La pincée d’été: a new must-have seasoning for all your summer cooking

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Made by Catherine de Gongre in association with Baron

La pincée’s seventh creation is about to be made available. A mix of ground flax and hemp seeds, rosemary, marjoram and lavender flowers from Quebec, La pincée d’été is what your salads and warm season first courses were waiting for. The product is available from may 8th to 11th at the Baron pop-up store- 2069, Parthenais St. Montreal (Look at the Facebook event)

Q&A with La pincée’s Catherine de Gongre

Baron: How did La pincée came to be?
Catherine de Gongre: I love to cook, to experiment and try new things. After my studies at Institiut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ), I worked for some caterers and at my children’s daycare center. I always wanted to make people discover new flavors, tastes and textures, while carefully presenting every dish. La pincée started with me wanting an all-purpose, bouquet garni fragranced salt I could add to my broths and everyday meals (which became La pincée’s first seasoning). That’s how I started experimenting with spices, sea salts and herbs. Today, La pincée has a range of six unique seasonings and so many ideas… needless to say we’re not about to run out of new products. Hence here we are, about to release our seventh creation: La pincée d’été.
B.: Why do people choose to buy La pincée’s seasonings instead of other companies’?

C. G.: Our customers often tell us that discovering La pincée’s products is like starting a long term cooking relationship. Our seasonings are easy to use on both special occasions and everyday meals. In every mix, I’m always trying to achieve perfect balance between all the ingredients. The resulting seasoning bears a brand new flavor and texture that are either added to the food while it’s being cooked or as a finishing touch, when it’s served. All our products are made with care, from quality and fresh ingredients.

B.: Could you tell us more about each of your products? How is each seasoning meant to be used?
C. G.: First of all, there’s the Classique, a mix of sea salts, herbs and freshly ground spices. With its unique taste and texture, this fine and fancy salt will do wonders in salads, soups, pastas, meats and eggs.

Then came the Poivrée, because I just love pepper. Adding coriander, paprika and fine herbs to the already rich flavor of black pepper, this seasoning works well in sandwiches, gratins, homemade pizzas or mushroom sautés.

Our third product is a little apart from the rest since it is sweet; which is why it’s been named Sucrée (French for “sweet”). This blend of cane sugar, Madagascar vanilla and lavender flowers is great on fruits, yogurts, crèmes brûlées, crêpes and waffles.

Then there’s the Scandinave, a combination of cane sugar, black pepper, grilled and ground spices that was expressly designed for gravlax preparation.

Barbecue is a rub for any meat, seafood or fish that’ll be cooked on the grill.
Finally, we have the Citronnée, which blends sage’s sweetness with the refreshing lemon aroma. This one can be used with white fishes, grilled asparaguses, oven-grilled chicken, lamb or tagines.

B.: How do you select your partners/sellers?
C. G.: La pincée’s products are made for people who love to cook with fresh ingredients, who are always looking for something new as well as reliable seasoning solutions for their everyday dishes. I take great pleasure in choosing our partners. It gives me the chance to meet incredible shopkeepers who put their faith in fine and fancy products made in Quebec. That’s why we’re always choosing our partners one by one.

B.: Where can we purchase seasonings by La pincée?
C. G.: Our products are currently available in more than 60 retail outlets in the greater Montreal area. The list is available on lapincee.ca

We’re eventually going to get involved with the restaurant market, but for now I’d rather concentrate on making the brand known.

B.: Any hopes for the future? 
C. G.: Lots of good news, hopefully. I want to go through every challenge, keep learning and stay active, business wise. I find running the company to be really inspiring. It helps me grow as a person. As for La pincée, I think I’ll be hiring help sooner than later.