The Québécois dish featured in today’s Doodle is so good you’ll want to spit it out! On this day in 2014, “poutine” was added to the English Merriam-Webster Word reference.
The origin of poutine is debated, but it was made in Québec! In the province, several restaurant owners claim to have invented it. White cheese curds, brown gravy, and double-fried russet potatoes were discovered by a restaurant owner after they saw customers topping their gravy fries with cheese curds. In 1964, the proprietor added the combination to their menu out of enticement. One more restauranter in Québec was approached by a client to add cheddar curds to a sack of fries, and the proprietor answered, “It will make a wreck!” He started serving the fries and cheese curds together, topped with gravy to keep them warm, as the “mess” began to pique his interest.
The entomology (or beginning) of “poutine” is additionally discussed. The two most common hypotheses are that it derives from the slang term “poutine,” which means “mess,” or that it is related to the English word “pudding.” Both theories are supported by a legend about the first time poutine was served.
Poutine became more and more popular throughout Canada and beyond as more people tried the mouthwatering combination. It is available at specialty chains and bistros, and lobster or foie gras poutine may be available at high-end restaurants. The Montréal-style poutine, made with smoked meat, and the poutine galvaude, made with chicken and green peas, are two examples of regional variations found within Canada. There are even more variations of poutine available all over the world, including veggie poutine with mushroom sauce and Italian poutine made with tomato sauce instead of gravy.
Canadians and non-Canadians alike agree that poutine is a favorite comfort food no matter where it originated!