Like many food origins stories, Poutine has a similarly unclear beginning. The identity of the person who invented it is still controversial. However, the most widespread claim is, during 1957, at the small dairy-farming town of Quebec one of the customers asked Fernand Lachance the owner of restaurant L’Idéal to give French fries and cheese curds in one bag. After mixing two ingredients in the same bag, Lachance remarked it as a “poutine” which is Québécois slang for a “mess.”
Now you might be thinking, what’s about the gravy? Well, the gravy part was added in 1964 at Drummondville, a restaurant owner Druwhen Jean-Paul Roy noticed some of his customers were ordering cheese curds as a side to add to the patented gravy sauce and fries dish. Say it a coincidence or a smart businessman, with no second thought Roy mixed the three ingredients, made a new dish and rest is history.
Eventually, Poutine was hit in the province and spread throughout Canada with different combinations of fries, curds, and gravy recipe. This highly unique and regional delicacy then become part of the American food movement to places as far away as Australia.
As the world has become a global village; it is convenient to travel from one country to another. We Australians love travelling, and wherever we go, we bring back some fantastic delicacies.
The demand for cheese curds in Australia has also increased this way. Australians travelled to North America and returned with a taste for genuine North American cuisine, demand for Canadian style poutine.
When people try new dishes that are better than the generic dishes they normally eat, their expectation for that authentic taste gets higher.
Thankfully, the enhancement in the food storage technology like IQF (Instant Quick Frozen) technology has allowed us to enjoy food items like cheese curds as freshly as possible. The squeak in a cheese curd only remains for 24 hours, but with IQF technology, the squeak and nutrients are preserved without any additives or preservatives.
Cheese curds are a versatile dish, they can be used for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and it is also great for quick snacking, but the best-known cheese curds dish is Poutine – the ultimate Canadian comfort food.
Poutine is a classic Canadian dish which contains fries, authentic cheese curds and a rich brown gravy that takes over the crispy fries and squeaky cheese curds.
Poutine has now become popular among Australian chefs, and they are using the cheese curds as a canvas to create their culinary masterpiece inspired by North American cuisine.
While Poutine is a fabulous dish in its own right, cheese curds are an amazingly versatile addition to enhance menus from battered, deep-fried curds served with a selection of sauces as a snack or starter, to adding curds as a pizza topping or as a breakfast side. They are even a fabulous and indulgent addition to a fresh salad.
But, like anything, quality and authenticity is key to using this new and exciting ingredient on American cuisine inspired Australian menus.