At a recent food artisans’ market at the Williams-Sonoma store on Bloor Street W in Toronto, I recently discovered a delicious range of handcrafted gourmet mustards courtesy of WHISKY and SPICE, a local specialty food company owned and operated by DAN GORDON (pictured below).
Now anyone who knows me, knows that I’m one hot mama – I love my curries and chillis, but my experience with mustards has been mostly confined to my favourite Keen’s Hot English Mustard (a must with English breakfast bangers, pictured below), the fancy-schmancy Grey Poupon (only consumed in the back of Rolls-Royces, I believe) and the various neon yellow supermarket brands, so when I tasted the three W&S mustards which incorporate beer, wine or whisky…well, I heard angels singing, bells ringing. I was in hottie heaven!
WHISKY and SPICE makes an “honest product”: 40% beer and wine by volume in the Porter Pepper Mustard and Riesling Apple Mustard, and 20% scotch whisky by volume in the Whisky Honey Mustard – Scotch is a much stronger flavour, 40% alcohol by volume, so it needs to be 20% and tempered with honey as the second ingredient. On the ingredients list, I noticed that beer and wine is the second ingredient after mustard seed for the Porter Pepper Mustard and Riesling Apple Mustard and that whisky is the third ingredient after mustard seed and honey for the Whisky Honey Mustard. I was told that if consumers check other beer, wine, whisky and even grocery store honey mustards, they will notice those ingredients listed towards the very end of the ingredients list.
Dan explained “I recently picked up a jar of beer mustard in a leading gourmet kitchen store to check the ingredients list. They were charging $11 for the 250ml. jar and beer was the second last ingredient. I also checked a popular grocery store brand of honey mustard and in that, too, honey was the second last ingredient. But with Whisky & Spice, those ingredients are prominent, added second only to the mustard seed. That’s what separates Whisky & Spice from other mustards. I ask that people pay more but just like fine wines, craft beers or premium whiskies, they are getting their money’s worth in ingredients from an “honest product”. Whisky & Spice also takes the time to source the finest spices. Dan uses 100% Canadian mustard seed, the finest quality in the world (did you know that Canada accounts for almost 90% of the world’s mustard exports?), favoured by the fancy French mustard makers who craft all imported Dijon mustards.
“I use the finest quality Indian Malabar black pepper and Jamaican allspice,” Dan continues. “Indian black pepper is renowned for its floral notes and deep flavours compared to black pepper grown in other regions like Vietnam. Other countries in central American produce good allspice but Jamaica is the home of allspice and is the only nation that measures the oil content of its allspice crop to ensure consistency, quality and maximum flavour. The W&S ingredients aren’t selected just so we can charge more – they are selected because they make a difference and bring more flavour.” Whisky & Spice selects only the finest quality spirits, wine, craft beers and spices because they bring greater flavour and that’s what the company is all about. Flavour is joy. Flavour is satisfaction. Flavour is life.
You can taste the quality yourself at next Sunday’s LESLIEVILLE FLEA (June 15th) located during summer months at the Ashbridge Estate, 1444 Queen Street East, just across from the TTC yards (where the streetcars go to sleep each night!).
You can purchase W&S online at http://whiskyandspice.ca and will soon be available in fine food stores across Southern Ontario.
Follow Whisky and Spice on Facebook at: Faceboom.com/whiskyandspice