An academic from the have-not province of Quebec is claiming classifying poutine as a “Canadian” dish is “cultural appropriation”.
Nicolas Fabien-Ouellet, Montreal-born graduate student at the University of Vermont, claims that poutine is a Québécois creation, not a Canadian one and suggesting otherwise ignores that the dish “has been used as a form of stigma against a minority group that is still at risk of cultural absorption.”
His paper titled 'Poutine Dynamics' will expose “how the Canadian culinary identity is constructed and construed by means of cultural appropriation processes.”
“Every time we talk about junk food in the media in Quebec, it’s almost certain a poutine image that will come up,” he said. He then went on to say that some Quebeckers feel embarassed by poutine. “My parents and grandparents, when I talked about my work on poutine, they were saying, ‘Oh poutine? Why do you even talk about that?’”
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In his paper, Fabien-Ouellet even tries to claim that poutine is used to “tarnish Quebec culture and undermine its legitimacy of self-determination as a nation”.
“The dish should be, ideally, labelled explicitly as a Québécois dish,” he writes. “And not a Canadian one to further underscore the cultural context to which it actually belongs.”
SOUND OFF in the comments: do you think poutine is a great CANADIAN food?