Farmer’s poutine at Mom’s

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Address: 1718 Landry Road, Clarence Creek, ON K0A 1N0
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/momskitchenstore
Contact: 613-791-2406

With an unexpected interruption for a global pandemic, Mom’s Kitchen has been serving breakfast, lunch and dinner since 2013, but owner and cook Manon Amyot also runs two food trucks that makes hers a very busy schedule, especially in the summer.

Up a few stairs from the street and into the casual restaurant on Landry Road, there’s the POS system behind some plexiglass, a cooler case for serve-yourself-soda, a dining area replete with pool table and sundry and assorted tchotchke and bric-a-brac that include an ancient Singer sewing machine and old-timey cash register, the latter two remnants of a bygone era.

And Mom’s menu is chock full of classics, too, from a full sheet of breakfasts – including baloney and cretons maison – club sandwiches and “hot hamburg” platters, whistle dogs, fish and chips, lasagna and spaghetti and meatballs.

What also caught my eye was “Old Canadian Food” on Amyot’s business card.

“When we cater, we try to offer old-fashioned food like your grandmother used to cook,” says Amyot, who started her career in the kitchen when she was 15 and preparing meals for the family of a local entrepreneur.

Indeed, classic diner fare and home-style meals. But I was interested in another version of classic: what Mom’s calls poutine du fermier available from a short list of specialty poutines. It was all the more intriguing because the menu notes, “We are famous for our Farmer’s Poutine.”

Granted, it’s a self-proclaimed distinction, but Mom’s prepares a lot of poutine – especially during the summer with those two trucks – and the famous dish is high up my list of favourite snack foods, though one that I remind myself to tuck into with some discretion.

Poutine is ubiquitous across Canada. I couldn’t possibly count the number of times, in several different cities, I’ve scarfed a cardboard takeout clamshell packed with crisp, piping hot fries, melty cheese curds that I describe as sounding “squidgy” when your molars start to compress them, and the drippy gravy.

Over the past decade or so, there has been an evolution: the fries that form the foundational starch of the poutine have morphed into a blank slate for a host of unique flavours and ingredients: butter chicken poutine, lobster poutine, gumbo poutine and pizza poutine.

While I occasionally dive into that riot of possible, and sometime improbable, ingredients, in my new home here I get a different feeling about poutine – that I’m a bit closer to the origins, the epicentre, of the uber-rich and indulgent snack food and not just geographically.

I don’t tuck into the view that poutine is Canada’s national dish, but it certainly is more than just a regional one.

Regardless, its origins have assumed a mythic status that dates to 60 years ago in Quebec when the word was purportedly first found on the menu at L’Ideal in Warwick, about two hours northeast of Montreal.

According to poutine historian Sylvain Charlebois, in his book “Poutine Nation,” the gravy wasn’t added until 1962, and only then as side dish to the fries and cheese curds. It was possibly Jean-Claude Roy, of Drummondville, who created the trifecta in 1964, says Charlebois.

In a poutine pilgrimage in The Toronto Star in 2008, “Food Sleuth” Marion Kane tried to trace the origins of the dish to Drummondville, Victoriaville and Warwick.

For more of the story, visit Andre Paquette Editions.

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