| By Carla Charter
WOONSOCKET, R.I. – Poutine lovers rejoice! You can indulge in your favorite comfort food by attending the third annual Poutine Indulgence at the Museum of Work and Culture in Woonsocket.
Traditional Poutines are French fries covered with cheese curds on it covered with gravy whose heat causes the cheese curds to melt a little. “The Poutine originated in Canada Quebecois. Even in Quebec there is a debate as to who created it, said Sarah Carr, Assistant Director at the museum
The first Poutine Indulgence event was part of the Salute to Spring of the Rhode Island Historical Society, which has been held for 20 years. “Every year there is a different theme for the celebration of French-Canadian Culture. That year the theme was French Canadian food. We decided to do a Poutine competition It was an incredibly popular event and has now become an annual event.
At the event there are always those traditional poutines, while others have used a variation such as rather than using French fries using Tater Tots. Others have created St. Patrick’s Day inspired Poutines using corned beef. another had created a Duck Comfit Poutine. Last year’s winners include Frisky Fries and Adeline’s Speak Easy Kitchen both of which had traditional Poutines. Formal judging at the Poutine Indulgence celebration this year has been replaced with judging by the public.
There are 5 confirmed competitors for the event. “We are planning on 7 to 8. We will have a balance between food trucks and restaurants. We can take one more restaurant and up to two more food trucks,” Carr said. The winner receives a small plaque and we provide a small stipend.
The competition is part of a larger celebration of Franco-American heritage which will also include performances by Franco-American musicians including singer Josee Vachon who will sing traditional Franco-American songs and fiddler Daniel Boucher. there will also be a screening of
a documentary from Quebec called God Save Justin Trudeau about his Run for Prime Minister.
The event will be hold at the Work and Culture Museum, a division of the Rhode Island Historical Society in Woonsocket. The museum founded in 1997, tells the story of the French-Canadian migration to the Blackstone Valley, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. “They came for work. The farms in Quebec at the time were subdivided by large farms, so farmers were not able to produce as much. These farmers were recruited for the mills and were told they could earn as much money in a month at the mill as a whole year on the farm, Carr said. This migration happened over almost 100 years from 1840-1930 with 900,000 French-Canadians coming to New England. “By 1920, 70% of the population in Woonsocket identified themselves as being French Canadian, Carr said. Poutine Indulgence will be held on March 24, at 1:30 p.m. at the Museum of Work and Culture, 42 South Main St. Tickets to the event are $20 per person with proceeds benefitting the museum. Tickets can be purchased at www.shopmowc.com