Poutine restaurant receives threats from people who confused the dish with Putin's name

10 March 2022, 09:57 | Updated: 10 March 2022, 10:06

poutine
Poutine v. Putin: French restaurant mistakenly under fire for serving famous dish . Picture: Alamy

By Liam Gould

A restaurant chain in France has been made to clarify its position on the Ukraine crisis, after people mistook the famous dish Poutine for Russian president Vladimir Putin's name.

Maison de la Poutine has come under criticism for serving the dish Poutine - which consists of fries, gravy and cheese curds - which shares a similar sounding name to Russia's president.

Vladimir Putin's name in French is written and pronounced the same way as 'Poutine', the Canadian-French potato delicacy. This has led to some people believing the restaurant supports Russia's military invasion of Ukraine and has become an unexpected source of protest.

In the misunderstanding, many believed the restaurant to be called "House of [Vladimir] Putin", instead of its real name "House of Poutine".

This comes as Vladimir Putin has been accused of war crimes after the bombing of a children's hospital in the besieged city of Mariupol. It has been over a fortnight since the Russian president ordered the invasion of Ukraine, causing millions to flee the country.

Hundreds of thousands of people have protested the invasion around the world in demonstrative acts against Putin.

But, some have also threatened the restaurant after mistakenly thinking it was backing Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

The restaurant took to their social media accounts to reiterate the difference between the Russian president and the food item, and clarified they do not support his military actions.

“Our dish was born in Quebec in the 1950s. And the stories to tell its origin are numerous. But one thing is certain: poutine was created by passionate cooks who wanted to bring joy and comfort to their customers,” Maison de la Poutine said.

“The House of Poutine has worked since its first day to perpetuate these values and today brings its most sincere support to the Ukrainian people who are courageously fighting for their freedom against the tyrannical Russian regime.”

They included a heart emoji next to the Ukrainian flag to clarify their condemnation of Russia' actions in Ukraine.

The restaurant has four eateries, including three in Paris, and specialise in serving the famous Quebec dish.

Owner Guillaume Natas told Le Parisian: “We have up to five or six calls per hour", and threats have become frequent to members of staff.

An employee at the Maison de la Poutine said they’re receiving calls “from people who say that it is a shame to work for the Russian state to have subsidies from Mr. Putin.”

Global businesses have removed their association with Russia in the wake of the invasion.

Recently, McDonalds became the latest company to shut their trade with Russia - closing all 850 restaurants in the country.

One French restaurant Frite Alors said they were changing the name of one of their dishes from "Vladimir Poutine" - a pun on the menu for over 30 years - to the "Mother of Poutines".

Quebec restaurant Le Roy Jucep - the restaurant who claims to have invented Poutine - removed the word from their website and branding in direct response to the military action.

“Tonight the Jucep team decided to temporarily retire the word P**tine from its trademark in order to express, in its own way, its profound dismay over the situation in Ukraine,” the diner wrote on Facebook, before later deleting it.

They now refer to the dish as "fries cheese gravy".

One Canadian social media user emphasised the need to distinguish between the Russian president and food delicacy.

“People, please stop confusing [Vladimir] Putin and poutine.

“One is a dangerous and unwholesome mix of greasy, lumpy and congealed ingredients, the other is a delicious food.”

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