Smoke’s Poutinerie’s fifth annual World Poutine Eating Championship is back with a vengeance (and gravy!) tomorrow, Saturday, October 4th. Hold off on dinner tonight because, from 10am to 4pm tomorrow, at Yonge Dundas Square, cheese n’ gravy fans can plow grease piles into their pie-holes while also enjoying a beer garden, live music, and a kids zone. Champion-level eaters (um, amazing but gross) from around the world will conglomerate their guts at 3pm to face off by stuffing face with poutine. Think you’ve got what it takes to win a title with your own unbridled appetite? Throw your cares and your waist line to the wind at 2pm in the 10-minute amateur eat-off. In honour of the event and our office-wide love of poutine, here are 5 things you didn’t know about the Quebecois classic…
Jack Kerouac was allegedly a big fan of poutine
Sure, he might be one of the most famous American authors of all time and an icon of the Beat Generation, but did you know that Jack Kerouac’s full name was Jean-Louis Lebris de Kérouac? Oh, and that his parents were French Canadian. Franchement… calisse! What le fuck? That explains why Kerouac scholar Audrey Sprenger once tweeted that “Med rare cheeseburg on Engl muf w mayo & fried onions” was the auteur‘s favourite food because “it reminded him of poutine.”
Poutine was invented sorta-kinda by la chance!
Although there’s still huge debate in Quebec over who invented poutine, the most commonly held belief is that the regional dish came into being when fried food enthusiast Eddy Lainesse asked Fernand Lachance, owner of former Warwick, Quebec restaurant Le Lutin qui rit to mix cheese curds in with his fries. Bowel movements the world over haven’t been the same since!
The first official poutine was served in 1964
Le Roy Jucep in Drummondville, Quebec registered a trademark stating that the restaurant is the actual inventor of poutine. Former owner Jean-Paul Roy was the first to have what we consider poutine today on his menu: French fries, cheese, and gravy.
Poutine is now a hipster’s wet dream
Brooklyn’s so hip, it even knows Mile End is Montreal’s hippest neighbourhood. You can get a Montreal-style poutine at Brooklyn’s Mile End Delicatessen, which also has a decidedly less cool Manhattan location.
Fact: La Banquise in Montreal is still the best place to get poutine at any hour of the day