Fernand Lachance, Eddy Lainess, Birth of Poutine
background image from the Town of Warwick, Québec - the home of the first  poutine
And so begins a phenomenon, now a quintessential Canadian gastronomic indulgence, first conceived in 1957 by Fernand Lachance!  This is, the miracle of the birth of Poutine!
I really don't care if there are non-believers!
A simple internet search of the word "Poutine" will result in a veritable plethora of food, facts, feasts and fiction!  I'm NOT here to repudiate claims of others, or to ruffle anyone's feathers! (can you see a smirk on my face?)  My purpose is to simply recognize that our cousin, Fernand Lachance WAS, IN FACT, the inventor of poutine!

I won't be adding much to the already plentiful Poutine resources available. (
well, maybe I won't be adding new stuff but...I have a lot of information on page!)  And, it's not my purpose to single out just one person because there are a myriad of Lachances who have been very successful or contributed to their communities or even society as a whole.  The purpose is simply to provide a little more to the story of the who, what, when, why and where of Poutine!

I certainly do think it IS very cool that Fernand Lachance gave us Poutine.  (There was, of course, Eddy Lainesse who was there inspire him...more about that later).

Ahhh, where to begin?  Perhaps Lewis Carroll said it best with his novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland...
“Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
So I'll begin at the beginning!   There are always places, people and things...sort of the who, what, when, why, where and how line of thought.  So here's a little bit about all of it, starting with the "where" or "places" that played a role in both the establishment of poutine and the lives of many of our Lachance family cousins. 
It all starts here
In 1932, American psychologist Walter Pitkin published the self-help book Life Begins at Forty. This appears to be the case with the hero of the story as Fernand Lachance was born in August of 1917 and Poutine was born almost immediately after he turned forty in August or September of 1957!  Coincidentally, I had just turned 4 - isn't that just 40 without the 0?
It starts in Arthabaska, Québec, Canada - formerly part of the Eastern Townships and a "historic county" - The Home of Poutine
Much information is taken directly from Wikipedia and other sources found on the web.
Map of Cantons de L'est
Laura M. Cooper, Arlington, Texas - map found at http://www.brazoriaroots.com
The Eastern Townships (French: Cantons de l'Est) is a tourist region and a former administrative region in southeastern Quebec, Canada. It is situated between the former seigneuries south of the Saint Lawrence River and the border of the United States.
Arthabaska
Coordinates 46.05°N 71.917°W

The word Arthabaska is a distortion of the word ayabaskaw which means in the Cree language "where there are reeds, rush."
Arthabaska County is a "historical county" within the Eastern Townships, south of the Saint Lawrence River in Québec, Canada. The county seat was Arthabaska and the main city was Victoriaville. It was bounded on the northeast by Mégantic County, on the southeast Wolfe County, on the southwest by Drummond and Richmond County, and on the northwest by Nicolet County.
In the early 1980s Quebec's counties were abolished as Quebec was reorganized into 16 (later 17) administrative regions that were divided into regional county municipalities.
The bulk of the Eastern Townships became the Estrie region, but Arthabaska, Drummond, and part of Wolfe and Megantic counties became part of the Mauricie–Bois-Francs region (later, part of Centre-du-Québec region), while the remainder of Megantic County became part of the Chaudière-Appalaches region, and the Shefford and Missisquoi counties became part of the Montérégie region.
This large territory was initially served, on the religious level, by missionaries coming from Gentilly, Bécancour, Saint-Grégoire and Saint-Pierre-les-Becquets.  In 1848 the construction of the first two churches in this territory began;   the parish church of Saint-Louis-de-Blandford and that of the parish of Saint-Eusèbe in Princeville previously known as Saint-Eusèbe de Stanfold.
It is here that we find Warwick, Victoriaville and where this whole poutine thing begins to take shape. The two individuals responsible for this "mess" were both from Arthabaska County. 
As an aside, between 1840 and 1979, more than 90 of us Lachances were married in Arthabaska, Fernand Lachance being one of them. Most can be found in the database here.
Halfway between Montréal and Québec City lies Warwick, the town where a chance meeting led to a food frenzy!
Warwick, Québec
village of Warwick Quebec logo - CLICK HERE TO VISIT
The frenzy known as Poutine started with two men one a restaurateur, the other a truck driver. 
Fernand Lachance and Eddy Lainesse
The Invention of Poutine
More about the men behind the myth further down the page
Warwick, Arthabaska, Québec
Warwick is a small, (Population: 4,874 in 2009) attractive town located at the foot on the Appalachians, north east of Montreal, in Arthabaska county.  The town was incorporated in 1861 and named after a city of the same name in England.

Warwick is known for its industrial and agricultural production.  It is an enjoyable place to visit, and has been the winner of the Québec's "Communities in Bloom" competition a number of times, thus earning it the nickname, "The bloom of the Bois-Francs".

The village maintains attractive parks, a covered bridge over the rivière des Pins (Pine River), Maison de la Culture, a rest area for cyclists (in the old train station), and charming homes with distinctive architecture.

The town served as host to Quebec's annual “Warwick Cheese Festival” until 2014 when it was moved to Victoriaville and renamed the “Victoriaville Fine Cheese Festival” and now known as "FBT or Fromages, Bouffe & Traditions de Victoriaville".
Finally and perhaps most important, Warwick IS the birthplace of poutine!
(again, I don’t care if you disagree, it’s my story and I’m stickin’ with it! )
Important Notice
The Story Behind The Story
I don't live in Québec, let alone Warwick and while I AM related (as most of us Lachances are) to Fernand Lachance,  I created this page from information and stories I've compiled from public information with some help from the Société d'histoire Warwick. (click to visit) I found JUST ONE news article/story that pretty much conveys the entire story, the whole of Poutine and it's legacy. 

The article originally appeared in "The Globe and Mail", on October 9, 1997 on Page A2 and was written by Tu Thanh Ha who, at the time, was a member of The Globe and Mail's Montreal Bureau.

Locating a single legible copy of the article proved to be very difficult so I have, as faithfully as possible, transcribed the article from multiple sources so that it can be read in its entirety and preserved as both educational and a piece of history. 
The Poutine Story
Eddy Lainesse and Fernand Lachance look pretty trim, considering what they have been eating longer than anyone else on earth.

Forty years ago, the two friends gave the world the dish that has become a hallmark of Quebec cuisine.

One autumn afternoon in 1957 (they can’t remember whether it was September or October), Mr. Lainesse, then a truck driver, came into Mr. Lachance’s Café Ideal in Warwick, Que., where he was a regular, to order some fries.

Warwick is located near Victoriaville midway between Montreal and Quebec City in a region dotted with dairy farms and famous for its fresh cheese curds which Mr. Lachance displayed in small cardboard boxes on the café’s counter.

Craving something rich and tasty, Mr. Lainesse suddenly had a brainwave.  Why not put the cheese and fries together?

“You’ll get a bloody poutine,” Mr. Lachance predicted, using French slang for what was to him, a “mess.”

But that was what Mr. Lainesse wanted, so they mixed the ingredients in a waxed paper bag, then added salt and vinegar, and a calorie packed culinary legend was born.

Mr. Lachance added the dish (40 cents – 10 cents extra for gravy) to the menu at Café Ideal (later renamed Lutin Qui Rit) and the art of clogging arteries has never been the same.

Not to be confused with traditional Acadian poutine (which can be a type of pudding or a pork stuffed ball of grated potato), the Quebec version is both an acquired taste and a bit like Scottish haggis, the target of many jokes.

Many Quebeckers are less than amused by all the attention paid to the humblest star in their culinary firmament.  This is, after all, a province with many fine restaurants and a population – whether French or English speaking – that considers itself more sophisticated than the inhabitants of dour Ontario.

Quebeckers are highly sensitive about being portrayed as hayseeds.  Several years ago, when Le Guide du Routard, Frances famous travel guide, called the province’s cuisine “fit for lumberjacks, flummoxed burghers in Quebec City forced local stores to take the book of their shelves for a while.

Fine European cuisine – complimented by contributions from such recent arrivals as the Vietnamese and Ethiopians – has pride of place, but Mr. Lachance, now 80, and Mr. Lainesse, 65, understandably see no shame in eating poutine.

For them, fancy restaurants serving food from all over the world are for city slickers, whereas the sinful gratification of a poutine evokes something distinctly native to Quebec.

Poutine doesn’t belong in the bistro world of chrome counters and halogen lamps; it’s most at home in the neon light of the plastic fork diner.  There, along with fatty smothered meat sandwiches, guédilles {a mayo-laden mishmash on a hot-dog bun} and “steamies,” it appeals to the part of Quebec soul that worships all foodstuffs unholy to dieticians

Mr. Lachance, however, takes issue with poutines poor nutritional reputation.

Sitting in Mr. Lainesse’s kitchen {the two are discussing their collaboration together for the first time}, he says that not only does he still eat it once or twice a week, but so do fellow pensioners at his nursing home who are in their 90’s.

“So those people who say it’s not good for your health, they’re not telling the truth,” he insists.

That prompts Mr. Lainesse to quip; “You sound like you’re making an ad for the cheese industry.”

Over the years, Mr. Lachance has come to be known as “le père de la poutine,” which has made him a bit uncomfortable, he says, because Mr. Lainesse, now a travelling salesman for home-ventilations systems, has not shared the limelight.

Recognition is fine, but “we could have made a lot of money from this,” Mr. Lainesse points out, adding “perhaps we could have, but we didn’t do it properly.”

How could we know?” Mr. Lachance asks.

And how could they have known?  Although a relative newcomer to Quebec’s fast food scene (potato chips date from the 1850’s, a Turkish cook named Iskender invented the vertical grill used to make doners and shawarmas in 1867, and hamburgers were on the menu of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair), poutine is big.  For example, it’s now a staple of the major chains.  Burger King’s decision to add it to the menu in 1992 generated an extra $2-million in curds business for Warwick’s Fromagerie Côté.

Poutine is also available in other provinces – it has been spotted as far west as Alberta – as well as other places where Quebeckers have traveled from New England to Venezuela.  When they winter in Florida, for example, Mr. Lainesse and Mirielle, his wife of 36 years, can find it in restaurants run by Quebeckers.

And make no mistake, quality ingredients are important.  Aficionados say good poutine needs fries that are cut relatively thick, not the matchstick type.  As for the sauce, initially it wasn’t beef gravy but the special spicy thing that Mr. Lachance’s wife, Germaine, was famous for, a mixture of brown sugar, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce, served on the side so the fries wouldn’t get soggy.

Another essential, says Mrs. Lainesse (who speaks with some authority on this subject), is that the cheese be as fresh as possible.  The restaurants in Florida airlift their curds from home, and she gets hers as soon as the local dairy has them ready, which is about 3:30 in the afternoon.

That way, she says, the cheese is still soft.  Kept overnight, it will turn rubbery.  And just to make sure it stays smooth until she needs it, she places the package in a pot of warm water when she gets home.

The thought of a restaurant poutine causes her husband to grumble, “You only get a few curds,” he complains, pointing out that in the hope of its inventor up to a pound of cheese is used to make two servings.

"A bit for my wife, the rest for me."
Photo - Fernand Lachance - Eddy Lainesse
In this article, five different varieties of Poutine are spelled out!
Poutine Permutations
100 Varieties of Poutine - Image
Today there are way too many varieties with to keep up with! The "Whistle Stop Café" in Peterborough, Ontario claims they are home to over 107 varieties of Poutine including Pulled Pork and Taku's Big Booty Chicken poutine. (huh?) You can even get a Poutine Pizza or a Poutine Po' Boy! Just do a Google Search for "Poutine Varieties" and see what comes up!  HA!
<<Ca va faire une maudite poutine!>>  (That's going to make one hell of a mess!)
From the news article:  "Over the years, Mr. Lachance has come to be known as “le père de la poutine,” which has made him a bit uncomfortable, he says, because Mr. Lainesse, now a travelling salesman for home-ventilations systems, has not shared the limelight."

I say - let's face facts here... obviously if Eddy had not asked for this dish "to go", I wouldn't be typing here today!  I believe that anytime you put someone who likes to cook together with someone who likes to eat, something GREAT is bound to happen...and IT DID...and I believe Fernand must have been right - it certainly had to make one heck of a mess!  It DOES take TWO to Tango - so let's give credit where credit is due!  Thanks Eddy...for co-inventing Poutine!
I'm no Paul Harvey but, as he said many times -  "AND NOW... THE REST OF THE STORY"
Le Lutin Qui Rit - Photo
Where it all began in 1957
Café Ideal, later called "Le Lutin Qui Rit"
(English: The Laughing Elf). 
(from a photo naming Gérard Roy, Prop)
Joseph Fernand Lachance
27 AUG 1917 - 06 FEB 2004
5TH Cousin - once removed
Fernand (the son of Joseph Adjutor Lachance and Victoria Lemieux) was born in Warwick, Arthabaska, Québec.  He married Germaine Lettre at St-Médard in July of 1940.  They had six children that I know of.
Memorable Quote
“Ça va faire une maudite poutine” - That's going to make a big mess.
Photo of old truck
THIS...is a truck (1950's model)
Eddy Lainesse either drove one or worked on one and it may not have been one like this.
(photo from old magazine truck ad)
Joseph Emile Addé Lainesse
07 MAY 1932 - 20 AUG 2015
5TH Cousin - twice removed
"Eddy" (the son of Hervé Lainesse and Alida Paré) was born in St-Albert-de-Warwick, Arthabaska, Québec.  He married Mirielle Galarneau at Ste-Victoire in June of 1964.  They had two children that I know of.
Memorable Quote
"I remember it like it was yesterday...I know very well that I am the first!"
What?  They're Related? Image
Distant Cousins Image
As it turns out
Fernand and Eddy are actually
RELATED!
Did Eddy know his grandmother was a Lachance?  He would have been 23 years old when she died so he must have known, right?  But... would he have known he was actually related to  Fernand?  That we don't know!  The fact is though, they were cousins!

Eddy's maternal grandmother was baptized Marie-Octavie Pépin dit Lachance, daughter of Nazaire and Célina Belanger.  She married Jérome Paré on July 10, 1888 at St-Medard using "Pépin dit Lachance" in 1888! Her death was recorded using the surname "Lachance".
Seventh Cousin Image
THE RELATIONSHIP
Fernand and Eddy Relationship Chart
Photo - Fernand Lachance
This photo is from another news article about Fernand and not his original obituary.

The original obituary is written in French but I have translated it into English for the benefit of those who don't speak French.
Fernand Lachance - Obituary
Fernand's obituary, courtesy of the
Société d'histoire Warwick - click to view
The inventor of poutine has died

(MT) Fernand Lachance, former restaurateur of Warwick died on February 6 at the age of 86. This man is the same man that the majority of people in the Bois-Francs region consider to be the creator of poutine.

The latter served his first poutine in September 1957. He was then the owner of the Idéal restaurant in Warwick, and research carried out by the Development Corporation… Bois-Franc demonstrates… that he owes this creation, which has become so popular today, to a certain Eddy Lainesse. The latter had asked to serve him a dish of cheese curd, topped with fries. Surprised by this request, Mr. Lachance had replied: "D'accord, mais le fromage va fondre et ça va faire une maudite poutine!", meaning "but the cheese will melt and it will make a damn mess!"

It therefore seems that it is from this moment that the commercialization of poutine began. Since then, Mr. Lachance has made it a point to eat poutine regularly. However, he admitted to eating this dish with the sauce on the side. To these eyes, this is where the secret of a good poutine would lie.

Mr. Lachance is survived by his children: Lise, Claude, Gilles, François, Guy-André, Daniel, his grandchildren, his great-grandson, his sisters, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law. His funeral took place last Monday at Saint-Medard Church in Warwick.
Photo - Eddy Lainesse
The photo used here is from the book entitiled "Maudite Poutine" written by Charles-Alexandre Théoret. (more later)

The original obituary for Eddy is in French. I have translated it into English for the benefit of those who don't speak French.
VICTORIAVILLE BRANCH
GRÉGOIRE DESROCHERS


At his home, on August 20, 2015, at the age of 83 years, Mr. Eddy Lainesse passed away, beloved husband of Mrs. Mireille Galarneau. He lived in Victoriaville.

Besides his wife, Mrs. Mireille Galarneau, he is survived by his children: François spouse of Suzanne Smeets, Sonia; his grandchildren: Thomas-James, Marie-Soleil and Pascale; his great-granddaughter: Elie-Ann.

He also leaves to mourn his brother, Paul husband of Marthe, his brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces as well as several other relatives and friends.

The family will receive condolences on Friday, August 28, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and on Saturday, the day of the funeral, starting at noon, at the Grégoire & Desrochers Funeral Complex, 1300 rue Notre-Dame Is in Victoriaville.
The funeral will be celebrated on Saturday, August 29, 2015, at 2 p.m., at St-Christophe Church in Arthabaska.

Your expressions of sympathy can made by way of a donation to the Quebec Lung Association.

The forms are available at the office of the funeral home.
So, here's to Fernand and Eddy - a salute to the memory of both - and the big mess you created - thank you!
Fernand Lachance Dies - His Dish Will Live On Forever
This article appeared in "The Gazette" on February 13, 2004.  As I've already said, just google "poutine" and be amazed!
Poutine - What Is It?
Look at it this section as sort of a one-stop shop for things you might never have known and didn't even think about asking, when it comes to Poutine and it's roots! 
Parts of Poutine
Put this in!
The WHAT of POUTINE
It all starts with fresh *potatoes, cut into 1/2" thick sticks, then fried perfectly crisp; next, to the piping hot fries, (frites) add *cheese curds (fromage en grains) that are fresh and squeaky, direct from the farm if possible; give this a generous douse of homemade, seasoned *brown gravy (sauce brune) ... the heat from the gravy melts the cheese to create a ridiculously delicious Lachance brainchild and a culinary treat!
WARNING:  This dish is NOT dietetic!
Photo of Poutine
Get this out!
Side Notes
* Potatoes - As best I can determine, "yellow flesh" potatoes are used in the original recipe.  It seems a Yukon Gold would work just fine if you can't import your potatoes directly from Québec! It also appears that "peanut oil" is best for frying up a crisp batch of fries for the dish. I've heard of some cooks frying the potatoes twice, once at a lower temperature to "cook the inside" and again at a high temperature to "crisp them up".  They MUST be thicker style (not like McDonald's matchstick fries) and they MUST be CRISP to do it right!
* Cheese Curds - The "white" cheddar variety of cheese curds must be used.  Cheese curds are the moist pieces of curdled milk, sometimes called "Squeaky Cheese" and should be fresh from the farm (like made 3-hours ago).  There's a pretty good chance you can't get these so packaged curds (in the US you might not even be able to find them) will work in most cases.  I've heard you can substitute mozzarella cheese in a pinch but personally I'd wait until I could get the real thing! (or make your own? - see bottom of page)
* Brown Gravy -  ahhhh, the gravy.  I believe this is key to the success of your experience!  Today many simply use a can or jar of brown gravy. Unfortunately, although I've tried, I have not been able to talk with Germaine (Fernand's wife) to find out how she made the gravy so many years ago.  I do know that hers was made with a mixture of brown sugar, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce with spices unknown.  I believe the recipe I have included here MAY come close but unless someone in Warwick knows the recipe Germaine (Lettre) Lachance used for the "real gravy from Café Ideal", this will have to work.
Yuck!
...YUCK!

If you are thinking "this can't possibly be good..." then you sound like so many others who tried it and have since converted.

Millions around the world have testified to that fact that poutine IS good, possibly even the best thing they've ever tasted! Popularity of Poutine serves as a testimonial!

It is said that it may prevent or even cure hangovers as well!
It's not cereal but ... Even Mikey Likes It!
Mikey Likes Poutine
If you don't, there's always Alka-Seltzer!
Historical Fact
Fresh cheese curds are so widely available because our French-Canadian cousins kept up the cheese-making traditions of France long after the initial settlers established Nouvelle France.

Dairies, cheese factories and butteries were developed around many of the towns and railways. A large number of them in the Montréal area and the Eastern Townships where Fernand Lachance and Eddy Lainesse both lived.

Café Ideal, where our Poutine has its beginnings, had cheese delivered, literally from the dairy in their backyard.

Make Your Own Sauce?
There's only ONE ORIGINAL! 
I don't have THAT recipe!
Making of the fries and finding a suitable cheese (curd) shouldn't be too difficult so what's left is the gravy.
I've found two separate recipes for the "sauce brune".  One may be close to the original, the 2nd, seems a bit different, but just as "authentic.

Feel free to open either or both, print them and give them a shot.  Just Click.
#1 - BEST
Link to Poutine Gravy Recipe #1
# 2 - BETTER
Link to Poutine Gravy Recipe #2
But Wait - Theres More
You've come this far, might as well keep going!
Here is a compendium of amazingly fascinating, mostly unessential, technically correct, potentially trivial and useless but nonetheless, totally awesome, fun facts and information that you will probably forget before you go to bed tonight … read carefully so you can study for the test!
Oh Say Can You Say
I CAN SAY THAT!
Whether it's important or not is not for me to decide, and I have no reason to try to teach someone who already speaks French how to say a French name or word ...BUT
... For those of us south of the border and even western Canada, here's a few things that get pronounced differently around the world.
POUTINE
Poutine  (/puːˈtiːn/ poo-TEEN, Quebec French: [put͡sɪn]) is a dish that includes french fries and cheese curds topped with a brown gravy as  you already know.
I started with just the word "poutine" because it is, after all, the topic of this page!

First up - a proper pronounciation spoken by a Québec native.

POUTINE - Other Ways to Say

This one has a more natural, down home, Québec ring to it.

And now, a British English sound ... Canada was a British colony right?

Then there's the American way - I didn't say it was the correct way!

POUTINE - How NOT to Say

CAREFUL! Say it this way, you would be calling some unlucky soul ... a whore!

First in Websters Dictionary in 2014, this sounds nothing like it is supposed to!

And THIS ... is the Russian President, not the food!

JUST A FEW MORE - I PROMISE!
Most important are the, now famous, words utterd by Fernand Lachance when Eddy asked him for the French fries to go!
"ça va faire une maudite poutine!
Poutine, meaning"mess" in French - translated to English means "that's going to make one hell of a mess!"

ça va faire une maudite poutine
now YOU try!

And finally, how to pronounce both Fernand and Eddy's names... in French of course.

Fernand Lachance
It's not chance like take a chance!

Eddy Lainesse
This should just roll right off your tongue!

And then there's always music!
According to Wikipedia - George Bowser and Rick Blue, better known as Bowser and Blue, are a musical duo from Montreal who write and perform comedic songs. Their material ranges from absurdist humour to pointed political and cultural satire.
Bowser & Blue Comedy Team
Bowser and Blue sings a song devoted to our illustrious dish!  Here's one of the refrains.
Bowser and Blue Song Words
And of course ...
you can see it live on YouTube
standard YouTube controls in use
I don't get anything out of this but these guys are really kinda funny if you listen to some of their other work. 
Bowser and Blue - Website Link
Click on the logo/banner above to visit
How Poutine got into a web marketing strategy podcast, I'll never know but...
Edge of the Web Radio is a weekly, hour-long Internet Marketing program hosted by Erin Sparks from Site Strategics.
Once again - I'm not affiliate and I am not recommending anybody for anything but, here's a link to one of their podcasts on YouTube that has the host stumbling to say the word ... "Poutine".  Pretty Funny!
follow the links on the broadcast to learn more
From Vancouver to Miami – From Chile to Afghanistan
Poutine is EVERYWHERE and it can be so many things from restaurant specialties to family meals and from "how much can you eat" contests to celebratory festivals around the world! (although most seem to be in Canada, there's even one in New Hampshire and it's spreading.)  Books have been written, recipes made, and news spread everywhere.  As I've said before, "just Google it!"  A search of the word "poutine" turns up 45,200,000 results!  YIKES!  Fernand and Eddy - if you could see what you've made...you'd be amazed!
Poutine Festivals Abound in 2020
AMAZING!
At the risk of being redundant, I say again, Google it!  "Poutine Festivals".

You'll find them all over Canada and even one in Merrimack, New Hampshire!

"POUTINE FEAST" billed as the world's largest touring food festival shows these locations for 2020 :

Petawawa | Peterborough | London | Sarnia | Windsor | North Bay | Wasaga Beach | Sault Ste Marie | Thunder Bay | Timmins | Guelph | Belleville | Cornwall | Brockville | Whitby | Picton | Coburg | Waterloo | Hamilton | Kingston | Brampton | Barrie
My Opinion
THE MOST IMPORTANT FESTIVAL
Poutine Festival Drummondville, Québec
Festival de la Poutine de Drummondville
Click the logo above to visit
AUGUST 27, 2020 - AUGUST 29, 2020

Where:
Centre Marcel-Dionne
300, rue Cockburn
Drummondville , Québec, Canada, J2C 4L6
Try out your eating skills
POUTINE EATING CONTESTS?
You Are What You Eat - Image
... and if this is the case, then I'm not so sure about the next topic!  Sponsored by "Smokes Poutine" in Toronto - it's the World Poutine Eating Championship!  I don't even want to watch!
2019 Winner: Joey Chestnut, with a World Record 28lb of Poutine in 10 mins!
Smokes Winner - Joey Chestnut
click image for full size
Smoke's Poutine is a chain of "poutine" restaurants with headquarters in Ajax, Ontario, Canada.  I've had their poutine while visiting Toronto and it's pretty good!
Visit their website by clicking HERE.
Where It All Started
Where It All Started
It isn't Smokes Poutine and it's surely not McDonalds ... or any other of the multitudes of dining establishments that serve Poutine but ... it is where it all started back in 1957.
Fernand, along with his wife Germaine, acquired the restaurant sometime shortly before poutine would be born in the kitchen of the restaurant named "Le Lutin Qui Rit".   Translated into English it means "The Laughing Elf" or "The Laughing Goblin" depending on your translator.

The restaurant was a "casse-croûte" which loosely translates to "snack bar" or "luncheonette" or even "diner" to those of us below the border.
Not long after Eddy made his request, Fernand began to serve the dish, where later he switched from wax paper bags to plates to better hold the “mess.”

When customers began to complain the fries got cold too quickly, he added hot gravy to the mix. Fernand has said that he ate poutine at least once a week, up until his death in 2004.
Proof?  A Le Lutin Qui Rit menu from 1957 lists ‘poutine’ as one of the food options. Originally the price was 35 cents.
The  Proof Is In The "Poutine"
This is an"actual menu" from a bit later, showing the results of inflation.
once again, thanks to the Société d'histoire Warwick who has the original (I think)
click the image to view full size
Lutin Qui Rit - Menu
"Food Of The Gods"
Poutine IS the food of the gods!  

I'm not talking about the 1976 science fiction thriller or the book by Terrence McKenna!

Truly delicious crispy fries (just fries, not French Fries) topped with slowly melting fresh, squeaky cheese and a nice thick gravy to make it all gooey.
Ok so what if it raises your cholesterol;  it only has 60 grams of fat in a single serving.  Can you say "Heart Attack on a Plate?"

Oh by the way, I like salt too ... and you can never have too much butter right?
There's  A Book
"Maudite Poutine - L'histoire approximative d'un plat poplulaire"
The book is written by Charles-Alexandre Théorêt, a fan of Poutine (obviously) and he was born in Longueuil, Québec in 1977.
The book is entertaining and even  humorous and it contains interviews, anecdotes, drawings, photos, poems and songs - all-in-all, just a fun read.
Were I motivated enough, I'm pretty certain that he too, must be somehow related!
The book is "out-of-print" but I did manage to find a copy to add to my growing collection of "family related" stuff!
Cover of Maudite Poutine
And There's A Dance Too!
Omnikrom (click to visit) is a Canadian rap, crunk, and electro group formed in Montréal.  A video of the groups music and the dance (Danse La Poutine) appear on Vimeo.
Released in 2007 the music is available on Spotify, Google Play Music and Deezer! 
Wear a t-Shirt
Show the Love!
Poutine T-Shirts
t-Shirts can be found everywhere but if you want one quick, find it on Amazon - just search for "poutine t-shirt" to find all kinds of options. Of course I bought a couple!
(I'm not promoting amazon OR the t-shirts - nor do I get any benefit from this!  - FYI only!)
Make Your Own Poutine
The easy way out - go online (Amazon of course) order up some genuine St-Hubert Poutine Sauce (canned or packet), buy the "Cedar Grove" white cheddar "squeaky" cheese curds.  Go get some potatoes, make up a batch of fries, mix it all up and enjoy!
Poutine Ingredients - Buy online
If You Want To Go "All Out"
Watch Steve Owens Video!
Maybe you'd like to get really nuts!  You can, if you have the time and proper motivation, (I'm thinking a couple of rum and Coca-Cola here) make your own, homemade, squeaky white cheese curds. 
You'll need to find some Rennet, either online or at a local health food store.  ...just search for it ... or use Amazon! (I really should get paid - LOL)  Visit Steve’s Kitchen at YouTube!
Just the Facts!
Poutine - In Québec, the term poutine is slang for mess.
In 2003 Poutine was banned from local schools in Toronto due to high fat content.
In August 2019, in Warwick, Québec, a new record-setting poutine weighed in at 3,038 kilograms or 6,697 POUNDS.
According to CBC, Poutine is #10 of the greatest Canadian inventions, beating the electron microscope and the BlackBerry.
The most expensive poutine in Montreal used to be found at Le Gourmet Burger. It was  made with foie gras and truffle oil and sold for $70. It is now, permanently closed.
In 2013  Jones Soda of Seattle, WA, released Poutine flavored soda as a special, limited release item.
Do I Eat Poutine?
Seriously, you have to ask?  Larry Lachance is not known for his "healthy eating habits" and certainly, I will go out of my way to find a good poutine whenever and wherever I am travelling!
Once I made my own (the quick and easy way with pre-made ingredients including frozen fries - not the way to go) but I find it easier just to order it wherever it is served.

I will say that I've had some pretty awful representations of the illustrious Lachance concoction but then, I've also had some pretty good stuff too.  Smoke's in Toronto does a decent job and there are others too.

I think the best (at least for me) was at Poutineville in Toronto.  The spot is now closed but they still have restaurants in Montréal! 

Visit the website Poutineville HERE.
Usually I go for just plain old ordinary "original" without all the extra stuff that could be added... I like it better that way!
Photos From Poutineville
Poutineville Poutine Plates
These are the poutines I've tried at Poutineville.
And below is a portion of the menu. (2018)
(click to enlarge)
Poutineville Toronto Menu 2018
Self Serving Selfie
ME ... Eating Poutine
I'll have to exercise (which I never do) for days just to shed the calories from this.  Enough calories to suffice for my total recommended daily allowance!  For the fat content ... well, I'm not even going to think about it!  I'll just pretend that I AM the "Laughing Elf"!
I put the Québec flag in the back because I am, after all, 1/2 French Canadian but I can tell you that the British, German, Austrian, Mennonite, Quaker side ... likes this too.
(click for larger version)
The Poutine here (top and what I'm eating - original; bottom - with Montréal smoked meat) is from Poutini's House of Poutine on Queen Street in Toronto.  Most Excellent!
Slightly Doctored Photo
Poutini's House of Poutine
Just In Case You Get to Toronto
Try this - it's right downtown
1112 Queen St. West
(click the image for Poutini's Facebook page)
Fred Laliberté, Propriétaire
and Larry Lachance
Fred Laliberté and Larry Lachance at Poutini's
Fred Laliberté is the owner of this Poutini's House of Poutine and he was kind enough to snap a photo with me.  Certainly we are related but I didn't take the time to ask him any questions so I might find out how.
IF Necessity...
...is the Mother of Invention
Remembering Fernand Lachance and Eddy Lainesse
Fernand Lachance and Eddy Lainesse
MUST BE the Co-Dads!
Discover for yourself...
The MIRACLE of POUTINE!
While you're reading this, remember Fernand Lachance and Eddy Lainesse because this page is for both of them.  Most important, we wouldn't have poutine today if they hadn't made their mark on history!
As with Alice - In Wonderland - this is Larry on the world wide web - signing off!  Yes my friends, you have reached the end of this page - whew! Now, go forth and "EAT"!
"when you come to the end...STOP!"
This is the end
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