It happens every time. I think my husband is right behind me at the St. Lawrence Market, and I chatter away, planning the best route through the crowds and stalls. Invariably, I turn around and he’s not there. I’ve come to expect this, and make my way over to Kozlik’s Canadian Mustard. Sure enough, he’s part of the eager crowd, dipping pretzels and hot, fried cubes of toothpick-speared peameal bacon into a wide assortment of ramekins filled with flavoured mustards. I join in, and soon the sampling becomes a postscript to breakfast or a prequel to lunch.
The mustard stand has been at the St. Lawrence Market for eight years and has recently enlarged its footprint. The mustard used to be prepared on the premises, but is now made at a larger facility at Lawrence and Allen Road. The mustard powders and seeds they use are all Canadian. According to Jeremy Kessler, who took over the business from Anton Kozlik seven years ago, Canada grows more than 90 per cent of the world’s mustard, with most of it grown near Hamilton, Ontario.
Making the mustard is a simple matter of mixing up mustard powder and seeds with vinegar, water and flavourings. No faux foods or multi-syllabic chemical preservatives. When asked about his favourites, Jeremy playfully answers “Depends on my mood!” With 33 flavours to choose from, that covers a lot of moods!
As an example of a new way to incorporate mustard into everyday cooking, Jeremy describes a loose recipe he plans to cook during this weekend’s Buskerfest – Mustard Fried Chick Peas:
Get a cast iron skillet hot. Cook chopped onions and green peppers with some olive oil until soft and the onions are a bit transparent. Throw in some drained chickpeas, minced garlic, coarse salt, ground pepper and a squeeze of lemon, and cook for four or five minutes. Add Triple Crunch Mustard and cook for another minute, then add chopped diced tomatoes.
As well as prepared mustards, powders and seeds, their product line has been expanded to include flavoured vinegars, gift sets, mustard spoons and pots, and a soap called Spicy Mustard Scrub.
In addition to the St. Lawrence Market location, Kozlik’s Canadian Mustard can be found at many Toronto gourmet stores and several locations in Southern Ontario, which are listed on their website (which has a mustard yellow colour theme, naturally), along with an online catalogue, a short history of mustard and plenty of suggestions if you want to take your love of mustard to the next level.
Thanks to our ritual sampling sprees, a new flavour usually comes home with us. Keeping a handful of pretzels and a small dish of Lemon and Basil Mustard close by while working in the kitchen keeps me fortified during long cooking stints. Rootin’ Tootin’ Raspberry has been freshening up our usual olive oil and lemon juice vinaigrette and after Green Peppercorn (made with whole green peppercorns) was suggested as the perfect compliment to steak, we had it with our filet mignon the other night. Sorry béarnaise, but why would I bother when I can just spoon a large dollop of mustard on the edge of my plate and run each forkful of rare, pink beef through it? Divine.
Kozlik’s Canadian Mustard
92 Front Street East