FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
- No there is no gluten in the hot chocolates.
- There is possibly gluten present in other products produced on the same production line, so we cannot label these products as ‘Gluten Free’.
- There are no peanuts in the manufacturing plant.
- There are other nuts present in products on the same production line.
- There are strict procedures in place to avoid cross contamination of the products.
- Ingredients in all Gourmet Village beverages are carefully sourced from a network of trusted suppliers. Our major suppliers meet internationally recognized food safety audit standards to ensure a high quality finished product.
- We use Dutch processed cocoa, resulting in a smooth, rich taste in our many varieties of Hot Chocolates.
- Our beverage mixes are nut free, and have zero trans fat per serving size.
- The manufacturing facility for our hot chocolates is SQF Level 2 certified and the supporting HACCP system is approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
- Generally, the milk is raw milk (whole). The milk is ripened before adding in the rennet (see below).
- Rennet is an enzyme that is collected from the stomach lining of a milk-fed calf. In more recent years, this enzyme is commonly produced by using modified bacteria and has adopted the name Chymosin and Rennin. This enzyme is responsible for the coagulation of the milk proteins to produce curds.
- It is estimated that the vast majority of domestic cheese (in North America) is produced with bioengineered chymosin (based on the enzyme Rennet).
- Generally 3–4 ounces of rennet are added per 1000 pounds of mix. The rennet will serve to coagulate the milk protein and form curds.
- Whey is the by-product in the manufacturing of cheese. Whey is the watery portion of milk remaining after milk coagulation and removal of the curd.
- Whey solids or powder are obtained by drying the liquid whey and are used as milk replacement in bakery products, ice cream, dry mixes and beverages.
- Mono & Dyglycerides are corn based and part of the non dairy creamer.
- Gluten in the food industry is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye. It is known to damage the small intestine for persons with gluten sensitive enteropathy (celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis).
- Gluten-free diets avoid the storage proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley.
Some more information regarding Gluten that you might find useful:
This information is provided as a guide only, you should always consult your medical professional or government websites to fully reassure yourself.
Gluten Free – Claim Regulations
- It is the responsibility of the manufacturer (in this case Gourmet du Village) to insure the validity of a claim such as “gluten free” on their products.
- In order to declare a product as “gluten free”, the level of detection must be under 10ppm gluten (5 ppm gliadin).
- Gourmet du Village products are not declared as “Gluten Free” on their packaging even though most of our products do not contain gluten in the ingredients (please refer to allergen spreadsheet for each product.
- Based on the regulations, in order to be make a “Gluten Free” claim on our products they must be manufactured, produced and filled in gluten free facilities. At the current moment we are not planning to make the investment required to change our production processes to accommodate these regulations and therefore can not declare our products as “gluten free”.
- Linda Tott co-founder of Gourmet du Village is herself a Celiac sufferer and is able to enjoy all of our products that do not contain wheat in the list of ingredients.
- In her personal case any possible cross contamination is at such a miniscule level that she has never had any reactions to our products.
- As every Celiac is different, it is their responsibility to know their level of sensitivity and we strongly recommend that they consult our allergen spreadsheet which details whether a product contains gluten, if there was gluten on the same line as a product or if there is gluten present in the same plant.
- We hope that in providing this information to our customers they will have more information to make their own health decisions.
- All of our Ceramics and Stoneware are produced by hand to the highest standards.
- All comply to ‘Proposition 65’ a California regulation, the most stringent regulations in Nth America, regarding the regulation and control of contaminants in the Glazes and Decoration of Ceramic items.
- We have trusted relationships with factory management, everyone of the factories who manufacture for us has been regularly visited, inspected and is monitored by our associates who are based in Hong Kong and have been working directly with us for over 15 years. They personally inspect every shipment before it leaves the factory. These relationships built up over the years ensure consistency, quality and that our company values are respected at all levels of manufacture and supply.
- Every factory we use hire only adults, no child labour.
- Ceramic casseroles can be used in an oven up to 220-230 C (425-450 F) as long as they are not too close to the heat source, it is best to keep them in the middle of the oven, never directly touching a flame or a coil.
- When ceramic items are taken out of the oven to cool, make sure they do not touch a wet or a cool surface, the sudden change in temperature could cause them to crack or break For safety always place them on a wooden board, trivet or kitchen hot pad.
