How to make the perfect poutine, the quintessential Canadian dish

Canadians are known for their love of hockey, cold winters, general politeness and for one of the oddest combinations of foods.

Poutine is considered by many to be the quintessential Canadian dish. Although it doesn’t have a concrete origin story, it is believed that poutine was first made in a Quebec restaurant in the late 1950s. A customer requested cheese curds on their french fries, and the owner obliged, later adding gravy when the dish grew in popularity.

“Poutine is like god’s gift to the world. It’s beautiful in a box, it’s poetry. It’s gravy dripping down the fries. It’s the squeakiness of the curds like two balloons making out,” says Smoke’s Poutinerie founder Ryan Smolkin.

RELATED: Can a poutine restaurant from Toronto take over the world?

So what’s the secret to great poutine? According to Smolkin, it’s all in the quality of the three main ingredients: french fries, cheese curds and gravy. Smoke’s suggests golden, crispy fries, the squeakiest of cheese curds and a chicken-based gravy.

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If you’re a meat lover, a three-ingredient poutine may not curb your appetite. Worry not, as practically any meat can serve as a perfect topping for poutine.

“Now, depending on where you are in the country, your poutine could be topped with butter chicken in B.C., to sliced Alberta beef, or even lobster on the East Coast,” says Lenore Newman, author of cookbook A Canadian Culinary Journey.

“It’s a nice way to describe Canadian cuisine – we dress it up to meet our region,”

READ MORE: 18 delicious, classic Canadian dishes from coast to coast 

Smoke Poutinerie’s goal is to make poutine known worldwide. With 200 locations in North America, the company wants to expand its business to other areas of the world, raising the profile of poutine worldwide.

Where does poutine rank on your list of top Canadian foods? Vote in our poll below.


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