Once considered an embarrassment to French Canadians who were noted for their excellent cuisine, poutine has become synonymous with Canada and has sparked interest world-wide.
For those not acquainted with the dish, poutine is a combination of french fries and cheese curds topped with a special gravy. There are many variations of poutine, with chefs across Canada and around the world putting their own spin on the food that some would call a heart attack in a bowl.
According to Community Plus, restaurateur Jean-Paul Roy of Drummondville, Quebec has claimed to be the inventor, dating his invention to 1964, although there were some others before this time who have also claimed the title.
According to Roy, he normally served his patrons fries with his special potato sauce poured over the top. He also sold bags of cheese curds and noticed that his customers were mixing the two, so he added the concoction to his regular menu.
By the late seventies, poutine had made its way into the United States and is now served across Canada in most fast food restaurant chains and even in high end restaurants.
Poutine in its basic form is an ultimate comfort food, with it's salty goodness and stringing cheese curds dripping in gravy.
As I said before, chefs across the country have made their own spin on poutine. One such restaurant is The Port Pub and Bistro, situated on the bank of the Cornwallis River in Port Williams, Nova Scotia.
The Port, as it is locally referred to, calls itself a Gastropub, dedicated to buying its ingredients locally, concentrating on high quality food and service. They certainly deliver judging by the crowds that eat here on a regular basis.
One of the Port's most popular dishes is Lobster Poutine which has been a mainstay on the menu for a few years. The Port stays true to poutine's roots, using real french fries, not frozen, there own special gravy, locally produced cheese curds, and of course lobster.
Recently, when a picture of the poutine was posted on the Port Pub's Facebook page it actually went viral, getting thousands of views and attracting people from as far away as Ontario to try it. It received great reviews.
A food blogger in the Halifax area, Kathy Jollimore drove the hour and a half to the Port to order the dish. She sent the pub pictures saying she ordered it "and I don't even like poutine."
The Port Pub's variation of poutine is a successful one and whether you are a fan of the dish or not, poutine is no longer something to be ashamed of but rather it is a source of pride, not only for the cooks and chefs that prepare it, but it is a recipe that is part of who we are as Canadians.