Hometown Hungers: Montreal Poutine

Cozy up with Canada’s comfort-food staple: a gravy-soaked plate of salty fries and springy cheese curds.
154959976

154959976

Photo by: LauriPatterson ©Lauri Patterson

LauriPatterson, Lauri Patterson

When it comes to covetable cuisine, America’s neighbor to the north has more than just the maple market cornered. After all, Canada is also the land that learned to load French fries with salty nibs of fresh cheese (aka curds) and ladleful upon ladleful of warming brown gravy. The resulting dish, known as poutine, has become the comfort food of choice for many a Canadian.

Poutine first began popping up in the province of Quebec in the 1950s, though no one can say for sure in which restaurant kitchen the dish originated. The signature snack reportedly evolved over time, with one story crediting the now-shuttered Café Ideal as churning out the first iteration — crisp fries heaped with fresh cheese curds — at the request of a customer in 1957. Retro restaurant Le Roy Jucep is said to have first served the gravy-soaked version that's standard today in 1964, with the spot even having scored a registered trademark to call itself the inventor of the dish.

In the decades since poutine was created, its popularity has spread across Quebec. The province’s biggest city — Montreal — boasts a particularly high concentration of spots serving the signature snack. Poutine is now so prevalent across Canada that it is considered by many to be the country’s unofficial national dish. But for those who are unable to nose around up north, restaurants in America are turning out their own takes on the traditional recipe. Check out Food Network’s gallery of the best spots in the United States to cozy up with this comforting dish.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Hometown Hungers: San Francisco Cioppino

Dive into a steaming bowl of San Francisco’s signature stew. This comforting dish brings together a luscious tomato base with a variety of succulent seafood.

Hometown Hungers: Baja Fish Tacos

A standout in a sea of tacos, this beach-centric bite features battered fish piled onto sturdy corn tortillas and crowned with a tangle of shredded cabbage and a tangy white sauce.

Hometown Hungers: Minneapolis Juicy Lucy

This signature dish ups the cheesy, meaty ante of a traditional cheeseburger by turning it inside out.

Hometown Hungers: Wisconsin Frozen Custard

In Wisconsin, I scream, you scream, we all scream for … frozen custard. Creamy, dense and rich, this signature dessert of the Dairy State is always in demand.

Hometown Hungers: Kentucky Hot Brown

This signature sandwich of the Bluegrass State comes heaped with hot turkey and drenched in a sumptuous Mornay sauce.

Hometown Hungers: Hawaii Loco Moco

In addition to the wondrous sunshine and hypnotic waves, Hawaii is also swimming in loco moco — a comfort food dish created right here on the Big Island.