A French restaurant says it’s received threats based on confusion around its namesake dish.
Poutine, fries doused in cheese curds and gravy, has nothing to do with Putin, it said.
Businesses around the world have been pressured to cut ties with Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
A restaurant in France seeks to clear its name after fielding confusion surrounding poutine, its signature dish — fries doused with cheese curds and gravy — and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the leader who announced an invasion into Ukraine just over a week ago.
La Maison de la Poutine, or The House of Poutine, tweeted on Friday that it received “calls of insults and even threats” over its namesake dish.
“It, therefore, seems necessary for us to recall that La Maison de la Poutine is unrelated to the Russian regime and its leader,” the tweet read. It featured the restaurant’s logo, a heart emoji, and the Ukrainian flag.
“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 care about bringing joy and comfort to their customers,” the restaurant, which runs two locations in Paris and one in Toulouse, wrote.
The restaurant went on to offer its support to “the Ukrainian people who are courageously fighting for their freedom against the tyrannical Russian regime.”
Businesses and whole industries have been cutting ties with the Russian economy and its elite, as Western governments heap heavy sanctions on Moscow in response to Putin’s attack on Ukraine.
Last week, Quebec restaurant Le Roy Jucep joined the fray, saying it was removing the word “poutine” from its branding in protest of the invasion, according to Canadian daily the Ottawa Citizen.
The diner, which claims to have invented poutine, said in a now-removed Facebook post that the dish would temporarily be called “fries cheese gravy,” per the Citizen.
This isn’t the first time a potato dish has been renamed over a political conflict: In 2003, French government resistance to the Iraq war led some restaurants — including three congressional cafeterias — to temporarily refer to French fries as “Freedom fries.”
A previous version of this article reported that the flag in the tweet was the Russian flag, when it is in fact the Ukrainian flag. We apologize for the error.
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