If Canadians love anything, it's poutine, emojis, and petitions. These also happen to be the three main components of an outrageous news story that followed the Quebec-based fast food chain, Valentine, as they launched a formal petition to have the poutine "digitized" into its emoji-form.
Valentine submitted a formal request to the company responsible for approving all existing emojis, Unicode Consortium. The concept of making a poutine emoji stemmed from Valentine's marketing department, as poutine is one of the restaurant chain's most widely-purchased and consumed products.
"Poutine is a dish beloved by Canada. From family outings to late night bites, this trio of fresh fries, rich gravy and squeaky cheese curds quickly becomes a favourite to all who try it. There’s a good reason this culinary delight has been popular since the ‘50s!" reads Valentine Restaurants' petition on Change.org.
"Sadly, the people of Canada cannot virtually express their love for poutine. To this day, there is no poutine emoji, and there has yet to be a formal request for one – talk about a bitter curd to swallow."
Digital strategist Catherine Dorion insists that Canadians around the world - especially those based in Montreal - would use the poutine emoji on a frequent basis, while Valentine would be the primary benefactor of the emoji's creation.
She commented to Global News, "Not just in Quebec but Canada. Poutine is gaining a lot of traction internationally so we figured it’s fun and pertinent."
Valentine launched a proposal to the public with its online petition, which gained nearly 2,500 signatures within 24 hours. While Dorion admits that the petition is a tremendous start, it may take months until emoji-users see the poutine emoji emerge in their keyboards, as Valentine remains in the early phases of its request.
According to Global News, Unicode Consortium updates and releases new emojis once a year. By the end of March, Valentine anticipates the proposed design of the poutine emoji will have been sent to Unicode.
From there, the restaurant chain will have to play the waiting game until the emoji ultimately passes the initial approval process. Until then, poutine lovers will just have to settle for the real thing.