“Discover Canada’s Iconic National Dish: 10 Must-Try


Canada is a country known for its diverse culture, stunning landscapes, and delicious food. When it comes to food, Canada has a variety of dishes influenced by its indigenous people, French, British, and other immigrant communities. However, there is one dish that stands out as the national dish of Canada – Poutine. This iconic dish has gained popularity not only in Canada but also around the world. In this article, we will delve into the history of Poutine and explore 10 must-try variations of this beloved Canadian dish.

Subheading 1: The Origins of Poutine

Poutine, pronounced as “poo-teen,” is a Canadian dish that originated in Quebec in the 1950s. Its exact origins are still a subject of debate, with several small towns and restaurants claiming to be the birthplace of poutine. However, the most accepted story is that of Fernand Lachance, who is said to have invented Poutine in 1957 at his restaurant in Warwick, Quebec. It was initially a simple dish of French fries and cheese curds, topped with gravy. Over the years, Poutine has evolved and become a staple dish in Canada.

Subheading 2: The Three Essential Ingredients of Poutine

Poutine may seem like a simple dish, but it is the perfect combination of three essential ingredients that make it so delicious. The first ingredient is French fries, preferably made from fresh potatoes and cut into thin strips. The second is cheese curds, which are small chunks of fresh cheese that are not aged or pressed. These cheese curds are what give Poutine its signature squeaky texture. The third and most crucial ingredient is the gravy. Traditionally, Poutine is topped with a rich, savory brown gravy, but some variations use other types of gravy, such as chicken or mushroom.

Subheading 3: Classic Poutine – A Must-Try

The classic Poutine is the most popular and traditional version of this dish. It is made with crispy French fries, fresh cheese curds, and rich brown gravy. The gravy is poured over the hot fries and cheese curds, causing the cheese to melt slightly, creating a gooey and flavorful dish. This simple yet satisfying combination of flavors and textures is what makes the classic Poutine a must-try for anyone visiting Canada.

Subheading 4: Vegetarian and Vegan Options of Poutine

For those who do not eat meat, there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options for Poutine. The traditional gravy is made with beef or chicken stock, but some restaurants offer vegetarian or vegan gravy options, such as mushroom or vegetable-based gravy. Moreover, instead of cheese curds, some places use vegan cheese or tofu as a substitute. These variations may not be as authentic, but they are equally delicious and cater to different dietary preferences.

Subheading 5: Gourmet Poutine – Elevating the Dish

With Poutine gaining popularity, chefs and restaurants have started to experiment and elevate this humble dish. Gourmet Poutine is a more refined version of the classic Poutine, with additional toppings and ingredients. Some popular gourmet Poutine variations include lobster Poutine, pulled pork Poutine, and foie gras Poutine. These upscale versions of Poutine offer a unique and indulgent experience for food lovers.

Subheading 6: Regional Variations of Poutine

As Poutine has spread across Canada, different provinces and regions have put their own spin on this iconic dish. In Ontario, you can find Italian Poutine with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. In Alberta, you can try the famous “Smoked Meat Poutine,” which includes smoked meat along with the traditional ingredients. In the maritime provinces, seafood Poutine is a popular variation, with toppings such as shrimp, scallops, and crab. These regional variations add diversity and showcase the creativity of Canadian cuisine.

Subheading 7: Poutine – Beyond Canada’s Borders

Poutine has gained international recognition and can now be found in various countries worldwide. Many restaurants, particularly in the United States, have added Poutine to their menus, and it has become a popular dish in the UK, Australia, and even Japan. However, these versions may not be as authentic as the ones found in Canada, but they offer a taste of this beloved dish to those who cannot visit Canada.


Poutine is more than just a dish; it is a symbol of Canadian culture and identity. It has evolved from a simple snack to a gourmet delight, gaining popularity both within and outside of Canada. With so many variations and options, Poutine has something to offer for everyone. So, if you ever get the chance to visit Canada, do not miss the opportunity to try this iconic and delicious national dish.