • patio lighting fixtures
  • Super Archimoon Lamp
  • designer night lights
  • bathroom light sconces
  • Drop Floor Lamp by Next