I have never enjoyed poutine before, and according to my new Canadian friends, I’m living my life all wrong.

Over the weekend, I traveled to Toronto, Canada, where I was exposed to several food trends with which I was unfamiliar.

Ketchup-flavored chips were a hot topic of discussion, but almost everyone I came across recommended a heaping plate of French fries smothered in gravy, better known as the Canadian staple, poutine.

My sole purpose for traveling to Canada was to train kickboxing with my husband. His mentor lives there, so we decided to take a trip.

Between sessions, we recovered over lunch and good conversation, mostly filled with questions like “Do you do this in the U.S.?” and “Do you guys do that in Canada?”

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Turns out, they are all about poutine in Canada, and they were shocked when I told them I had never had it before. I’ve certainly heard of it, but I have never ventured out of my foody comfort zone to try it.

If you’re not familiar with poutine, in its simplest form, it is fresh-cut French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. It is a Québécois dish that first appeared in Quebec snack bars in the late 1950s.

First, curds were added to an order of fries at the request of a customer. Next, the snack was served on a plate instead of a bag to avoid a mess. Then, after diners complained that the fries got cold too quickly, gravy was poured on top to keep them warm.

Since then, poutine has evolved from its humble beginnings into elaborate table concoctions found on menus all over the world.

Truthfully, I never got a chance to try Canadian Poutine, but now that I’m home, it’s all I want.

Looks like I’ll have to try the following SouthCoast restaurants that have it on the menu.

Did someone say Portuguese-style poutine?

Where to Find the Best Poutine on the SouthCoast

I traveled all the way to Canada and didn't even try their delicious staple known as poutine. Luckily, there are plenty of SouthCoast restaurants that serve up their own renditions of the classic dish. Did we miss a must? Let us know and we'll add it to the gallery.

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