A restaurant in Drummondville stops using the word “poutine” after the Russian invasion

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Le Roy Jucep said he was temporarily removing the word from some of his online brands to express his “deep dismay” at Russian aggression in Ukraine.

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A Drummondville restaurant that claims to have invented poutine has removed the name of its most famous dish from some of its brands because the meal shares a name with the Russian president.

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Diner Le Roy Jucep announced on Facebook last week that it was temporarily removing the word “poutine” from some of its online brands to express its “deep dismay” at the Russian military’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Therefore, from now on, we are the inventor of Fried Cheese Sauce,” the post read.

In French, Russian President Vladimir Poutine’s last name is written and pronounced “Putin” – the same as Quebec’s signature dish.

The restaurant has since deleted the post, but its Facebook page still describes him as the inventor of “fries cheese sauce” rather than poutine.

As the move drew positive and negative reactions online, the restaurant shared a video on its Facebook page of a woman in Ukraine who appeared on Radio-Canada and thanked the restaurant for the gesture.

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“If we managed to make someone smile over there, it’s already won! the restaurant wrote on Facebook.

“We are with you with all our hearts.”

The restaurant did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

Poutine was invented in Quebec in the 1950s or 1960s, and the founder of Roy Jucep is among those who claim to have created the staple of fast food.

Sylvain Charlebois, director of Dalhousie University’s Agrifood Analysis Laboratory and author of the book Poutine Nation, said that if the word “poutine” originated in Warwick, Quebec in the late 1950s, it’s Jean -Paul Roy of Roy Jucep who first mixed the sauce in the dish.

In an interview Wednesday, Charlebois said it’s unclear how poutine first got its name. One caption suggests it was a trucker who asked the restaurant to ‘put’ the cheese with the fries, he said, while another suggests it’s a version of the ‘pudding’ as it is a mixture of ingredients. Other dishes in France and Acadia also bear the name, he added.

Although poutine’s name clearly has nothing to do with Vladimir Putin, Charlebois said they both became world famous around the same time, and he thinks the Russian president may have at least helped some people learn to pronounce the name of the dish correctly.

“The pronunciation of the dish itself, I think, got easier when President Putin landed on the world stage,” he said. “In fact, I think he could have helped people, because in French, it’s the same spelling, the same pronunciation.”

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