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One of the biggest food trends this year revolves around comfort.


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As a nation, people seek solace with nurturing, rich, and unique wonders that release soul-embracing memories, while providing some tranquility in an unstable, pandemic-ridden world.

It’s not a new trend – it’s actually gained momentum over the past year as more and more people have sought comfort in recreating family favorites or learning how to do things. by themselves, such as bread, which continues to be one of the most popular. food in process.

Social media has been awash with professional chefs and home cooks putting their all into it and offering up recipes on these traditional favorites as well as brand new riffs on classics such as soups, stews, roasts, sandwiches, and more. than soothing puddings made from scratch. , cookies and fruit squares.


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And if one company understands the appeal of comfort foods, it would be Canada’s award-winning Brandt Meats, which celebrates more than 60 years of successfully feeding Canadians from coast to coast with a line of smoked meats, deli meats and more, products made from family recipes imported from the old country by Gerhard and Ida Brandt who started making their traditional sausages and charcuterie – their kielbasa sausages, salami and Black Forest hams, for n to name a few – almost immediately after arriving in Canada.

Gerhard Brandt (who came from Prussia, while Ida hailed from Furth, a town in northern Bavaria, Germany) brought with him the secrets of the job – he was a master charcuterie and butcher, an age-old craft that he learned on his own. father and grandfather.


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The couple started out in a small store in Toronto’s Junction neighborhood, in the city’s west end. From a small family business and a handful of people, the company has grown to include a massive wholesale operation and over 150 employees, with Brandt products sold in Canada from coast to coast. other. The company also has a sizable European food market in Mississauga, brimming with old-world charm, not to mention a deli counter that lasts forever and a hot table brimming with goodies like roast Sauerbraten, schnitzel, cabbage rolls and Moreover.

The Brandt family today, matriarch Ida Brandt (left), her granddaughter Melissa, her grandson Richard and her daughter Brigitte.
The Brandt family today, matriarch Ida Brandt (left), her granddaughter Melissa, her grandson Richard and her daughter Brigitte. provided

Although Gerhard passed away a few years ago, family matriarch Ida Brandt continues to run the business – her daughter, Brigitte and adult grandchildren, Melissa and Richard, all working side by side to carry on the proud tradition. of the family. Ida was previously honored as a Toronto SUN Woman on the Move for spearheading women in business at a time when the glass ceiling was one of the biggest barriers many women faced in this era. “A successful business is built on customer loyalty, and that’s a message I’ve lived through all these years,” said Ida Brandt.


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“It’s funny – the business has really grown and evolved over the years, but it’s still family-owned and we’re a very tight-knit family,” Brigitte said recently, her mother and adult children nodding in unison. . “I believe these old-fashioned values ​​have contributed to the success of the business,” added Melissa, whose role is to bring the business to adapt to social media areas and have a strong online presence. “But we are moving forward with new innovations while keeping the company’s core values ​​at the forefront,” added Richard.

Has the business been impacted by the pandemic? “He has – what company doesn’t have?” – but we came back, stronger than ever,” Melissa said, adding “I think it’s because of the very nature of the food we create…customers just feel comforted.


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Melissa admits that, even with her brother, Richard, “you could tell there’s a bunch of strong women running this place!” she laughs.

Here is a recipe for classic comfort courtesy perfect for cold evenings or football season.

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Pigs in a blanket

All-purpose flour, for rolling dough

2 sheets of puff pastry

Dijon’s mustard

4 smoked farmhouse sausages

4 cheesewurst sausages

4 turkey knacwurst

1 large egg, beaten

Poppy seeds, to garnish

Whole grain mustard and strong mustard for dipping

On a floured surface, roll out each sheet of dough into a 12-inch square, then cut into 4-inch squares. Lightly brush the bottom half of each square with mustard, center a sausage on the mustard-coated edge and brush the top inch of the square with egg wash. Roll the sausages in the dough, pressing the seams firmly. Brush top of pasta with egg, then sprinkle with poppy seeds. Cut each diagonally into thirds.


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Place pigs in blankets 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets and refrigerate until firm. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake until pastry is puffed and golden, about 25 minutes. Serve hot with assorted mustards.

Casserole of smoked peasant sausages.
Casserole of smoked peasant sausages. Photo provided /Brandt

Smoked Farmhouse Sausage Casserole

2 tbsp. olive oil
2 large onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 to 750 ml canned plum tomatoes
2 medium red peppers
2 medium yellow bell peppers
1 yam or sweet potato, diced
A handful of baby carrots
4 smoked farmhouse sausages
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onions for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for a few moments and add the wine. Stir in plum tomatoes, yellow and red peppers, carrots and diced potatoes. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. If it becomes dry, add a little water. In a medium skillet, place the farmhouse sausage, cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove and cut the sausage about 1/2 inch thick. Stir in with the rest of the mixture and cook for another 5 minutes and adjust the seasoning to personal taste.



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