guides you to the best local dishes & drinks in
150+ cities.
See map now

Join the Project

EYW wants your food photos!



Upload a photo now

Food Memories

EYW wants your food stories!

Edible flowers in Assam

Assam India

Bitter flowers are [eaten] in Asia. In Assam, northeast India, these flowers are used as food. It's simply made and tasty ; village people like these flowers. They are unique vegetables -- called... Read more

Write a Food Memory now

Dish Spotlight: Poutine in Montreal

Laura Siciliano-Rosen December 14, 2012

Every so often, a dish or drink is so beloved, so synonymous with a place that we just have to pay it a little extra mind.

Poutine from La Banquise in Montreal, Quebec

Poutine. The mere thought of it gives you a guilty thrill, doesn’t it? The idea of going to a city where it’s perfectly acceptable—indeed, expected—to plop yourself down at 2am and brazenly order a giant plate of French fries smothered in cheese curds and brown gravy speaks loudly to our inner gluttons. It says, Go to Montreal. Now.

In New Jersey, where I grew up, it’s also a common thing to go to a late-night diner and gorge on such alcohol-soaker foods. Greasy eggs were always a favorite order, as were “disco fries,” or cheese fries with gravy. What I didn’t know back then was that disco fries are, essentially, a down-and-dirty Jersey version of Quebec’s poutine: Instead of fresh, regionally sourced cheese curds, our fries were usually doused with a melty, processed-cheese sauce à la Cheez Whiz. But it’s not such a popular order once you’re out of the 10-and-under or 18-to-22-year-old age groups, and it’s buried on giant menus that span potato skins, roast prime rib, and pasta primavera.

In Montreal, poutine has widespread lasting power. Whole greasy-spoon-types of establishments are dedicated to the stuff (and maybe a few steamies, or steamed hot dogs). These poutine menus don’t end at cheese curds and gravy; they move on to get doused in Italian-style tomato sauce or to include pepperoni and merguez sausage, and from there they exit the greasy spoon and enter a more sophisticated realm, steadily climbing the ladder to foie gras and duck confit—rich, playful, decidedly high-end spins on the humble classic.

According to The New York Times, poutine—which is pronounced “poo-tin,” not “poo-teen,” by the way—has been a source of embarrassment for certain Quebecers over the years, who wonder how on Earth it of all foods wound up as something of a national dish. Come on, Quebec: You’ve given us all an excuse to eat a pile of fries, cheese, and gravy. Are you really surprised?

Read more about poutine in our full entry here.

Watch the making of duck confit poutine here.

Tags: dishes Canada


NYC Food Itineraries

NYC Food Itinerary! NYC's best classic foods in one day, by Eat Your WorldNEW! Let us do the heavy lifting on your next trip to NYC: Check out our new downloadable one-day NYC eating itineraries, or email us for a custom multiday itinerary.

View available NYC Food Itineraries

Forgot password