Care instructions for cast iron griddle
- For the first time, before use, rinse your skillet with hot soapy water and scrub it with a scouring pad.
To season your griddle before use wipe on a thin coating of food grade oil (We recommend Caron Doucett special oil for cast iron cookware) and wipe off the excess.
- If food sticks to your cast iron griddle, it means it is not seasoned properly and needs to be re-oiled. If your pan shows any signs of rust, gently scrub it off with a scouring pad and re-oil it.
- Once you have cooked on your griddle, make sure you let it cool completely before it touches water.
To clean your cast iron cookeware you can wash it with hot water and a scrubbing pad, try to avoid using soap if possible. Be quick and brief, rinse it, and then dry it thoroughly with paper towels or on a warm oven. Never soak your pan or let soapy water sit in it for any length of time.
- Never put your cast iron in the dishwasher.
- Always pre-heat your pan before beginning to cook on it.
- Do not put a cold pan on a very hot burner.
- Do not put very cold liquids into a very hot pan, it will crack.
- Don’t forget to use your oven mitts, cast iron gets very hot, all over.
- All of our Herbs & Spices are as fresh as you can get; the number of steps between ‘Farmer and your Table’ are as few as possible. Fresh Herbs & Spices are purchased directly from Primary Processors who purchase from small independent farmers, then cleaned, dried and shipped to Montreal.
- The plant there is an acknowledged leader in the industry, HAACP Gold certified, is also Tree Nut and Ground Nut free. Every shipment of Herbs & Spices goes through a thorough inspection and lab testing adding to your assurance of quality.
- No ingredients are purchased from Traders where the source and integrity of the Herbs & Spices cannot be guaranteed.
Herb, Spice and Seasoning blends are best stored in a Cool, Dry, Dark place simply put a drawer or cupboard away for heat is ideal. Your mother’s favourite storage place in the small cupboard above the stove was a terrible place, both hot and humid, even worse the classic spice rack that kitchen stores love to sell?
- Ideal storage for herbs and spice should be in a cool (<70F/ <21C), dry (<60% r.h.) area, in sealed containers to provide a shelf life of minimum 24 months without appreciable loss of flavour or functional characteristics.
The following storage advices also applies to Hot Chocolate and Cocoa
Why Cool, Dry and Dark?
- Cool: Ideal storage for herbs and spice should be cool (<70F/ <21C). The flavours we enjoy from Herbs & Spices come from the volatile oils contained in them, heat increases the evaporation of and loss of these oils and flavour.
- Dry: Store in a dry area away from humidity. Drying is the preserving process for Herbs & Spices certain Fruits and even Cheeses and contributes to their long shelf life. Humidity increases the chance of bacteria growth and spoilage, so above the stove your mother’s favourite was full of steam, even storing in the fridge is bad, when you remove a cold jar of spices from the fridge the condensation immediately increases the moisture and humidity.
- Dark: Light has a bleaching effect on Herbs, Spices and Seasoning blends, this reduces the flavour and certainly the visual appeal. Good news… if the jar or container of Herbs & Spices has only been exposed to the light for a short or reasonable period of time the damage will be quite negligible, simply shake up the contents, the flavour loss will be negligible.
- Store owners: If you are the owner of a store this last piece of advice is a warning to not used Herb & Spices in glass containers for window displays.
- Strong smells: Less common but still a potential spoiler for your Herbs & Spices and especially Hot Chocolate is storing them in close proximity to strong smells, could be perfumes, Pot Pourri or cleaning materials.
We once received a complaint from a store owner that all the Hot Chocolate packages we had shipped to them were damaged and undrinkable, one of their customers had returned some, very upset. After a very calming telephone conversation it turned out that the store owner had displayed their Hot Chocolate right next to a display of Pot Pourri and scented sachets on their store. The Hot Chocolate powder was very successful in absorbing those perfumes.
- All of our Bakery Products are prepared and packaged in a plant which applies the strictest measures to maintain a certified Allergen free plant.
- This of course does not apply to Gluten which is a key ingredient in our baking mixes.
- We do not offer any Gluten free Baking mixes at this time.
- Our products are tested for lead and cadmium at point of manufacture before they are shipped to us, using FDA standard tests.
- Upon arrival we then do our own test for lead.
- For ceramic products being shipped to customersFDA conducts random tests our products at the United States border. Their procedure is; they pull 6 samples of the same item and if any one of them fails the testing , none of the products are allowed to be shipped.