Poutine: Moncton, NB Style

One of the things that I enjoy doing as I have the opportunity to travel around the world, around 30 countries so far, is to try culturally unique foods. Since moving to Canada, I’ve been looking for uniquely Canadian food. It was pretty difficult to find as one after another, various foods found their roots in another country. This, of course, speaks to the diversity of cultures that have been welcomed into Canada.

Poutine is one of those foods that is uniquely Canadian. As far as I can tell, this delicious concoction of French fries with cheese curds sprinkled on top covered with brown gravy originated in Quebec. The taste of the stringy cheese curds melted by steaming gravy over just out of the fryer fries is heavenly, yet a heart-attack ready to happen. It’s that good! I have found this dish all across Canada – sometimes in restaurants that are dedicated to this wonderfully delicious snack/appetizer.

Recently, though, I’ve come across another food item called Poutine. Due to a snow storm that caused me to be stuck in St. John, New Brunswick area, and having to cancel a rental car, I took a bus to Halifax. Maritime Bus Line rolled into Moncton, New Brunswick around 1 PM, and we had to change buses. We had about 45 minutes, so I went into a Sobey’s Supermarket to see if I could find a quick lunch. At the deli, a friendly older lady was purchasing what looked like a rice ball in white gravy. I asked her what it was that she was purchasing.

Poutine Rapee from Sobey's
Arcadian Poutine Rapee from Sobeys

“It’s poutine, and it is good. You should try it.” She suggested with a twinkle in her eyes.

“Did you say this is poutine, mam? ” I asked with a quizzical look.

“Yes. It’s made out of potato starch, and has salted pork filling. You might want to sprinkle some salt and pepper on it to taste, though.” She offered.

Intrigued by her enthusiasm and curiosity, I ordered one. Of course, since this was the first time I had seen this, and because it looked nothing like the poutine that I’ve come to know and become fond of, I used my smart phone to google poutine. I found nothing that looked like the dish in front of me. But when I typed in “Moncton poutine,” I found a few entries.  Interestingly enough, one of the places that I could get this was at various Sobey’s supermarkets around Moncton area.

Using a plastic knife, I cut into the ball to check out the content inside. The salted pork was shredded, and well seasoned. Next, I took some of the potato starch and made sure there was enough gravy and without dripping, took a chunk into my mouth. The texture was like a soft gnocchi, but the gravy made it melt in my mouth. After that, I devoured it, wishing I had gotten two.

Later, when I got to Halifax, I asked several people if they had heard of this dish. The few people that I talked to about this looked at me as if I as making the story up. Then I met a few people from Moncton. They told me that it is indeed a dish that is indigenous to Moncton area, enjoyed by Acadians and passed onto the wider public. In fact, I have learned that there are restaurants that specialize in the acadian poutine in Moncton, as well as a facebook group dedicated “Acadian Poutine Rapee.”

Acadian Poutine Rapee from Sobeys open
Acadian Poutine Rapee from Sobeys open

The acadian poutine, or poutine rapee, or Moncton poutine (as I like to call it)  was a pleasantly surprise find on a long bus ride from St. John, NB, to Halifax, NS. It just goes to show you, when you are open to experiencing life to the fullest there are so many wonderful things that this world, as imperfect it maybe, has to offer. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

2 thoughts on “Poutine: Moncton, NB Style

  1. Wow! I’ve lived only 30 minutes from Moncton and did the majority of my shopping there, yet have never heard of it! Maybe next time we go thru Moncton to our cottage, we’ll have to go to sobeys to try this! Thanks, James for showing and telling me about a new food to try! Btw, if you come to NB next summer and use our cottage, you’ll be about 30 minutes from Moncton!

    1. I’m glad you will try it next time you’re in Moncton. My family can’t wait to visit you guys and enjoy the cottage!

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