It’s one of those foods that you can’t explain through words, but only through the mouthgasmic belly-and-soul-comfort experience--which no one outside Canada, or actually even outside Quebec, seems to really get.

The classic artery-clogging combination of fries, gravy and cheese curds has become such a strong symbol of Quebecois culture that it has not only maintained itself as a fast food staple but has been a dish that Canadian chefs always return to, to experiment with and build on.

Its pretty trendy at this point, as restaurants like Au Pied de Cochon and La Banquise play with the essential ingredients to re-imagine the classic dish and keep it current.

So who was the first person to come up with this combination that's weathered the ages? There’s a few creation myths told about the origins of this greasy favourite, but they are all basically a variation of this one dating back to 1957 in Warwick: At a restaurant called Le Lutin Qui Rit, a client asked the owner Fernand Lachance (who calls himself the father of poutine) to mix fries and cheese curds together in the same bag, with gravy on top to keep the fries warm. Lachance replied, “ca va te faire une maudite poutine,” giving the dish its name.

Love it or hate it, gotta respect it: poutine’s been around far longer than you, it’s a 56 year old tradition!

Tell us below what poutine means to you!

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