Which poutine will you be voting for?
When you think of February, what comes to mind? Valentine’s day? Superbowl? I think of La Poutine Week!
This year, La Poutine Week spans over two weeks from Feb. 1-14. I had the chance to speak with Na’eem Adam, co-founder of La Poutine Week. Adam founded La Poutine Week alongside his colleague Thierry Rassam.
“This started off as a hobby for Thierry [Rassam] and I. Every year, this festival has grown to become more and more a Canadian festival, than [a] Montreal or Quebecois festival,” Adam said.
Adam explained that when people think of poutine, they think of Montreal or Quebec. But poutine has really been a dish that has become popularized outside the province.
“There are more than 1,000 locations all across the country that are participating in the festival. In the last 11 years, poutine has become a Canadian celebrated dish,” Adam said.
Adam explained that the best part of La Poutine Week is the multiculturalism from the participating restaurants who offer dishes like a Thai poutine, a Piri-Piri poutine, Indian-influenced poutine, and much more.
You can find a list of all the participating restaurants in your area on La Poutine Week’s website.
“The mission that we have had since the beginning was to help support local restaurants. We just wanted to find something that would pull people together to try poutine guilt-free,” Adam said.
You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home to participate in the festivities, as La Poutine Week has partnered with DoorDash and Sysco.
Adam highly recommends trying the poutines in-person and voting for your favourites on the website.
That is exactly what I did over the past weekend.
I live near Paulo et Suzanne, a 24-hour diner located on Boul. Gouin in the Ahuntsic Cartierville borough of Montreal. The poutine that they entered in the festival was Poutine Pop’n’Hot.
As I walked into the diner, I saw the big colourful sign that had a picture of the Pop’n’Hot. When I sat down, I immediately ordered that.
Pop’n’Hot poutine for La Poutine Week. Dalia Nardolillo/THE CONCORDIAN
When my order had arrived, I was overwhelmed to say the least. It was huge. The poutine was made up of hot peppers, popcorn chicken, SouthWest sauce, fries, cheese curds and of course gravy.
When I took the first bite it was like a flavour explosion in my mouth. The peppers provided a good source of heat to cut through all the fat from the cheese curds and gravy. The only thing I would omit would be the SouthWest sauce. I rate that poutine an 8/10.
To vote and rate poutines, you have to make an account on the La Poutine Week website.
The Pop’n’Hot was such a delicious poutine that it made me curious to know what other poutines are out there. I was able to speak with president of the Fromagerie Victoria franchise Marc-André Gosselin. He told me all about this year’s poutine.
“It’s called the Rétro. It has fried pickles, coleslaw and smoked meat,” Gosselin said.
This year’s poutine from Fromagerie Victoria is a collective idea from all the participating franchises.
If this hasn’t gotten your mouth watering yet, I don’t know what will. This year’s edition of the festival promises some exciting poutines.