7 surprising facts about poutine

Can you believe someone ate 13 pounds of poutine in a contest?

Darren Calabrese/CP Images

To the uninitiated, it looks like nothing more than a steaming pile of fries, gravy and half-melted cheese curds. But in Canada, the signature dish of Quebec is a point of culinary pride. (And sometimes intrigue. What better alias to figure in a political scandal than Pierre Poutine of “robocall” fame?) More than half a century after it first appeared in rural Quebec, restaurants across the country are providing new spins on the iconic dish, throwing maple syrup, pulled pork and even lobster into the mix.

Here are seven facts about poutine you probably didn’t know:

1. It is widely accepted that poutine was invented in 1957 when a trucker asked Fernand Lachance to add cheese curds to his fries in Warwick, Que.

2. “Poutine” is Quebec slang for “a mess.”

3. The average male would have to jog 2.5 hours to burn off the 1,422 calories contained in the country-style poutine (bacon, chicken, gravy, fries, onions and mushrooms) available nationwide through Smoke’s Poutinerie.

4. In 1970s New York and New Jersey, poutine was served as a late-night side dish at clubs. They called
it “disco fries.”

5. At a 2010 poutine-eating contest in Toronto, the winner, Pat “Deep Dish” Bertoletti of Chicago (pictured above) ate 5.9 kg of poutine.

6. The largest poutine in the world was made in Saguenay, Que., and weighed 654 kg—about as much as a large horse.

7. Considered the most expensive poutine in Montreal, the poutine au foie gras is available for $23 at Au Pied de Cochon

See also: 12 foods Canada has given the world (besides poutine)

Sources: Restaurants; news reports;

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