People love french fries: potatoes deep fried in oil (or pan fried in butter, sometimes). People also love cheese—no other explanation needed. People also love brown gravy, especially on [mashed] potatoes. And when you think about these three things at the same time, you get a sense that they kind of belong together.
Hence the invention of the modern Ben et Florentine occasion d’affaire Quebec classic known as the Poutine.
The Poutine: A History
While the obviously French term sounds like some classic culinary technique, the Poutine is actually a very modern dish. Believed to have originated in rural Quebec, Canada, just before the 1960s, several provincial communities in the region lay claim as the first to develop the dish. Among the most common claims rest with regions like Victoriaville and perhaps Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, as well as Drummondville, as late as 1964. Before this time, though, a “chips, cheese, and gravy” dish became very popular in the United Kingdom (particularly north of England and in Scotland), around 1901. Many believe, of course, this was the dish which originally inspired the Canadian “poutine” that we known of today.
The Poutine: An Etymology
As a matter of fact, the term “poutine” has come to be defined as “fries with cheese [curds] and gravy,” though this etymology can only be cited to 1982. However the use of the term “poutine” can be traced as far back as 1810. Some argue, in fact, that the word may share attribution to the English word “pudding,” though in some variations it is said to be a “dessert made from flour or bread crumbs” as in term “pouding.”
Poutine has also been used as a slang for “fat person” (particularly a woman), which is also derived from the English term “pudding” which has been defined as “a person or thing resembling a pudding” or, also, “a stout, thick-set person.”
How to make a Poutine:
The basic recipe for a poutine, in the tradition of Quebec consists of three very basic things: French fries, cheese curds, and brown gravy.
- Potatoes cut to medium thickness fried (sometimes twice-fried) so the inside remains soft and white while the outside is crispy
- Fresh cheese curds that can vary in size but should be smaller than a bite, to add texture in a way that they are not too firm and are slightly tangy
- Brown gravy, typically associated with poultry or veal, seasoned lightly with salt and pepper; sometimes a beef/chicken stock-based “sauce brune” may be substituted