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Great mustard made in PEI

by Alain Bossé and photography by Steve Smith/VisionFire

When Michael and Sabine Schoenknecht immigrated to the west coast about 10 years ago, they discovered that while it was a very beautiful part of Canada, it wasn’t quite what they were looking for. They were seeking a place where they could build a homestead; a place to enjoy a slower life pace; and a place with a sense of community where people would take care of each other. They discovered all of that in Murray Harbour North, Prince Edward Island.

With development of the homestead complete, the couple started to make almost everything that they required for themselves food-wise from scratch. Canning, preserving and fermenting—they wanted to know what was in the food they were eating. One of the things they could not find was good mustard, that was not only flavourful but healthy as well.

Being innovative and adventurous they started to make their own mustard and liked it very, very, much. So much so in fact they decided to begin selling the mustard at a local farmers market in the summer. As it turns out other people also really liked it. That gave the Schoenknechts the push to venture into the mustard business and Atlantic Mustard Mill was born.

In keeping with the Schoenknechts’ personal philosophies, it was important that their company focus on being green, sustainable and healthy. They source as many ingredients as possible from local suppliers; keeping it organic wherever possible. They also grow some of their own ingredients on the homestead and they produce their own honey for their honey mustard and honey dressing. Plastic is a no-go and they try to avoid it wherever they can. The couple are justifiably proud of the fact that their company is one of the first companies to produce food with 100 per cent solar energy on PEI.

Atlantic Mustard Mill mustard is made the old-fashioned way. Fresh, stone ground organic mustard seeds, mixed carefully with the best ingredients, fermented and with no fillers or preservatives added. There is no need for preservatives, as the mustard oil is left in which gives the mustard its delicious taste, and it is very beneficial for the health; it is antibacterial and it’s a natural preservative.

Mustard is rich in selenium (anti-inflammatory effects), manganese, calcium, iron, zinc, omega 3, protein and dietary fibre. It also helps to digest fatty food better as it stimulates the production of saliva and gastric juice.

Michael is always experimenting to come up with new flavours and says that they are continuously inspired by nature. At the moment they have 22 flavours available and their cranberry mustard will be back when the season starts again in the fall. The mustards vary in their spiciness and they have many uses other than as a condiment; they are perfect for enhancing sauces, salads, and as marinades. There are many flavour profiles from a very sweet Banana Ginger and a very spicy one called The Volcano.

The Schoenknechts love every single mustard, but if they had to pick a favourite, Michael’s would be the Dried Tomato Mustard which is wonderful on a burger or a chicken panini. Sabine’s favourite is the Maple Chili Mustard—in fact it’s their most popular seller—it has a good zing and is especially good on salmon.

The mustards can be found in six shops in Nova Scotia, in 24 shops and two farmers markets on PEI and in their online shop. A full list is available on their website,

Atlantic Mustard Mill Granny’s Potato Salad

(Berlin Style; vegan) Serves 4

2.25 pounds (1 kg) cooked potatoes (cooked just firm)

2 tsp (10 mL) Garlic Mustard

3 tsp (15 mL) sugar

¹ cup (75 mL) pickle juice

¼ cup (50 mL) white wine vinegar

¹⁄₃ cup (75 mL) sunflower oil

1 large onion, fine dice

1 garlic clove, fine dice

1 apple, sliced

4 pickling cukes, sliced

salt and pepper

Green onions or chives

Once cooked cut the potatoes in slices, not too thin and set aside.

Take a big mason jar and add the mustard, sugar, pickle juice, vinegar, oil, some salt & pepper as well as the finely chopped onion and garlic. Close the lid and shake it well.

Peel the apple (if you like) and cut into small pieces, do the same with the pickling cukes.

Take a bigger bowl and build a layer of potatoes with some apple and pickle and salt & pepper. Add some vinaigrette on top. Do that a few times until there are no potatoes, apple, pickle and vinaigrette left. At the end, there should be a bit too much marinade in the salad.

The potato salad should marinate for at least 3 to 4 hours, best overnight. In this time, the marinade will be absorbed by the salad. Mix the whole salad.

Shortly before serving, add some chives or green onion to the salad.

Beef Tenderloin Mustard Rub

Serves 4-6

2 pounds tenderloin

½ cup (125 mL) Atlantic Mustard Old German or Dijon Coarse

1 ½ tsp (7 mL) sea salt

1 ½ tsp (7 mL) ground black pepper

Once the silver skin is removed from your tenderloin, rub mustard in every nook and cranny then place on a parchment paper. Season meat with salt and pepper on all four sides. Let marinate at room temperate for 30 min or so, then sear on all four sides for 2 minutes. Finish in oven on pan lined with parchment paper at 300°F till medium rare (internal temperature 130°F to 135°F).

The objective of searing is to simply seal in all the juices and flavours.

There are several ways you can sear your meat; here are a couple of my favourite methods. Heat a cast iron pan to high temperature, add oil or butter then sear on all four sides.

Or simply turn on your barbecue and sear it on high heat on all four sides.

*Before serving make sure to rest your meat for at least 10 minutes.  

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