Discover the origin of poutine, a cherished Canadian dish originating in rural Quebec in the late 1950s. Although its exact inception remains debated, restaurant owner Fernand Lachance is credited with combining fries, cheese curds, and gravy at Le Roy Jucep in Drummondville. Learn more about this iconic comfort food and try making your own version with our recipe.
Poutine, a beloved Canadian dish, traces its roots back to rural Quebec in the late 1950s. The exact origin is subject to debate, but the prevailing story suggests that a restaurant owner named Fernand Lachance first combined french fries, cheese curds, and gravy to satisfy truckers' hunger at Le Roy Jucep in Drummondville. This simple yet delectable creation soon gained popularity, spreading throughout Quebec and beyond. The dish features crispy golden French fries topped with fresh cheese curds, allowing the heat to partially melt them, and then smothered in rich, savoury gravy. The delightful blend of textures and flavours has since become an iconic Canadian comfort food, capturing the hearts and taste buds of people worldwide.
Classic Canadian poutine enjoys an unparalleled popularity across the nation, transcending culinary boundaries. Found in eateries ranging from food trucks to fine-dining restaurants, this iconic dish holds a special place in Canadian culture. Its delectable combination of crispy fries, squeaky cheese curds, and sumptuous gravy has become a symbol of comfort and indulgence. While the traditional version remains beloved, regional adaptations have emerged, reflecting the diverse tastes of different provinces. Variations include adding toppings like smoked meat in Quebec, lobster in the Maritimes, and even butter chicken in some places. These regional twists showcase the versatility of poutine while celebrating its status as a cherished Canadian culinary gem.
5 Varieties Of Poutine
1. Lobster Poutine: A luxurious twist on the classic, lobster poutine features succulent chunks of fresh lobster added to the traditional trio of fries, cheese curds, and gravy. This coastal delight offers a delightful marriage of flavours, combining the richness of lobster with the comforting elements of the beloved Canadian dish.
2. Vegetarian/Vegan Poutine: Catering to plant-based diets, this variation substitutes cheese curds with vegan cheese or tofu, and the gravy with a flavourful vegetarian or vegan alternative. It maintains the essence of poutine, providing a satisfying and guilt-free option for non-meat eaters.
3. Smoked Meat Poutine: A Montreal favourite, this variation tops the classic poutine with generous portions of tender and savoury smoked meat. The smokiness and spices of the meat elevate the dish to new heights, creating a delightful balance of textures and tastes.
4. Butter Chicken Poutine: A fusion of Indian and Canadian cuisines, butter chicken poutine combines the creamy and aromatic flavours of butter chicken sauce with the traditional poutine components. This creative blend offers a harmonious marriage of comfort food and exotic spices.
5. BBQ Pulled Pork Poutine: Bringing together the richness of barbecue pulled pork with the classic poutine, this variation introduces tender and tangy pulled pork on top of the fries and cheese curds. The smoky sweetness of the BBQ sauce adds a tantalising dimension to the dish, satisfying both BBQ and poutine cravings simultaneously.
Poutine, a Canadian classic born from the heart of Quebec, has transcended borders to become a global sensation. Its irresistible combination of crispy fries, cheese curds, and savoury gravy has evolved into a canvas for culinary creativity worldwide. From luxurious lobster poutine to innovative vegetarian and vegan renditions, each variation offers a unique twist while paying homage to the original comfort food. Embraced by diverse regions within Canada, regional adaptations like smoked meat poutine and butter chicken poutine showcase the nation's rich culinary tapestry. Undeniably, the global poutine phenomenon proves that this beloved dish is a true embodiment of culinary fusion and cross-cultural delight.
Recipe For Poutine
Video Credits: Joshua Weissman/YouTube
4 large russet potatoes
2 cups cheese curds (traditional poutine uses white cheddar cheese curds)
2 cups beef gravy (homemade or store-bought)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt to taste
Prepare the Potatoes:
Peel the potatoes and cut them into even-sized matchsticks, about 1/4 inch thick.
Rinse the potatoes in cold water to remove excess starch, then pat them dry with paper towels.
Fry the Potatoes:
Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat to 350°F (175°C).
Fry the potatoes in batches, ensuring they are not crowded, for about 4-5 minutes or until golden and crispy.
Remove the fries from the oil with a slotted spoon and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.
Sprinkle the fries with salt while they are still hot.
Prepare the Gravy:
While the fries are frying, heat the beef gravy in a saucepan over medium heat until it's warm and smooth. Keep it warm until ready to assemble the poutine.
Assemble the Poutine:
Preheat the oven to 200°F (95°C) to keep the poutine warm while assembling.
In an oven-safe dish or on individual plates, spread a layer of hot, crispy fries.
Sprinkle a generous amount of cheese curds over the fries, ensuring they melt slightly from the heat of the fries.
Ladle the warm beef gravy over the fries and cheese curds, covering them completely.
Place the poutine in the preheated oven to keep it warm while preparing additional servings, if needed.
Serve the poutine immediately, allowing the cheese curds to partially melt and the gravy to infuse the fries with flavour.
Enjoy the rich and comforting flavours of this classic Canadian poutine! Feel free to customise the dish by adding your favourite toppings or experimenting with different types of cheese and gravy.