Although we reside in the northern part of the Unites States, for us the notion of True North means a day-long drive from Cape Cod to our French Canadian neighbors in the province of Quebec – a spirited land of snowshoeing, lumberjacks, ice hockey, French flair, and flowing maple syrup. We cannot help but marvel over Montreal’s thriving restaurant culture and hunger for Tomahawk steaks from Prince Edward Island, warm coal-fired bagels, and a briny abundance of fresh seafood from chillier surrounding waters.
It is only natural that our Coastal Goods curiosity becomes at once piqued when visiting the birthplace of the wildly popular meat seasoning known everywhere as Montreal Steak Seasoning. We immediately wonder how this phenomenon of a steak seasoning could have its origins in Montreal and not our own carnivorous cowboy territory. Our doubts are erased upon learning that the famed seasoning started as a cure for smoked meats at Montreal’s venerable Schwartz’s Deli, when one fortuitous day a broiler cook decided to sprinkle the pungent blend of seasonings over some fresh meat he was searing on a griddle. Customers loved the flavor, and one could say the rest is history.
Still, as we research this history in further spice route depth, we learn that Rubin Schwartz was a Romanian who emigrated to Montreal and opened his namesake Hebrew Delicatessen on Saint-Laurent Boulevard at the end of 1928. Schwartz employed traditional Romanian recipes for curing meats collectively known as “Pastrama,” which in turn evolved from Romania’s connection to the ancient spice routes of the Ottoman Empire. Spice mixtures were of course the means of preservation for centuries before the invention of refrigeration, and what we now know as Montreal Seasoning can likely be traced back to roots in Turkey. Coastal Goods True North Seasoning is carefully blended to capture the storied vibrancy of this historically rich spice blend and is sure to bring both time-honored and modern pizazz to meats, poultry, seafood, and even vegetables.