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Quebec’s iconic poutine dish is being renamed because it’s also French for ‘Putin’

The restaurant that claims to have invented the meal has changed its name in solidarity with Ukraine

Sophie Dickinson
Written by
Sophie Dickinson

From companies offering free transport to refugees to nations welcoming in millions of Ukrainians, the war in eastern Europe has galvanised the world into action. But sometimes it’s the symbolic actions that really resonate on a global level. 

Take this one. Quebec’s Roy Jucep restaurant claims to have invented a dish called poutine in 1964. This beloved combination of chips, cheese curds and gravy – a staple of many traditional restaurants across the Canadian province – is unfortunate in one main regard: its name is also the French spelling and pronunciation of ‘Putin’. As in, Russian dictator and global outcast Vladimir Putin. So, what is the restaurant doing about it? It’s renaming it the helpfully uncomplicated ‘cheese-fries-gravy’.

It’s not the only dish being renamed due to the war in Ukraine. Chicken kievs are out: supermarkets like Sainsbury’s in the UK are now labelling the dish chicken kyiv – as per the proper Ukrainian spelling and pronunciation – and so too are many independent restaurants across the globe. Meanwhile, a pub called Putin in Tel Aviv has just renamed itself, simply, ‘Pub’. And bars all over the world are ditching Moscow Mules, too: they’re now becoming Kyiv Mules, or even UN Mules

Want to do your bit to help? Here are 17 ways you can support the people of Ukraine right now.

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