Academics & Gourmet Poutine

I know it has been a while since I lasted posted on this blog but I have been very busy lately with school work. I am currently a fourth year student studying Environmental Management at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. And since I am in my last term and papers due dates and exams are drawing near I have been working like crazy to get everything done. So any opportunity I can get these days to just forget about the mountain of work that still left to be done even if it for only a couple hours makes me happy. And one of my guilty pleasures as I am sure that most people share is my joy eating second to my passion for cooking. But like most students, I cannot afford to spend much money on food everyday especially when I am at school. Even though the university has its own food court in the student center and its own small shopping plaza, food is more expensive than at other places off campus.  Therefore I usually try not to spend money on food when I am on campus and instead bring my own food with me from home everyday. Anywhere I can save money, that’s more money I’ll have in the future and you know as students we already pay too much for tuition and textbooks. Most students have a surmounting debt they have to pay back to the government after graduation. That is why I am always excited when I see relatively inexpensive or free food.

So you can imagine how happy I was when I was on campus a week ago on the day that York University was celebrating its annual red and white school spirit day. It occurs twice a year and pays tribute to York’s athletes and the University’s students, faculty and staff. And this year it was a bit special. It was the first year that I noticed that they had coordinated with food trucks in the Toronto area and brought them on campus. One of tucks that was one campus that day and is also one of my favorite is Smoke’s Poutinerie. They operate in the Toronto area and sell upscale gourmet versions of poutine.

Poutine is a fast food dish that originated in Quebec, Canada. The dish is traditionally made using french fries which is topped with brown gravy and cheese curds. There are unconfirmed reports that poutine was invented in the 1950s to 1970s in Victoriaville 1 hour outside of Montreal. The earliest date of this invention is in 1957. This was when restauranteur Fernand LaChance of Warwick who claimed that a takeout customer at his restaurant Lutin Quin Rit, request french fries and cheese in a bag in which the restauranteur responded: “ça va faire une maudite poutine” or “that’s going to make a damn mess.” It was later quoted that the customer said, “I wanted fries, but I saw cheese curds on the counter. I asked Fernand to mix them together.” But this restaurant eventually closed so their is no monument to this claim. But however it was invented we must hand it to Canadians, for popularizing this delicious dish.

Today there are many food businesses that make poutine but Smoke’s Pountinerie is one of the best that I know of and it elevates this already mouthwatering traditional classic into something even more extraordinary. All their combinations start with the classic fries, cheese curds and gravy and then they add other ingredients. They have some very unique combinations such as Italian poutine which is topped with homemade meat sauce. One of their most popular items is the chipotle pulled pork poutine which is also the one that I had on the day their food truck was on the York University campus. It was the first time that I had real authentic poutine and it was amazing. It was a perfect balance of saltiness from the fries and the cheese curds and spiciness from the pulled pork. I later found out that they have a spread nation wide in Canada they have a number of restaurants in all provinces expect for Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan. I would love to visit one of their Toronto locations sometime to fill by craving for poutine after the delightful experience I had.

So if you guys ever come to visit Canada some day you have to try Poutine which is considered on of Canada’s national dish and the best place to get it is at Smoke’s Poutinerie. And if you live in Canada and have not tried it yet, you better hurry up, you don’t know what you’re missing!

Here is their website for more information:

Smoke’s Poutinerie @ York University’s Red and White Day Celebrations:

Smoke's Poutinerie @ York University, Fall 2012

Their Classic Poutine:

Smoke's Poutinerie Classic Poutine

Their Unique & Delectable Pulled Pork Poutine: 

Smoke's popular pulled pork poutine



2 responses to “Academics & Gourmet Poutine

  1. They have a number of locations in the Toronto area including downtown. You should go there and try it sometime. I have always wanted to go to one of their restaurants!

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