Poutine

Sunday, 24 March 2024 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Bon appétit
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Vladimir Poutine restaurant in Montreal © Jwslubbock/cc-by-sa-4.0

Vladimir Poutine restaurant in Montreal © Jwslubbock/cc-by-sa-4.0

Poutine is a dish of french fries and cheese curds topped with a brown gravy. It emerged in Quebec, in the late 1950s in the Centre-du-Québec region, though its exact origins are uncertain and there are several competing claims regarding its invention. For many years, it was used by some to mock Quebec society. Poutine later became celebrated as a symbol of Québécois culture and the province of Quebec. It has long been associated with Quebec cuisine, and its rise in prominence has led to its growing popularity throughout the rest of Canada.

Annual poutine celebrations occur in Montreal, Quebec City, and Drummondville, as well as Toronto, Ottawa, New Hampshire, and Chicago. It has been called Canada’s national dish, though some critics believe this labelling represents cultural appropriation of the Québécois or Quebec’s national identity. Many variations on the original recipe are popular, leading some to suggest that poutine has emerged as a new dish classification in its own right, as with sandwiches and dumplings.

A poutine with pulled pork topping in the 3 Brasseurs Saint-Paul restaurant in Montreal © 0x010C/cc-by-sa-4.0 La Banquise, a poutinerie in Montreal, serves more than thirty varieties of poutine © flickr.com - Andy Liang/cc-by-sa-2.0 Poutine as served by the Fritz European Fry House in Vancouver © flickr.com - Ernesto Andrade/cc-by-2.0 Poutine at Le Champlain in Quebec City © B/cc-by-sa-4.0 Poutine in Montreal Pool Room in Montréal © flickr.com - Guilhem Vellut/cc-by-2.0 Vladimir Poutine restaurant in Montreal © Jwslubbock/cc-by-sa-4.0
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La Banquise, a poutinerie in Montreal, serves more than thirty varieties of poutine © flickr.com - Andy Liang/cc-by-sa-2.0
The traditional recipe for poutine consists of:

  • French fries: These are usually of medium thickness and fried (sometimes twice) such that the inside stays soft, while the outside is crispy.
  • Cheese curds: Fresh cheese curds are used to give the desired texture. The curd size varies, as does the amount used.
  • Brown gravy: Traditionally, it is a light and thin beef or chicken gravy, somewhat salty and mildly spiced with a hint of pepper; or a sauce brune, which is a combination of chicken and beef stock. Poutine sauces (French: mélange à sauce poutine) are sold in Quebec, Ontario, and Maritime grocery stores in jars or cans and in powdered mix packets; some grocery chains offer their own house-brand versions. Many stores and restaurants also offer vegetarian gravy.

To maintain the texture of the fries, the cheese curds and gravy are added immediately before serving the dish. The hot gravy is usually poured over room-temperature cheese curds, so they are warmed without melting completely. The thin gravy allows all the fries to be coated. The serving dish typically has some depth to act as a basket for the fries so that they retain their heat. It is important to control the temperature, timing, and the order in which the ingredients are added to obtain the right food textures—an essential part of the experience of eating poutine.

Freshness and juiciness of the curds is essential. Air and moisture seep out of the curds over time, altering their acidity level. This causes proteins to lose their elasticity, and the curds to lose their complex texture and characteristic squeaky sound when chewed. The curds should be less than a day old, which requires proximity to a dairy. While Montreal is 60 kilometres (37 mi) from a cheese plant in Mirabel, restaurants and specialty cheese shops outside of dairy regions may be unable to sell enough curds to justify the expense of daily deliveries. Furthermore, Canadian food safety practices require curds to be refrigerated within 24 hours, which suppresses the properties of their texture. This has resulted in poutineries which specialize in the dish; busy poutineries may use 100 kilograms (220 lb) of curds per day. Poutineries which are too distant from dairies may make their own cheese curds on site, in batches every few hours, to ensure a fresh and steady supply.

Read more on The Poutine Kitchen and Wikipedia Poutine (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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