Poteen is in fact the equivalent of moonshine in Ireland and is equally illegal there.
Poutine is the Canadian comfort food I first saw on Tony Bourdain's show, "No Reservations". I got the distinct impression that poutine was a bed on which you put anything from a couple of fried eggs to a medley of Tex-Mex delicacies.
The truth is, it's a dish all by itself, and it consists of fries and curd cheese, smothered in brown gravy.
It must be curd cheese ... not melted cheddar. Aye, that's the rub! However, making your own curd cheese is not that hard. The toughest possible thing about it is obtaining cheese cloth. Check out this instructional video on the process ...
This dish is now served all over Canada. I'm told even McDonald's has it on the menu (though I'm also told their version is not very popular). Next time I'm in any of the cities of Quebec, I'm ordering a big plate of poutine at the first opportunity ... on second thought ... !