Chicago is known for its famous deep-dish pizza, Italy is known for handmade pasta, and France is known for macarons. Here in Canada, poutine tops my list of famous Canadian food.
Poutine originated in the 1950s in Quebec; a French-speaking province located in eastern Canada. It is fried with a distinct flavoured gravy that will melt in your mouth. Oh, and don’t forget those fresh cheese curds on top. But these were added years later.
Curds is a smooth cheese that appears to be ripped into small pieces and is made from skimmed milk curd. By the 1990s, the dish was widely known and popularized across Canada and the rest of the world.
But what makes a great poutine? According to an article written on The Suburban website titled ‘What makes a great Montreal poutine?’ it begins with the French fries, the golden delicious base of your poutine.
A crispy potato cut into small strips covered with just the right amount of salt is a great start to your poutine, using just the right amount of oil in the fryer to obtain the crispy delicious dish.
But that isn’t all that makes a great poutine. There is still one ingredient that completes it and that is the gravy.
Gravy can be made in a variety of ways, including how thick or thin you want it to be, but in Montreal, the gravy is made to perfection. It’s a concoction of ingredients made fresh daily. For me, the gravy contained just the right amount of salt, decreasing the overpowering taste of the ingredient. The consistency between the gravy and the fries gave each fry just the right amount of gravy. It blended so well together that the dish was gone in a matter of minutes.
I sampled poutine on two trips to Montreal in 2015 and 2019; everything I heard about Montreal poutine was true. The French fries were cooked with the perfect amount of crunch that popped in your mouth and the gravy contained just enough heat and smooth texture to immediately dive in and devour.
One restaurant I kept going back to is Montreal Poutine on 181 Rue St. Paul Est, Old Montreal. This was by far the best poutine I had ever tasted.
The fries were cooked perfectly, and the gravy was cooked in a way that retained the crunch in the fries rather than create a mushy, soupy mess. It was also made with consistency that kept the flavour alive.
According to Trip Advisor, some of Montreal’s famous poutine restaurants include:
Poutine is the best and only food option for me when I visit Montreal.