mardi 11 octobre 2011

Steak, blé d'inde, patates | Audrey Bergevin

Selon certains, le pâté chinois aurait vu le jour à la fin du xixe siècle, lors de la construction de la voie de chemin de fer pancanadienne par le Canadien Pacifique. À l'époque, les ouvriers, surtout d'origine asiatique, y étaient nourris, dit-on, uniquement de bœuf haché, de pommes de terre et de maïs, denrées facilement disponibles et peu coûteuses à cette époque. Ils venaient de créer ainsi, par la force des choses, un assemblage désormais unique nommé en leur honneur. Les travailleurs canadiens-français des chemins de fers adoptèrent ce nouveau plat.

Selon une autre explication, ce mets serait originaire de la ville de South China, non loin d'Augusta, dans l'état américain du Maine, où de nombreux Canadiens français avaient émigré, faute de travail au Québec, durant les années de la révolution industrielle (fin du xixe siècle). Dès lors, la « China pie », spécialité locale, serait devenu ici, après traduction, le « pâté chinois ».

Ces théories sont rejetées par Jean-Pierre Lemasson, auteur du livre Le mystère insondable du pâté chinois paru en octobre 2009 aux éditions Amérik Média. Selon ses recherches, les travailleurs chinois se nourrissaient simplement de riz et de soja pendant la construction du chemin de fer. De plus, il constate que le pâté chinois avait fait son apparition sur les tables des familles québécoises seulement dans les années 1930, ce qui rend difficile l'hypothèse qu'il soit apparu pendant la révolution industrielle au Maine. Toujours selon l'auteur, l'origine du pâté chinois demeure un mystère.
[wikipedia]

C’est sur cette base qu’Audrey Bergevin a travaillé pour développer son concept de produit national dans mon cours d’emballage. Ici, le pâté chinois est proposé congelé et prêt à servir avec une fourchette permettant de le manipuler et potentiellement le consommer après l’avoir passé quelques minutes au four micro-ondes.

Notez que même le ketchup aux tomates est inclus dans le concept.


Pâté Chinois is not a Chinese recipe. It may simply be an adaption of "Shepherd's Pie", but one possible explanation for the 'Chinese' reference is that it was introduced to Chinese railway workers by Canadian cooks during the building of the North American railroads in the late 19th century[citation needed]. These cooks made it under instruction from the railway bosses (of English extraction) as an easily-prepared, inexpensive version of the popular cottage pie, with the sauce in the tinned creamed-corn serving as a substitute for the gravy. The French Canadian railway workers became fond of it and brought the recipe back with them to their home communities. From there it was brought to the textile mill communities of Maine (Lewiston), New Hampshire (Manchester), Massachusetts (e.g. Lowell and Lawrence) and Rhode Island (Woonsocket) where many French Canadians immigrated to work in the mills during the early 20th century.

Another more probable explanation for the name was traced by Lionel Guimont, a student of linguistics at Laval University, who shared his idea with Quebec language historian Claude Poirier. Mr. Poirier later published an article to this effect. Mr. Guimont had met an old native of Maine who was visiting Canada for the first time and had heard the man call the dish "China pie". Based on the fact that "pâté chinois" would normally translate in "Chinese pie", referring to the country (like in "French fries" as opposed to "*France fries"), Mr. Guimont wondered why the old man said "China pie", which in English refers to a city or a region (like in "Boston cream pie" as opposed to "*Bostonese cream pie"). He then found that two towns in the state of Maine, called China and South China, had been a favorite destination for Québécois forest workers, who came down from la Beauce along the Kennebec river by the turn of the century. Even today, a vast portion of the population of the China region is of Québécois descent and still bear French names so Mr. Guimont concluded that the name "pâté chinois" had not come down to Maine from B.C. via Québec (and become "Chinese pie") but rather went the other way. "China pie" must have been a common dish in lumbering camps and in mills kitchens around China. It had been (wrongly) translated later by the workers returning to Québec into "pâté chinois" because of the awkwardness of "pâté de Chine" in the French language. In parts of Maine, "pâté chinois" is referred to as "Chinese Party" -- phonetically more similar to the French term.[wikipedia]



On this basis, Audrey Bergevin has worked to develop her concept for a national product in my packaging class. Here, the proposed meal is a ready to serve frozen “ Pâté Chinois “. After spending a few minutes in microwave the meal can be enjoyed. A fork is inserted in the frozen food to handle and finally eat it eventually.

Note that even tomato ketchup is included in the concept.

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