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Traditional poutine [moved from a discussion on the Boston board]

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Depends on what you consider a traditional poutine. The version i'm familiar with consists of taking potatos, boiling them and them squeezing all the water out. Once that is done, making balls out of them and putting salt pork in the middle.

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  1. I may be a poutine amateur and am not Canadian by heritage (though being a hockey junkie from the age of 6 gives me some kind of honorable mention), but every poutine I've eaten in Montreal has been french fries, some sort of gravy, and some sort of cheese, plus additional optional toppings (e.g. merguez).

    http://www.montrealpoutine.com/review...

    To whom or to what region is salt pork and boiled potatoes a traditional poutine?

    BK

    5 Replies
    1. re: BJK

      The word "poutine" is roughly equivalent to the English word "pudding"; it is a base of starch (potato or bread, or starch flour...) that is combined by cooking/and/or/ chilling. Any garnish: like gravy, meat or cheese, is a local specialty. I am from New England (Massachusetts) and my paternal grand parents are from New Brunswick. The poutine we grew up with was the type that was a boiled potato dumpling with a center of salt pork.-- yumm:--) I hated them as a child, but I love them now! I miss them so much that I make them myself!!! Sometimes this "poutine" was served with butter; sometimes it was served with maple syrup! Both versions are great. Anyway, ask for "pudding" and you get what you get; ask for "poutine" and you get what you deserve: I was in Paris and got fries with melted cheese and pig's intestines(it was very good). So, what's with pizza?
      M. LaFosse

      1. re: chirashifood

        I'm looking for the original poutines, like chirahifood descripes. My Mom was from New Brunswick, then Fitchburg Mass. and they were made from potato, part mashed, part grated with water removed and formed into a ball, with pork in the middle. They used to come in a can (not as good, but will do). Can anyone tell me where I can order some online? I'd love to surprise my Mom with some for Christmas.

        1. re: chirashifood

          Hello, I know it's been almost a year since this was posted, but wanted to reply anyway. I was born and raised in Fitchburg, MA and my family was half French Canadian and we grew up making Poutine's. I actually have the recipe if you ever log back on to this site and would like it.

          Chow!!

          1. re: lpkiddylu

            Please post any recipes on the Home Cooking board so that all hounds can benefit.

            Thanks!

            1. re: lpkiddylu

              Hi Ipkiddylu,
              Sunday my mother, who is French Canadian (New Brunswick) told me about a favorite recipe her mother used to make. The clues she gave me lead here in my on-line search. She said that her mother used to grate the potatoes, form them into a ball, put crispy bacon in the middle and then boiled them. She said that sometimes they would put maple syrup on them, too, just like Chirasifood mentioned in the Oct. 2007 post. I would LOVE to have the recipe to surprise my mother and aunt. My direct e-mail is coastandcountry@verizon.net Have you ever heard of something called Aaron Bundles? Or is sounds like that. Another "mystery recipe" that was a favorite of my Aunt's I've been trying to find for years. They lived in Randolph, MA for awhile and my mother thinks it might be from there, not Canada. Thank you SO MUCH! Dianne (Blaquiere-Perrault-Reardon-Fischbach) :) Have a great day!

        2. Poutine is fries, gravy, and cheese curds, with minor variations, and it is available EVERYWHERE in Canada, sea to sea to sea. Americans somehow have this idea that you have to go to Quebec to get poutine. Quebeckers will insist that "their" fries, gravy from a powder and supermarket-bought cheese curds are the only authentic ones, which is of course complete nonsense. It's like saying that your kraft dinner is the most authentic. Poutine is VERY simple food, and you can get good poutine wherever you have decent fries and palatable gravy. Cheese curds are of course not hard to find. Have at it. All over Canada.

          It has nothing to do with boiled potatoes and salt pork.

          1 Reply
          1. re: John Manzo

            That stems mostly from the fact that the "birthplace" of poutine is Warwick, in Québec, and that fresh cheese curds are readily available there. But I agree that lots of places outside Québec get it right, and that many within the province get it wrong.

          2. Man, some of you folks are so adamant in your ignorance. Poutine Rapee is an Acadian dish as described by the original poster. The other, possibly more well known (at least in the rest of North America) poutine dish is that of fries topped with cheese curds and gravy, which has its origins (as said above) in Quebec.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Blueicus

              s/he wrote "poutine," and not "poutine rapee."

              1. re: John Manzo

                He wrote 'traditional poutine', and not just 'poutine'. The fries dish is not old enough to be described as 'traditional'. But I wouldn't have had any idea what he wanted, except that I remember an earlier thread:
                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/34746...

