What is poutine? Poutine is perhaps the most popular dish in the Quebec region, being so important in its culinary culture that its international day is celebrated every April 11. Its origins date back to the middle of the 20th century, but it is in recent years that it has gained notoriety beyond the Canadian borders.
The authorship of this emblematic food is still a matter of debate. Over the years, many people have claimed to be responsible for it. However, there are two names that are most often mentioned: Jean-Paul Roy and Fernand Lachance.
If we place ourselves in a timeline, the first to serve this dish would have been Fernand Lachance, who, as the story goes, would serve in 1957 potatoes with grain cheese to a diner who had requested it. This is at the restaurant Le Lutin qui rit, in Warwick.
However, it was at Le Roy Jucep in Drummondville that this dish as we know it today was introduced in 1964.
A national benchmark
Although many call it a national symbol, not everyone agrees. Some prefer to keep it only as a reference of the gastronomic culture of the province of Quebec, especially since not everyone enjoys this preparation.
However, whether you love it or not, this unexpected combination is an essential part of Canadian culture and an obligatory stop for locals and foreigners alike, in terms of gastronomy. Its scope is such that it can be found at various fast food stands throughout the city or in some of Quebec’s most luxurious restaurants.
Are you ready to learn all the secrets of poutine? If so, continue reading this article.
What is poutine?
Poutine is a traditional dish from the Quebec region, which despite having an obvious history behind it, has recently become more popular among young people because of its opulence in the most crowded areas of the city.
Its composition is really simple. It is assumed that the original recipe is composed of three basic ingredients: french fries, cheese in grain and some gravy.
Thanks to its high caloric content, it is one of the favorite dishes of Quebecers, especially during or after strenuous work days or in winter. It is known to be perfect for providing energy and helping to conserve it.
What ingredients does poutine use in Montreal?
As we said in the previous section, the base of the poutine is the potato, to which two basic ingredients are added: cheese curds and gravy.
Let’s see what role each ingredient plays in this delicious preparation.
Without a doubt, the potato is one of the most versatile foods in the world. For the perfect French fries, it could be said that each chef employs his or her own cooking methods in order to achieve a crispy finish on the outside, but soft and creamy on the inside.
Before cooking the potatoes, make sure that the oil is at the right temperature. Otherwise, cooking may take longer and fail to produce the crispy crust that is so characteristic of French fries. Ideally, use a cooking thermometer to ensure the correct temperature and preferably use the deep frying technique.
When seasoning, a little salt is enough, although the possibility of using other spices is not ruled out.
When the potatoes are ready, it is time to add the cheese curds, so that it acquires that characteristic texture of the recipe.
What cheese is used in poutine?
The cheese used to make this recipe is known as cheese curds. They are small pieces of curdled milk, usually eaten as a snack in the Quebec region and also in the Pacific Northeast of the United States.
The smoothness of the flavor, its firmness and density depend entirely on the curdling process and, inside the poutine, it is known to have a texture that many call squeaky.
It is one of the most popular sauces in the world, thanks to the delicious flavor it adds to other foods. Gravy sauce is the result of the cooking juices of vegetables and meats, so a concentrated flavor can be obtained from it, which adds an exquisite touch to many dishes. The most common are meats, purees and some traditional English dishes.
Of course, it appears in this section because it is one of the essential ingredients in traditional poutine. When served hot and together with the heat of the potatoes, it slightly gratinated the cheese and thus melts the flavors and textures in an exceptional way.
What is poutine? Other versions
Although it is a traditional Quebecois dish, it is now consumed in many regions of the world. However, the preparation has had to be adapted according to the demand and availability of ingredients.
For example, it is very difficult to find cheese curds outside Quebec. What is done is to substitute a different cheese, which resembles the taste of the original. Although it will not have the same taste, we know that you can achieve exquisite flavors inspired by the recipe we all know.
In addition, the versatility of the base ingredient makes the adaptation process easier and equally delicious. Some choose to incorporate sautéed or fried vegetables and even juicy meats such as beef or lamb.
An example of this is the poutine served in Toronto. It is very common to add mushrooms, onions, sausages and even bacon to the original preparation.
A vegan option
The traditional poutine recipe is not suitable for vegetarians or vegans (it includes milk curd and gravy). However, in some parts of the region, the recipe has been adapted so that it is not necessary to incorporate animal products.
‘Cheese’ is made from vegetable milks and ‘gravy’ is usually obtained by mixing mushrooms, vegetable milks and other ingredients. In this way a very exquisite preparation is obtained, suitable for all diets.
Best poutine near me
Whether you are a local or a foreigner, you have probably wondered where to eat poutine in Montreal. Being such an emblematic dish of the region, it is possible to find from the most economical to the most gourmet options in many parts of the city.
Want to eat the best poutine in Montreal? Come to Olivia’s Chicken and enjoy the exquisite taste of the Classic Poutine or our Olivia’s Poutine version which includes our delicious Olivia’s in-house spicy gravy.
What are you waiting for to enjoy the exquisite taste of our products in any of our locations? Try our delicious poutine, accompanied by the best fried chicken in town. Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram!