People keep confusing the French spelling of the Russian president's name with fries and gravy.
A poutine restaurant chain in France took to social media to clarify that it is not linked to "the Russian regime and its leader." It says it has received "calls of insults and even threats" given that the "Russian dictator, Vladimir Putin, has been at the centre of a chilling news story" over the past few days.
Vladimir Putin translates to Vladimir Poutine in French, as both spellings were adapted from the Cyrillic Russian spelling.
"Our dish was born in Quebec in the 1950s. And there are many stories about its origin. But one thing is certain: poutine was created by passionate cooks who wanted to bring joy and comfort to their customers," wrote La Maison de la Poutine, which has locations in Paris and Toulouse.
According to Instagram, its poutine was voted best in the world outside of Quebec in 2019, 2020 and 2022.
"La Maison de la Poutine has been committed to these values from the very first day and today it gives its most sincere support to the Ukrainian people who are courageously fighting for their freedom against the tyrannical Russian regime," it said.
The Poutine versus Putin debacle has caused confusion, not only in France, but also among anglos who've seen "poutine" trending on Twitter, spawning countless jokes and bad memes.
Someone tell French people I\u2019m not the president of Russia please I just really like French fries with gravy and cheese curdspic.twitter.com/DN8QkY45DP— M (@M) 1645824638
An unlucky Twitter user with the handle @poutine has even apparently become somewhat of a target online, tweeting "Someone tell French people I’m not the president of Russia please I just really like French fries with gravy and cheese curds."
One Quebec restaurant even renamed poutine on its menu in solidarity with Ukraine.
La Maison de la Poutine's tweet has sparked hundreds of comments and thousands of likes and retweets.
"People, please stop confusing Putin and poutine," replied Twitter user @JohnRossMD, who in his bio identifies as a Canadian hospitalist based in Boston. "One is a dangerous and unwholesome mix of greasy, lumpy, and congealed ingredients, the other is a delicious food."
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