Unique treats, gifts and baskets for unique people.

Your specialty food, gift and treat shop, the Mercantile is chock-a-block with everyday luxuries for home and palate.

 

Instagram

Tap in to Winter

Tapped Out and Ni9

Well, we didn't expect it so soon or so fiercely, perhaps, but it was inevitable. Winter.

But let's not forget that winter has its benefits - including a chance to focus on indoor pursuits, to create warmth in whatever style suits you. Cocktailing is one such activity (in moderation, of course!) and we have a couple of very special ingredients to mention as we anticipate warm flavours to battle the cold outside.

First, Graeme Foers has a history right here in our neighbourhood but much of his time is spent in the woods handcrafting his Tapped Out Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup. Now, if you ever went to a sugaring off in the bush you might have a memory of taps in the trees and lines running from all around the lot to a tank in the middle. To some people that's quaint and they know that maple syrup operations run the gamut from mom & pop farms to industrial scale evaporation processors. Tapped Out makes even the mom & pops look like a factory floor. He is literally asking each tree for permission to take sap and collecting it individually, keeping the fires burning all season long to make the best maple syrup there is and then aging it in bourbon whiskey barrels brought up from the States.

Nickel 9 Distillery is also very close to home - just a few blocks away in the Junction - and making a mark with a couple of spirits available at LCBO stores. But they've also released this wonderful line of aromatic bitters. Some - like the hibiscus or the lavender citrus or the grapefruit orange - could be used to summon summer in a glass if you're so inclined. But I'm looking at the smoked apple and the cedar cherry bark and the rosemary black peppercorn and thinking I could just lean into winter quite comfortably.

Read more

Boo!

Halloween Stuff

It starts with the Pumpkin Fudge that arrives early October. Not only does it taste and smell fantastic, it triggers something - something in the air. Then the Bat Signal really goes out! And before you know it the Mercantile is filled with spooky stuff.

For school treats try our YumEarth peanut free dummies. There's murderously hot mustard, scary Scoville sauces, bloody eyeball candy decorations for creepy cookies, special edition Laura Slack chocolate skull lollies, halloween lights, mugs, bottle openers, tea towels and other seasonally themed decor items.

Of course, there's  also black cat and black bat pasta from Queen's Pasta - spinach and ricotta filled black pasta ravioli made just for Halloween night dinner and available in our freezer at the back of the store.

And adults know we're a grown up trick-or-treater's dream store!

While we're at it, witches hats off to the people in the neighbourhood who make ours one of the most fun parts of the city to stroll at night with their awesome halloween yard displays. If you haven't walked down Grenadier lately......

Oh. And if you come in late and find we're out of treats, please don't TP our window. We're doing our best to make sure there's enough for all you ghouls and goblins.

Read more

Let's Make this a Thing!

Bunny Hug Kaya - coconut spread

One of the great things about being in a diverse city like Toronto is that tastes for certain things - be they music or movies or fashions or food - move beyond their cultural origins. At The Mercantile we see this every single day in the number of people who come in to stock up on their harissa paste or Okazu or gojuchang or preserved lemons or pasilla peppers or Mado's sauce who aren't north African or Asian or Latin American or Caribbean. All of these flavours have become part of a common repertoire.

A week or so ago, the folks from a local producer called Bunny Hug came into the store with a product we'd never heard of called Kaya. Its roots are in the colonial era of Singapore/Malaysia when local cooks ventured to approximate the jams and morning toast spreads of British officers using local ingredients. 

So think of something like lemon curd in terms of consistency but remove the tartness and replace it with the soft, round, creaminess of coconut and you've got Kaya. It. Is. DELICIOUS!

Now, we can totally see this being overlooked because it's an unfamiliar product and you're not looking for it in the first place and wouldn't know what to do with it if you just stumbled upon it. But we're pretty confident that if you try it you're going to want to keep a jar in the fridge for when you want that sweet comforting piece of toast - or even dolloped on a cracker. We tried it on a salty potato chip and it was fantastic! For now, we're keeping it with the jams and jellies in the cabinet just to your right as you enter the store.

If you're in the neighbourhood tomorrow at 4:00pm, Bunny Hug will be at the Mercantile offering samples so you can see whether you might like to make this taste part of your culinary repertoire.

Read more
Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart