Finding Southern Flavors In Canada : Poutine Comes Home!

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About two years ago, I had an opportunity to visit Canada. I had a wonderful time, met some great people, had delicious food, and learned two things about Canadians.

One is that they are very nice people! Seriously, they were the biggest group of nice folks I had ever encountered outside of my own stomping grounds. I can’t imagine feeling as welcome anywhere else as I was in Canada (I really think they liked me better than my own family but that is a story for another day…)

Secondly was that Canadians have an almost inhuman ability to maintain body heat. With my Alabama blood in the Canadian climate (in January), “I THOUGHT I’Z GONNA FREEZE!” I have never, never, never, never, never, never, never experienced cold like that before in all of my born days.
I was told to bring my winter coat so I packed my wool pea coat. I love that coat but living in Alabama means only getting to wear it once or twice a winter if I’m lucky. You see, where I am, the winters are so mild that the grass doesn’t even die. We generally wear jackets if we go out but there have been occasions warm enough for shorts even in the middle of December. Needless to say, I was surprised when I got there and, upon looking at what I considered to be a winter coat, my friends asked me where my coat was.The photograph at the right shows me standing amidst more snow than I have ever seen in my entire life, wearing a coat – borrowed from a Canadian (I told you they were awful nice!).
I had a week filled with firsts. From stepping into snow and watching my shoe actually sink entirely down into it to visiting a grocery store and seeing things written entirely in French. Canada was a great experience and as I said before, the people were just wonderful. Another first from my trip was trying this dish – poutine (Pronounced pooh-teen).
From day one I was told, “Oh you HAVE to have Poutine!”. When it was described to me, hot fries topped with fresh cheese curd and a rich gravy, I was a bit put off. It just didn’t sound good to me. Still, they were persistent. Finally, three days before I left, I relented.
It was pure and true love at first bite. I had poutine at just about every meal until my flight back home. I ate so much poutine, I was being watched with concerned eyes as if hoping I would somehow get back on the wagon again. They had unleashed a poutine monster.
Once you taste this, you’ll see why. Now remember, I thought it sounded weird to begin with, too. In truth though, Poutine tastes about as southern as food can get and despite what you think, you really can’t imagine what it tastes like until you try it. Three simple ingredients meld to become something altogether more than what they seem.
This dish is so popular in Canada that McDonald’s and Burger King actually serve it, although I can’t imagine it is as good as it is at the little mom and pop diners. Canadians get creative with it, too. I’ve heard folks adding bacon, hamburger, and all sorts of other toppings into the mix. As for me, I like it just as I tried it that first time – and the second time, third, fourth, fifth, sixth…
You’ll need three simple ingredients. French Fries, Beef Gravy, and Mozzarella Cheese.
We’re making this a bit differently from how they do in Canada as we don’t have fresh cheese curds. I can’t really tell the difference but I’m sure fresh cheese curds just make it all the better!
Bake or fry your french fries. I love these Big Daddy steak fries. They are absolutely wonderful, and very difficult to find. Most people prefer to fry them in oil but I just bake mine. Surprisingly, I really don’t like to deep fry anything!
While those are cooking, slice your mozzarella cheese…You want a good handful, about a half cup for each serving.
Cut your slices into small cubes.
Heat your gravy until piping hot. You can use the stovetop for this or the microwave. I nuke mine.
Place hot fries on a plate and salt them.
Sprinkle liberally with cheese cubes.
Ladle hot gravy over hot fries.
Get a good bit on there! Make sure you cover up your cheese so it will get all ooey and gooey.
Give it a minute or two to melt and dig in.
Oh lord, I made this a few weeks ago and am just now putting the tutorial up.
Now I have to go make it again!


Finding Southern Flavors in Canada: Poutine Comes Home! Poutine is hot fries topped with fresh cheese curd and a rich gravy.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fries
Servings: 4
Calories: 708kcal


  • French fries cooked and kept hot
  • Mozzarella cheese cut into small cubes
  • Beef gravy in a can


  • Heat gravy until piping hot. Sprinkle cheese cubes liberally over hot fries. Pour gravy over all.
  • Pretend you know french. C'est Magnifique? MAIS Oui! C'est tres magnifique!(hey, I said pretend!)


Calories: 708kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

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  1. Oh Lawd Girl, I know what you mean! I had poutine for the first time in Chicago; The Windy City, in early February 2007. It was 2 with a wind chill of -40. I had never, never, ever experienced that kind of cold! The only thing that wasn’t covered up were my eyes (so I could see…) and icicles form on your lashes from the winds’ tears. That poutine was BEYOND comfort food! The gravy is the be all, end all. Good stuff!

  2. Oh my lanta…I have got to try this. And it seems like the kind of thing you can play around with and tweak the flavors, say, chicken gravy over Colby cheese cubes.

  3. My aunt made poutine for holidays…she called them poutine larapee (sp..phonetetcily) ? They were grayish balls wrapped in cheese cloth. Would anyone know what I am talking about? May have sounded like la rop pe

    RuthAnne Scully

  4. I’m just an ol’ southern boy born in Thomasville, Ga. and living in Jacksonville, Fl. I’m married to a gal from Quebec, and I’ve eaten my share of poutine let me tell ya. It’s not really poutine unless its made with cheese curds no more than 24 hours old. Longer than that and it loses its squeakyness.
    Did you notice that the little mom and pop cafes in Quebec always peel and slice the potatoes when you order, and NEVER use frozen fries. That’s the secret to true French-Canadian poutine.
    I’ve found that the closest thing in taste to poutine gravy is to thicken a can of Cambells Beef Consommé with equal parts of flour and corn starch.
    I have the process for making cheese curds saved in my recipe book, but finding raw milk is difficult here in Jacksonville. One day though…
    BTW, I have a sister-in-law that lives in Madison, she’s French-Canadian, and she can discuss with you all of the wonderful aspects of Québécois cuisine.

    1. I am from Jacksonville Florida, there use to a Dinsmore Daiey there, tho am not sure its still there or not.

  5. LOL my kids always get their fries changed to poutine at the restaraunts. When I make them at home I will actualy throw the finished product in the microwave to melt the cheese. Or you can use shredded mozzeralla, just don’t spread it thin. Think pizza with holes in the cheese lol.

    Try it with cheddar too, mmmmmmmm. They actually sell poutine gravy in the grocery stores here. Sometimes we have fries with just the cheddar cheese melted on them in the microwave. Sprinkle with salt and away you go!

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