Poutine: what is it and where can you get it in Australia?

You might have seen “poutine” on some restaurant menus round Australia, however it’s uncommon that what’s in your plate  is actually the Québécois dish. For it to be genuine, you want three issues: chips, gravy and cheese curds.

Where to eat (actual) poutine in Australia

Cheese curds can be exhausting to seek out in Australia. There appears to be a false impression that they must be made with unpasteurised milk, however it’s not the case – pasteurised milk works simply advantageous.

Canadian-born Rob Auger is the co-owner and chef of Mr. Griffiths, in the Melbourne suburb of Kensington. When he opened final yr, it was unthinkable for him to place poutine on the menu with out the cheese curds. He experimented for months till he discovered the right recipe, simply salty and squeaky sufficient.

“A lot of Australians haven’t tried real poutine, without packet gravy. They don’t know that a cheese curd holds its shape under gravy, that it doesn’t melt to nothing,” tells Auger to SBS Food. On his menu, “The Drummondville” is the normal poutine: do-it-yourself cheese curds, hen gravy and chips.

Just like in Quebec, variations on the basic are greater than welcome. “You need to have the three basic ingredients, but you can build from there and add anything you want,” says Auger.

He makes the very Canadian “Hoser Boy”, which comes with bacon, maple syrup and cracked black pepper and the “Tabarnak”, which is fairly spectacular with its buttermilk fried hen, jalapeños, Sriracha sauce and bacon.

Mr. Griffiths additionally has an in depth beer listing, as a result of “poutine is the perfect food for before, during, and after beer”, Auger says.

In Figtree, close to Wollongong, Québec native Sébastien Bonenfant with co-owners, Amanda Leigh, Mandy Brooksbank and Alex Dennehas have simply relaunched Le Montréal Shack because the Canuck Rack Shack. The menu is shorter, however poutine has made the minimize.

The basic poutine comes with elective add-ons like maple bacon, pork stomach or schnitzel. He will get his curds from a cheesemonger, and like Auger, he says nothing else will do: “You can’t use just any grated cheese. It has to be the curds.”

Just like in Quebec, variations to the basic are greater than welcome. “You need to have the three basic ingredients, but you can build from there and add anything you want,” says Auger.

In Brisbane, Sixes and Sevens departs barely from custom, however comes shut sufficient with its goat’s curd poutine.


The little historical past of poutine

Poutine was created in the 1950s in the French-speaking Canadian province of Québec. The restaurant Le Roy Jucep, in Drummondville, has a registered trademark as the inventor. But two different eating places, Le Lutin Qui Rit in Warwick and La P’tite Vache, in Princeville, additionally declare to be the inventors.

For a very long time, poutine was appeared down upon as a trashy fast-food dish, principally served in diners and roadside shacks. The solely widespread variations have been the Italian poutine (with bolognese as an alternative of gravy) and galvaude (with added hen and inexperienced peas).

But poutine has gained its spurs in the final decade or so. In its house province, good eating places are making their very own fancy model. Anthony Bourdain’s favourite, Au Pied De Cochon does a poutine with foie gras, whereas Garde Manger prepares one with lobster.

Since 2012, eating places round Canada have created particular variations of the basic dish for La Poutine Week. It’s typically the event for fascinating cross-cultural mash-ups, just like the gnocchi poutine, the taco poutine or the Siam poutine.



Even Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a fan. Over the years, he’s been photographed consuming poutine a number of occasions and took the Belgian Prime Minister to a “poutine summit” final yr.

Can’t make it to considered one of these eating places? Try our poutine recipe at residence, or attempt making this Hanukkah poutine.

Love the story? Follow the writer right here: Twitter @audreybourget and Instagram @audreybourget.

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