Poutine, a sinful indulgence

Poutine, a French term for “mess” is perhaps Canada’s greatest contribution to world cuisine. It originated in Quebec, Canada circa 1957. It’s a savory fast food that consists of French fries dressed with fromage beaucronne (cheddar cheese curds) and topped with a hot turkey or beef gravy. There are different variations to the recipe, including the American version known as “Disco fries.”

Last week, I accompanied my buddy Colin on a journey to Montreal and Toronto, Canada. I had never been to Canada before (does Niagara Falls count?) so I jumped at the opportunity to escape NYC. This may sound silly, but it was more of an overseas experience rather than merely crossing the border. Montreal’s architecture reminds me of a European city, some speak English and French fluently. Toronto, has more of an urban/ suburban appeal, like Chicago.

I was told about Poutine from a Montreal native. As a connoisseur of cuisine, it is my duty to indulge in as many local eats as possible. Poutine is potentially one of the most comforting snacks I’ve ever had. The fries were crispy and golden; covered in layer upon layer of warm gravy combined with melted cheese. It was enjoyment in it’s purest form. Yet a very sinful snack, it packs more than 700 calories. That does not include ketchup, or the few pints of lager (if you desire) to wash it down with. Its an ideal snack for “cheat” day. Zero guilt. 😉

Here is a recipe for Poutine (courtesy of www.allrecipes.com)


  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 (10.25 ounce) can beef gravy
  • 5 medium potatoes, cut into fries
  • 2 cups cheese curds


  1. Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep heavy skillet to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C). While the oil is heating, you can begin to warm your gravy.
  2. Place the fries into the hot oil, and cook until light brown, about 5 minutes. Make the fries in batches if necessary to allow them room to move a little in the oil. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.

Place the fries on a serving platter, and sprinkle the cheese over them. Ladle gravy over the fries and cheese, and serve immediately.


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