Who invented our national dish?!
Various places claim the credit for this invention... One thing is for sure: poutine was born in rural Quebec in the 1950’s... but to whom exactly should the origin of poutine be linked?
The most widespread story is that poutine originates from a restaurant formerly called Le Lutin qui rit in Warwick, in the Arthabaska region. In 1957, a client named Eddy Lainesse would have asked the owner Fernand Lachance to mix the cheese curds with the fries. Genious!
A Drummondville restaurant called Le Roy Jucep registered a trademark stating that it is the inventor of poutine. Jean-Paul Roy, owner of this restaurant in 1964, is the first one to have served poutine as we know it today, i.e. "French fries, cheese and gravy."
Poutine could also come from the region of Nicolet, in Centre-du-Québec or from Saint-Hyacinthe in Montérégie. The high number of cheese dairies producing cheddar cheese curds in these two regions could explain the phenomenon.
It is also possible that poutine was born in Princeville, at the restaurant La P’tite Vache founded in 1966. La P’tite Vache was located close to the Princesse cheese dairy, which produced cheese curds but did not have anywhere to sell it. They began to sell this cheese at the cash of the restaurant. A regular customer would order some fries and buy a bag of cheese curds to mix them together at his table.
The original appellation was 50-50: 50% fries and 50% cheese. The gravy was then added and the name "mixte" was adopted. The name "poutine" as we know it today appeared only when large restaurant chains started selling that product. This name is probably due to the fact that other dishes made of potatoes are also called poutiness, and it could also be derived the English word "pudding."
As you can see, it is not La Banquise who invented poutine... but one could say that it did revolutionize it!