Poutine: The Only Way To Eat Fries In Canada

French fries in America largely boil down to a few variations; regular salty fries to dip in ketchup, sweet potato fries for a different flavor, truffle fries if you’d like to get a little bit fancy, and the true treat for those who have no desire to keep their heart in check, chili cheese fries.

French fries with a good amount of cheese and salty sauce on top? It’s not too far of from poutine, one of Canada’s prime delicious dishes.

What is poutine? Delicious, it’s french fries coated in gravy and cheese curds. It’s simplistic and tasty, and while it might make your fingers a bit tasty and covered in sauce, it’s worth the taste.

The Star reports that McDonald’s Canada has added the dish to their menu in certain locations for $3.99 plus tax, and is apparently large enough to not be a side, but small enough not to be an entree. While the standard ingredients are the same everywhere (potatoes, cheese, gravy), McDonald’s uses their iconic fries alongside a light amount of gravy, showing that no two poutine plates are exactly alike. While pulled pork may be an enjoyable protein to go with the dish, McDonald’s would probably expect you to pair it with a Big Mac or Chicken McNuggets.

Tempted to try the dish without making a run for the northern border? Trader Joe’s has a new poutine dish for $3.99 that can be made in your oven, Serious Eats reports. By their estimations, one of the hallmarks of great poutine is if the cheese curds squeak and stay solid, although there are fans of the kind that melt a bit in the gravy with the heat from the fries aiding.

While just the sheer act of poutine in America is surprising enough and worth investigating to see if it would fit on your menu, if only in a limited time capacity, it’s old hat in Canada to the point where they’ve had to get a bit creative with the dish. Pizza Hut had launched a Cheesy Beef Poutine Pizza, which includes fries, gravy, beef, and tomato sauce on the crust, allowing you to eat the poutine without having to grab the fries; just leave them on top of the crust and dig in.

Could you consider adding poutine to your menu? If you already have french fries on your menu, you’ve got a start. Taking a look at your cheese selection might offer a few unique choices; instead of cheese curds, you might do thick cuts of mozzarella or provolone, and instead of straight brown gravy, you could get creative with a white gravy that might be part of a “gravy and biscuits” breakfast dish. Getting creative in the kitchen can lead to some amazingly profitable and name-making restaurants, and poutine is a popular dish that’s not been tackled much in America, and is thusly right for experimentation.