Poutine Tour on your next visit to Quebec
Who knew french fries, cheese and sauce could become an international delicacy. Are you looking for the best poutine? If you want to find the absolute best poutine then these poutine tours could be part of your experience when you visit Quebec,
Origins of the Legend
Legend has it that poutine started in Drummondville years ago, in the mid-sixties. Folklore abounds about the origins. But mostly it would be in the ‘centre du Quebec. Before the age of the internet this now revered dish has taken on a prominent chapter in French Canadian culinary history.
Like snowflakes, no two poutines are alike.Yes such a simple dish has man variants. First the fries. Any ‘snack bar’ or ‘frites’ place worth its name does not use frozen.
Love and care for the main ingredient is critical. Wash, peel and a soak are the first key steps to a decent poutine. They are first light cooked in fresh oil. Then they are drained and set aside. The cooked again in the oil to get a good crispy crunch and little crusty brown on the edges.
Once drained well they must then be paired with a very (very here is important) fresh curd (aka squeaky cheese. The best curd cheese is one made that morning and hasn’t yet been refrigerated. A good salt level without being overbearing is a balance to be found in only a few good fromageries. And so this is what makes a good poutine truly stand-out.
The gravy. Ah yes the gravy. Locals will refer to it as “la sauce BBQ”. It’s not barbecue sauce as we know it. It’s definitely more of a gravy with a slight tang to it.
And so, once the frites are in the container, they are covered with cheese and then generously doused with la sauce BBQ. You now have our creation before us ready to be forked over to our waiting tastes buds.
Some Poutine Places
Where to find this delicacy varies from region to region. Now if you’re coming up from route 91 from Vermont you can come across a few well known spots.
Near the birthplace of poutine in Drummondville right off of the Trans Canada highway is Lemaire where they make curd cheese daily.
In St-Hyacinthe you can also find Qualite Summum. Here the fresh curd cheese makes for a must detour.
One of our favorites is in Bromont. Bromont is a quaint little ski town and home to Fromagerie Gourmande. They make their cheese fresh daily. Pair your poutine here with a couple of steamies (instead of toasted bread, the bun is slightly steamed) all dressed. If you do not buy a pound of squeaky cheese before you go out the door you are simply doing it wrong.
Also, in Montreal there are ‘high’ end poutine spots but we prefer going for tried and true for our purpose here. La Banquise has been around for 7 decades. They have a variety of poutines from the Classic to something called the T-Rex!
As for Quebec City a Chez Gaston is certainly one of the top spots for a die hard poutine.
Now if you’re pressed for time and need to get one on the fly you can always count on a few of these local provincial chains:
These offer a decent offering of poutine.
For insight on some upscale poutine you can read more here.
Ultimately, there are many more and we will always encourage you to walk into a small road side stand. The smaller spots take immense care in their poutine creation. Call it artisanal poutine if you must.The no-frills approach enhances the experience when you visit Quebec on your next poutine tour.