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Poutine: The Next Hot Menu Side?

Hot & Cool Food Trends

Ever heard of poutine? It’s a big favorite in Canada, practically the official national side dish we’re told. But it’s yet to get any kind of foothold here in the States.

But that could be soon be changing. Maybe.

Basically poutine is a hearty conglomeration of french fries topped with cheese curds and brown gravy. And now Burgerville, the fast food chain located in America’s Pacific Northwest, has introduced something very close to poutine: chili cheese waffle fries with Tilamook white Cheddar cheese. So it’s got chili instead of brown gravy, and Cheddar in place of cheese curds. Not quite poutine, but a close relative.

Burger King’s locations in Canada offers actural poutine on its menu, and it upped the ante in September by adding bacon-topped and “Angry” versions (with jalapeños, “angry” onions, and “angry” sauce). Could BK be planning an invasion of poutine to its U.S. locations in the near future?

Another American chain that’s uniquely positioned to give poutine its U.S. breakthrough could be Culver’s, as noted in a recent story in BurgerBusiness. The Prairie du Sac, Wis.-based chain already has cheese curds on its menu, locally-sourced from La Grander Hillside Dairy in nearby Stanley, Wis.

Will 2012 be the year poutine makes its way down to the “Lower 48”? That remains to be seen. But we wouldn’t beg against it.

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