When most people hear the word poutine, an image of Quebec’s famous french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy comes to mind. But this isn’t the only beloved poutine in Canada. A favorite in Acadian communities, poutine râpée is a boiled potato dumpling that’s traditionally stuffed with salt pork.
Acadia was a French colony that stretched across what are now Canada’s Maritime provinces in the 17th and early 18th centuries. Although the British would take control over Acadia and deport thousands of its residents between 1755 and 1763, generations of Acadians have worked to maintain their culture, both at home and abroad. Poutine râpée is a part of that preserved culture.
The dumplings, which are most commonly served around Christmastime, can be equally challenging to track down or make oneself. Grating and mashing the potatoes into a dough-like substance requires more than a bit of elbow grease. Once the potatoes have taken on a doughy texture, they can then be shaped into spheres and stuffed with the salt pork.
There are variations, with some swapping in beef, chicken, or seafood. Often, diners will go for a sweet-and-savory combination of the salt pork dumpling and a topping of molasses or syrup.
Where to Try It
This roadside diner serves Acadian dishes as well as usual diner fare, near the entrance to Kouchibouguac National Park.
South Gardner Hotel Website8 E Broadway, Gardner, Massachusetts, 01440, United States
Cheap local bar/restaurant serving some traditional Acadian fare during the day and turning into a bar at night.