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Poutine
Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2013-09-09 22:58:36 | Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Keywords: fries, pourine
The other staple food dish from Canada I forgot to tell you about is poutine. No, I'm not referring to the Russian President here but to a very popular fast food dish originally from Québec and now spread all over Canada. I've seen it offered from St. John's (Newfoundland) to Vancouver. Usually outside Quebec you only find the traditional recipe, but I also seen some local twists.

There's still a huge debate in Québec as to where and when this dish was created, and I won't enter into the debate.  It was invented somewhere in the 50's or the 60's, in a small town.  Progressively, it gained popularity.  In the 1980's, it began to be adopted by students as their meal of choice in a short lunch break.

Traditional poutine is simple: you take a large order of French Fries, put some cheese curds on top and cover everything with a large amount of brown gravy.  The fries have to be thick and be able to soak in the gravy.  The cheese is usually Gouda or Cheddar.  The gravy is a special recipe, but it's close to a hot chicken gravy, or a thick BBQ chicken gravy.

Until the 90's, it was mostly traditional poutine recipe, with sometimes the addition of grilled hot dog weiners or pieces of chicken  Then we saw more varieties popping up, with more toppings or different sauces.  The most popular variety remains the Italian poutine, in which the brown gravy is replaced by pasta sauce (just tomato sauce, or meat sauce).  That is also my favourite poutine style.

It spread all over Canada first through the universities campuses, and expanded through the cities as non-students discovered it.  It is also found in major US cities along the border, but not predominantly,.

The best poutine restaurant in Montréal now offers over a 100 different varieties, with a lot of toppings, cheeses and sauces to choose from.  In Quebec City, the restaurant chain with the best poutine offers it with green peas.

On the road, I've many local variations like the seafood poutine in Victoria, or the pulled pork one in Vancouver (see below).

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