: a dish of French fries covered with brown gravy and cheese curds - chiefly Canadian
Did You Know?
Although the earliest evidence of the word "poutine" in an English publication is from 1982, historical accounts of the dish itself date to several decades earlier when someone had the brilliant idea to add rural Quebec's much-loved fresh cheese curds to (also much-loved) French fries. Whether the gravy came a few years later or was present ab ovo is disputed. Also unclear is the origin of the word by which the dish is known. Some assert that "poutine" is related to the English word "pudding," but a more popular etymology is that it's from a Quebecois slang word meaning "mess." The dish has in recent years been making inroads on American menus.
Although classic poutine is a simple marriage of French fries, gravy, and cheese curds, the dish has inspired ethnic variations with different combinations of meats and sauces.
"A 2007 Canadian TV documentary named poutine the 10th greatest Canadian invention of all time. Insulin (No. 1), the artificial pacemaker (No. 6) and the electric wheelchair (No. 9) all outranked poutine, which seems appropriate considering you might need all three at some point should you consume a regular diet of poutine." - Michael Nagrant, Chicago Tribune, April 17, 2014
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