Salute spring by indulging in poutine, supporting museum

Salute spring by indulging in poutine, supporting museum

WOONSOCKET – Pass the poutine, please.

Staff at the Museum of Work & Culture say they’re excited to be running Salute to Spring, featuring the eagerly anticipated 5th annual Poutine Indulgence & Competition, which moved to a restaurant takeout format last year.

Between March 15 and April 11, event ticket holders will be able to sample poutine, a traditional Québecois dish of french fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds, from seven restaurants across the state via curbside pickup and then vote online for their favorite.

Restaurants include: Adeline’s: A Speakeasy Kitchen Bar in Cumberland, Bywater in Warren, Ciro’s Tavern in Woonsocket, Durk’s Bar-B-Que in Providence, Friskie Fries in Johnston, KG Kitchen Bar in Providence and Ming’s Asian Street Food.

A single poutine passport for sampling is $15, while the poutine passport plus virtual concert ticket and a box from Wright’s Dairy Farm, is $30. Visit www.shopmowc.com for options.

The Poutine Indulgence will culminate on Sunday, April 11, with Salute to Spring~Bonjours Printemps. The event will begin at 3 p.m. with a livestream on Facebook featuring the announcement of the winning restaurant, as well as a live drawing of the museum’s annual raffle, which has seen some 600 people participate since it opened last November.

Additional entertainment for ticket holders will include a 4 p.m. live-streamed performance by Quebecois band Mélisande, which fuses Quebec traditional song and instrumentation with complex electronic programming to create a unique sonic experience. Salute to Spring package buyers will also receive a box of goodies from Wright’s Dairy Farm & Bakery at the museum on April 11.

Museum of Work and Culture Director Anne Conway said this event is a combination of a fundraiser for the museum and a big assist to restaurants, which receive stipends for participating.

Poutine is a traditional food, she said, but goes back to only around the 1950s, emerging in the Centre-du-Québec region and becoming popular in snack bars.

She’s not especially proud to say it, said Conway, laughing, but she’s been eating poutine her entire life. She said it really became popular on local menus about six or seven years ago.

Conway said this event ties in well to the museum’s mission of highlighting the culture of immigrants, with food being an important part of that culture. When this event was previously held in-person at the museum, it sold out, she said, but the restaurants like it better this way. The hope, said Conway, is that people won’t just sample the free takeout poutine, but will have a sit-down meal to order other items.

So what does Conway find to be the important component of poutine for her?

“What’s really important to me and a lot of people is the cheese, it has to be the cheddar curd,” she said. There are options such as mozzarella or other creations, but “to call it a real poutine, I like to see the cheddar cheese,” she said.

She said she learned that restaurants are locally sourcing their cheese from Wright’s.

Conway said Salute to Spring is made possible in part by the event’s generous sponsors: Délégation of Québec in Boston, The Brickle Group, Fournier & Fournier Funeral Home and Lepine Financial Advisors, Inc., Wright’s Dairy Farm & Bakery, Bourget & Associates, Councilor David Soucy, Esten & Richard Insurance, and the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce.

Poutine from Adeline’s in Cumberland, which is part of the Museum of Work and Culture’s poutine fundraiser. (Breeze photo by Lauren Clem)