            2. i love potatoes. i love pork. and i'm from the south.

              can i just say that this just sounds gross: "taking potatos, boiling them and them squeezing all the water out. Once that is done, making balls out of them and putting salt pork in the middle"

              i don't know anything about poutine, but when we were in montreal - it was pervasively fries, cheese curds and gravy. and i never tried it. cause i was chicken.

              loose meat scared me too.

              i was thinking some sort of canadian road kill (moose) or something......

              2 Replies
              1. re: hitachino

                there is no LOOSE MEAT in Montreal. period.

                I'm quite sure you mean "smoke(d) meat"

                1. re: hitachino

                  Hit, you gotta try poutine in Quebec.

                  Mrs. Sippi (My wife) is southern and when we were there a few months back we went for it and she thinks it's absolutely great. It's a coronary in a box but it's incredible.
                  Don't let the train wreck appearance scare you next time.

                  DT

                2. My Acadian grandmaman Arseneault made poutine rapee in the winter. She would squeeze the water out of grated potatos, make balls with salt pork in the middle, then boil the balls (boulettes). We'd drizzle them with a bit of maple syrup (syrop d'erable) from the sugar camp half an hour away (reachable only by skidoo) and eat them up. L'hiver etait belle!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Jax

                    Mmmmm yummy!! At last a traditionalist!

                    1. re: Jax

                      That's what I'm talkin' about! That's how I've had them too. My Grandma Melina and her husband Pierre Cormier from McClain Settlement in New Brunswick brought this recipe to Fitchburg Mass. Now we serve it in Sunny California from time to time.

                      1. re: Pamadventure

                        When I was growing up in Fitchburg, our whole family would get together for a day to make these. My mother put a ground beef/pork mixture in them. We put them in cheesecloth and cooked them and froze them in their own juice for a supply for the winter. We served them with salt and pepper. Others we knew served them with sugar or syrup. Glad to see people still remember them.

                    2. This thread intrigued me so I Googled and here's what I found:

                      A Primer on the Preparation of Poutine:

                      http://members.shaw.ca/kcic1/poutine....

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Gio

                        That, however, is the non-traditional poutine, the one that originated in the mid 20th century :-) Given current usage, this thread should have asked about poutine rapee.

                        I wonder, though, about the origin of the confusing names. Is the Arcadian version served with gravy, or curds? Or is the only commonality the use of potato?

                        paulj

                        1. re: paulj

                          The potato is the only thing in common between the versions. The Quebec version is a bastardization of the original recipe. Who can argue about cheese and gravy? But the original was a basic sort of dumpling recipe with the salt pork in the middle. I haven't had time to find my original reference to the German origins. Unfortunately I don't have my father's references either. But his family was from the Moncton area, where the non cheese curd version was common, at least amoung the old timers.

                      2. I guess a little background on Quebecers and Acadians is in order. Acadians came from France in the 17th century. We were deported by the Loyalists in 1755, and we took our poutine rapee with us. Quebecers also came from France, but weren't deported, so they happily ate their french fries, cheese and gravy and said "Salut!" to the Acadians.

                        My family bats for both teams now, so I eat a LOT of potatos. :)

                        1. poutine evolved!- foie gras poutine from chef martin picard "au pied de cochon" in montreal as seen here: http://www.chow.com/tour/2027

                          1. I live south of Montreal.
                            I've been to New Brunswick a few times.
                            First, 'poutine' does not come from the french meaning 'pudding'. Ask any french quebecer what 'poutine' actually means (besides the name of a dish), and you can get many answers, or perhaps none, just a shrug and 'je ne sais pas."

                            There are two versions of poutine, but I'd be cautious to call one 'traditional' over the other.
                            The traditional new brunswick version, as discussed, is a dumpling-like ball made of potato with a 'prize' inside, usually a piece of pork (the better off you were, the more pork than potato you had - you get the idear).
                            It may or may not sound appetizing, but I think unless you grew up with it, you may find it rather bland (think gnocci without sauce).
                            The traditional quebec version, as most people know, is basically fries topped with cheese curds, topped with gravy. If you like fries and gravy and cheese, chances are you'll like this (I don't care for cheese, so was never a fan).

                            How the name was given to the first, I won't even try to guess.
                            The quebec version, though, has a few theories. Mine is that it can be distilled to a guy making it and a customer asking what it was - if he was english, he may have said something like squishler, but instead said "c'est poutine"

                            I'm not sure how to make an un-traditional new brunswick poutine.
                            Un-traditional quebec poutine is everywhere and can be anything the cook conjures up. Most start with fries, some are topped with other types of cheese, or perhaps sausage, or meatballs, or fried clams, or whatever, then topped with bolognaise sauce, or au jus, or pea soup, or whatever.