Say 'How To Say Tourtière'? Correctly
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A Quick Overview Of How To Say Tourtière
The pronunciation of tourtière is a little ambiguous. On the first sound file, the word is pronounced according to French rules of pronunciation, and that much is clear. In parts of Canada you may hear it pronounced a little differently. The first possibility is to to add an 's' sound in, so you have toor/tsyehr instead of toor/tyehr.
The second variation is clearer to understand - the spelling as well as pronunciation changes in parts of Canada to tortière tohr/tyehr. This pronunciation agrees completely with the French spelling, so you have no problem there.
If any readers are in Canada, please weigh in on what is used more commonly. The standard French spelling and pronunciation, which is the first one given on the audio, will always be correct, if not authentically Canadian.
A tourtière is a traditional Quebecois meat pie along the lines of a typical English pasty or pie. Meat in a pastry crust is an alien concept to most Americans who are more used to sweet pies made with fruit in a pastry crust. That said, it is a dish known in the New England part of the US along the Canadian border.
The tourtière is a particularly French Canadian dish. The name is reminiscent of the French word for tart which is tarte, but it has no clear French heritage. There is an interesting debate on CBC on whether there is such a thing as Canadian cuisine - I'm no expert, but tourtières do seem to be in a class of their own. Remember that if you are referring to tourtières in the plural, the final 's' is silent, as always in French.
Tourtière history and recipe
Tourtière is traditionally served over Christmas in French-Canadian homes, particularly in the Quebec region. There is no one definite recipe: it consists of ground meats such as pork, beef, rabbit and game and diced potato (in this respect, it is similar to an English pasty) encased in pastry and cooked in a tourtière which popularly mentioned as the origin of the name, though as mentioned before, the etymology does seem to hail back to the French word 'tarte' (which in turn comes from the Latin 'tarta').
In Montreal it is traditionally made with only ground pork, and cloves and cinnamon are added. Toutières from Quebec, which usually include potato and are cooked in a deep dish as in the photo may be called Tourtières du Lac-Saint-Jean (dew lahk sa~zhah~), or Tourtières Saguenéenne (sahg/nay/ehn - the red letters are silent, which makes the pronunciation of that word easier to understand). There is audio for both these names.
Toutières are usually served with ketchup, maple syrup, or fruit chutneys. I haven't tried it, but my eye discerns a very good recipe for tourtière here. You can also find out more about toutières here.