Fast food lovers and fans of grease rejoice! It’s that time of year in Montreal called Poutine week. This week is organized to showcase that crazy and wonderful Quebec “delicacy” of french fries, cheese curds and gravy called poutine.
Everyone in Quebec has a story about when they first tried poutine and many restaurants claim to have invented it. The first time I ever tried it was at the Owl’s Head cafeteria way back in 1976 or so and the woman at the counter told me it was something she had invented. She may not have invented it but it was popular in ski resorts well before it became popular in big cities.
There are now so many different kinds of poutine that include fancy schmancy with goat cheese and pepper sauce and craziness with bacon, italian sausage and pulled pork and many others.
It’s hard to beat the basic poutine with real cheese curds and nice thick gravy but the pulled pork poutine at Smokes Poutine is my new favourite.
One often-cited tale is that of Fernand Lachance, from Warwick, Quebec, which claims that poutine was invented there in 1957. Lachance is said to have exclaimed ça va faire une maudite poutine (“it will make a damn mess”), hence the name. The sauce was allegedly added later, to keep the fries warm longer. Over time the dish’s popularity spread mainly across the province (and later throughout Canada), often served in small town restaurants, bars, as well as being quite popular in ski resorts.
There are different kinds of poutine for everyone including vegetarians, gourmet foodies, and meat lovers. The only main ingredient that is always present is the french (liberty) fries – after that anything goes as different restaurants push the boundaries of both actual and good taste.
Poutine week starts to day and runs through February 7th. Check out their web site for all the delicious details HERE.