Poutine is our national treasure. Make it a regional hit with these quick strategies.
Poutine was born in Quebec in the 1950s, and soon became one of the most popular dishes in the country. Today, chefs across Canada tap into its built-in craveability, adding their own spin for a signature special. Regional culinary pride has become a big trend in foodservice, showcasing authenticity and creativity through innovative menu development. Poutine offers a perfect pathway for regional touches—from pulled pork and barbecue sauce for Albertan flair to poutine smothered in clam chowder and bacon, representing the food traditions of the East Coast.
Poutine spells opportunity
of consumers would order poutine as a snack occasionally1
Nothing beats the magical combination of salty fries, savoury sauce and squeaky curds. Within those friendly confines, there’s a world of possibility for flavour innovation. Add regional flair with the following quick add-ins.
East Coast “Seaworthy Poutine”
quebec “Italienne Poutine”
Toronto “Hogtown Poutine”
Alberta “Stampeder Poutine”
Interior B.C. “Little India Poutine”
WEST COAST “Pad Thai Poutine”
the genius behind smoke’s
Smoke’s Poutinerie, which now boasts more than 150 locations in Canada and 50 open or in development in the U.S., celebrates poutine’s potential for endless flavour combinations. With its irresistible base of hand-cut yellow-flesh fries, curds and rich gravy, this Ajax, Ontario-based concept offers 30 signature poutines.
One of Smoke’s most recent additions is the Beans ’N Weenies Poutine, which stars Heinz Beans in Tomato Sauce, with a choice of scrambled eggs, double-smoked bacon, grilled chicken or grilled flat‑iron steak . “It’s the number-one brand in beans,” says Ryan Smolkin, founder and CEO of Smoke’s. “We also really like how the tomato sauce holds up better in steam tables and keeps the beans moist. We tried generic beans when we were developing this new item, but they were not as good. We like premium ingredients and Heinz Beans are a premium ingredient.”
A STAR is born
we use kd because it’s iconic
A STAR is born
Smoke’s Poutinerie added its BBQ Bacon Mac & Cheese Poutine for a limited time more than four years ago. Boasting Kraft Dinner and Bull’s-Eye Bold Original Barbecue Sauce, it was a runaway hit. “A lot of the stores are now featuring it as a local special,” Smolkin says. “We use KD because it’s iconic. Everyone knows it and loves it.”
the next poutine topping?
The flavours are killer over poutine
Donair, a spiced beef roasted on a spit, is in the same family as the gyro and doner kebab. It’s a classic East Coast late-night food, usually tucked into a pita or served with a side of fries. Donair, along with its traditional accompaniments, holds potential as a relatively untapped flavour system for poutine nationwide. Donair, raw onion, fresh tomato and a sweet-savoury garlicky sauce make a winning combination over fries and cheese curds. In fact, Smoke’s Poutinerie serves its Donair Poutine as a local special in Halifax. “The flavours are killer over poutine,” Smolkin says.