After receiving threats about the meaning of its name in recent days, a chain of poutine restaurants in France wants to clarify one thing: it has absolutely no connection with Vladimir Poutine.
The Poutine House (“The House of Poutine” in English) has four addresses in France, including three in Paris. As its name suggests, the restaurant specializes in fries coated in cheese curds and gravy, a Quebec delicacy known as poutine.
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, some people have begun to assume (wrongly) that the name The House of Putin is associated with the President of Russia, whose last name translates to “Putin ” in French.
On its social media accounts last week, the restaurant confirmed it was “not linked to the Russian regime and its leader”, after receiving “insulting calls and even threats” from confused people.
“Our dish was born in Quebec in the 1950s. And there are many stories about its origin. But one thing is certain: poutine was created by passionate cooks who wanted to bring joy and comfort to their customers” , writes the restaurant in a press release. declaration.
“The Putin House has been working since day one to perpetuate these values and today gives its most sincere support to the people of Ukraine who are courageously fighting for their freedom against the tyrannical Russian regime,” the statement continued.
Restaurant co-founder Guillaume Natas told the Parisian that threats occur quite frequently in Parisian places.
“We have up to five or six calls an hour,” he said, explaining that he has yet to file a formal complaint because he believes “the police have other things to do.”
An employee at the restaurant’s Toulouse site said to France Bleu she fears that people will vandalize the property or resort to violence.
Despite the troubling circumstances, Natas takes matters into her own hands and has a humble perspective on the bigger picture.
“These are just malicious calls,” he said. “In Ukraine, there are people who are being bombed.”
Frites So!, a Lyon-based restaurant, has not received any threats, but announced last week that it felt compelled to change the name of its signature poutine from “Vladimir” to “La Mère des Poutines”. “following the invasion.
“Ciao Vladimir! After 32 years, the pun chosen for our flagship poutine is no longer very funny”, the restaurant wrote on Instagram.
Last week, Quebec restaurant Le Roy Jucep announced on Facebook that it was considering temporarily removing the word “poutine” from its online branding, as reported by Ottawa Citizen. The post has since been deleted and the restaurant’s website it still reads “inventor of poutine” on it, but it’s Facebook now says he invented “cheese sauce fries” instead of poutine.
An Austin, Texas restaurant formerly known as “Russian House” also recently announced that it had dropped the word “Russian” from its nickname.
The owner, Varda Monamour, is of Eastern European descent and told NBC affiliate KXAN this decision was a way of showing solidarity with Ukraine.
“To me, the name doesn’t reflect who we really are,” she said. “And if it saddens or hurts others, we just think it should be ‘The Home’ – the home for everyone. The home where people can come in and enjoy a good meal and focus on good things. things and something that brings us together, does not separate us.”