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When most people hear the word poutine, an image of Quebec’s famous fries-and-gravy poutine 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 with a tasty seasoned salt pork.
Poutines râpées is an Acadian dish eaten at Christmas and for special occasions, and besides the fact it also includes potatoes, it has little to do with its Quebecois namesake.
Acadia was a French colony that stretched across what are now Canada’s Maritime provinces in the 17th and early 18th centuries. Even if 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. This traditional dish, poutine râpée, is a part of that preserved culture.
The dish only has three ingredients: potatoes, salt, and salt pork and was probably born out of the desire to find new ways of preparing meat and potatoes.
They’re like large dumplings, and making them is a long process. First, pounds of potatoes are peeled, then half are cooked and mashed, while the others remain raw and are grated.
The grated fresh potatoes are put into clean cotton bags, and squeezed to get the starchy juice out.
Both the cooked and raw potatoes are put onto the clean kitchen table, mixed with salt, and ‘kneaded’ to make a flourless dough.
Next they’re filled with chopped salt pork that’s been cubed and rinsed. When all the poutines were rolled, they’re put them into a large pot of boiling water.
Poutines râpées are typically eaten plain, with just a sprinkling of pepper, white sugar, or brown sugar. Of course 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.
Images from Web.