SOUTHINGTON — Returning seven years after their first Apple Harvest Festival appearance, owners of the Poutine Gourmet food truck found sentimental meaning in setting up shop last weekend.
Partner Lisa Greene said the 2012 festival was the food truck’s first big event. “In 2012 we were only serving original (poutine), which is significant. The preparation has come a long way too,” Greene said.
Poutine is a Canadian creation combining french fries, cheese curds, and gravy. Poutine Gourmet uses cheese curds imported from Wisconsin and vegan gravy from Saint-Georges Quebec.
These ingredients serve as the traditional base, but the food truck has added different toppings over the years, including pulled pork and chicken bacon ranch. Other offerings include bacon jalapeno and bacon cheeseburger.
“We’ve got something for everyone now,” Greene said.
They’ve also tweaked their preparation model, making it faster and less labor-intensive behind the counter, while still giving customers made-to-order food.
Primary owner Kris Barletta said the changes inside the trolley truck have made production more efficient.
“You just gotta learn to adapt,” he said.
Kelly Bonenfant visited the food truck with two of her friends and co-workers who had never tried poutine. They agreed the chicken bacon ranch was “awesome.”
For Bonenfant — who usually prefers the “original” flavor — chicken bacon ranch was a welcome surprise.
Greene said over the years they’ve noticed more and more people know about poutine.
“It’s more widely known now than seven years ago, for sure,” Greene said. “I like to think it has a lot to do with us in this area, but we’ve had some major poutineries from Canada start franchising in the states, so that’s helped a ton.”
For first-timers, Greene suggests the original. But if you’re looking for a meal, she said, add a topping with protein.
“It’s definitely a comfort food,” she said. “We’re in the perfect season for poutine.”