Frequently Asked Questions

If you are seeking answers to questions that are not addressed in this section, or wish to make a comment about any of our products, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Our products are selected according to the quality standards for imported foods, to which we add our own requirements. In fact, although the food industry establishes quality standards for imported foods, not only does Chef LELARGE meet those standards, we make a point of surpassing them.

Unopened products, whether in cans or in jars, retain their microbiological quality and are safe for consumption even after an extended period, or according to their expiry date. However, once opened, certain products must be refrigerated and consumed within a specific period of time; refer to the guide in the Products section for instructions on preservation and consumption for each product, or contact us for more details.

Chef LELARGE imported products come from the four corners of the world. The areas of origin are chosen based not only on product availability but especially on the quality of the product provided by the supplier. For more information about the origin of each of our products, please visit the appropriate section on the Products page.

Starting from the mustard seed through the production process developed in France according to traditional methods, Chef LELARGE mustard offers incomparable flavour. This characteristic pungent taste has given our mustard its high-end reputation. The use of millstones in its preparation is one of the most distinctive factors contributing to its quality.

The mustard seeds are ground using a millstone, and this is unquestionably what distinguishes Chef LELARGE mustards from all other varieties on the market. Unlike the industrial methods used by other companies, this traditional process prevents the mustard paste from becoming overheated, thus maintaining its flavour characteristics.

The piquant taste is basically due to the action of an active constituent on sensitive cells in the mouth. Mustard’s piquant taste decreases over time; this phenomenon results from certain characteristics of the mustard: its aroma is very volatile, and in particular, certain extremely reactive molecules are transformed by chemical reaction. This phenomenon becomes more pronounced in higher temperatures. In conclusion, if you like your mustard nice and piquant, keep it refrigerated.

For maximum freshness and superior flavour, it should be stored in the refrigerator for no longer than three to four months.

If you would like a spicy sauce, the mustard should be added at the last minute, just before serving. On the other hand, if you would like a milder sauce, it is recommended to add the mustard and let the sauce simmer for a few moments before serving.

The recipe for our Old Fashioned Mustard derives from an older tradition of production, since the techniques of the time did not enable the removal of the seed husk. Nowadays, when the husk is removed during the sieving process, we get original Dijon Mustard.

From receipt of the raw materials, through fermentation, to filtration of the final product, Chef LELARGE vinegars are created with the greatest respect for tradition. All our vinegars come from France, from a family business founded in 1797 and recognized for its quality.

All of our vinegars provide specific flavours, allowing them to be used differently in the preparation of a variety of meals, hence the advantage of having several types at hand!

1. Red wine and white wine vinegars are mostly produced from wine made with red or white grapes, respectively.

2. White Wine Vinegar with Raspberry or Shallot Red Wine Vinegar  is of course made similarly to white or red wine vinegar, with an extra step included after filtration in which flavour is added through juices, extracts, or natural aromas of fruit or spices.

3. As for cider vinegar, it is made from a different raw material: cider, made from apples.

4. Balsamic vinegar from Modena is required to be produced by boiling grape must from specfic varietals: this type of vinegar is protected by a geographical designation and a label of origin. Balsamic vinegar is not made from an alcoholic product, unlike wine and cider vinegars.

5. Any white balsamic with an acidity level lower than 6% cannot be labelled as “vinegar.” According to Canadian regulations, it is then designated as a “condiment”. It is produced from the same grape must as regular balsamic vinegar, and then filtered to make it crystal-clear. Thanks to its mildly sweet flavour, it can be used to create delicious, less tangy vinaigrettes!

Chef LELARGE vinegars are made exactly the same way as in the past, using the same recipes. However, we are the first company in the market to conform to new Health Canada regulations that will require the listing of certain trace ingredients contained in the main ingredients used to produce vinegar. For example, the sulphites in red wine vinegar occur naturally from grapes during wine making, and eggs are used as a fining agent during vinegar production in order to obtain a finished product that is clear and free of any residue. Given their trace amounts and the almost negligible risk of associated health problems, we were not required to list these ingredients in the past, whereas regulations will require them to be listed starting in 2012.

For further information on this subject, please consult the Canada Food Inspection Agency’s website (see point 2.8.3 :

Vegetables from a jar or a can may be frozen immediately after opening, in a sealed bag or plastic container. Be sure to remove any water or other liquid that might be in the original container. However, product quality will be different from when it was opened and the texture may change as a result of freezing. Thawed products may be used in the preparation of certain dishes, as in the following examples:

  •  Young corn on cobs: Once thawed, can be used in vegetable stir-fries.
  •  Artichoke hearts: Can be thawed and used in a pasta sauce or meat stuffing.
  •  Marinated green asparagus: Once thawed, can be added to omelettes.

Upon receipt of the chestnuts, they are rigorously selected to eliminate any inferior-quality fruit. After being steamed so that their skin can be easily removed, they are crushed and pressed in order to extract the pulp. The addition of water produces traditional chestnut purée. As for chestnut spread, it is prepared by incorporating into the pulp bits of glazed chestnuts, along with confectionery syrup, sugar and vanilla. At the end of the process, unlike with purée, the mixture is strained and then cooked according to a specific method.

Due to their different production processes, these products have a variety of uses and flavours. The spread, with its smooth texture and sweeter taste, is very popular in Europe on toast for breakfast or eaten at snack time. The purée, its flavour being closer to the original chestnut and therefore less sweet, is more frequently used in the preparation of desserts and other tasty dishes.

There are seven types of capers. Chef LELARGE capers fall into the smallest-size category, called Nonpareil. This is the type of caper favoured by chefs.

If there is no indication of the expiry date on an unopened product and you’re not sure of the purchase date, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our customer service department will be happy to respond to you.

Packets should be stored in a cool, dry place, protected from heat, moisture and direct light. Avoid storing products near a stove, dishwasher, sink or window.

Unopened dehydrated products retain their microbiological quality and are safe for consumption even after a long period of time. However, in order to ensure maximum freshness and flavour, it is recommended to consume these products within six months of the purchase date.

Whatever the product, once it is prepared it should be treated like fresh food; it can be kept in the refrigerator in a closed plastic container for up to three days.

Water, chicken stock or soy milk can be used if these substitutes are preferred by certain consumers; it should be noted that this will affect the flavour and consistency of the sauce.

Our directions for use are based on a complete recipe; sometimes, changing the amount can lead to variations in texture, flavour and even general appearance. It is therefore up to you to determine whether you are satisfied with the quality of the product after modifying the original amount suggested.