Chorney-Sales space: Vresh Meals showcases the cool facet of clarified butter with signature OG Ghee

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Most of us, no matter cultural background, possible have a bottle of soy sauce in our pantry or fridge. The identical goes for condiments and staples like olive oil, sriracha and different sizzling sauces, a wide range of vinegar, and, more and more, objects like curry paste, gochujang and sizzling honey. However ghee, the caramelized and clarified butter important to conventional Indian cooking? Should you’re not of South Asian descent or a very avid cook dinner, you’re unlikely to have a jar sitting in your cabinet.

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That is one thing Vreshin Naga, the face and mastermind behind Vresh Meals and its flagship product, OG Ghee, is working laborious to alter. Naga is on a one-man mission (nicely, multi-man, due to the assistance of his enterprise companion Thomas Theoharis and a group of supporters) to make ghee a go-to product for all Canadians, whether or not they’re tackling a conventional Indian meal or need to add some flavour and dimension to their eggs within the morning.

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Naga’s ghee journey began, as so many trendy meals startups have, at the start of the pandemic. Laid off from his job within the development business, he comforted himself by cooking, with a deal with the Indian delicacies he grew up with throughout his childhood in Dubai. Naga will not be one to sit down on his laurels, so the cooking grew into social media posts, which kickstarted his Recent with Vresh meal kits, a pandemic enterprise that turned wildly well-liked with native foodies within the know.

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Vreshin Naga of Vresh Meals began making OG Ghee in the course of the pandemic. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia Picture by Darren Makowichuk /DARREN MAKOWICHUK/Postmedia

Naga’s Recent with Vresh clients began requesting to purchase additional ghee to make use of with different meals and, because the fixed cooking to take care of the meal kits turned unsustainable, Naga acknowledged the potential of constructing a enterprise primarily based on South Asian pantry objects. After a prolonged regulatory battle over the shelf stability of his ghee (as a result of the milk solids are faraway from the butter within the cooking course of, ghee, like most cooking oils can fortunately sit open in your pantry so long as you’d like), OG Ghee was born in Might 2022. Naga knew he had an awesome and versatile product. The subsequent step was (and nonetheless is) educating folks on learn how to use it.

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“It must be a easy merchandise for people to get behind as a result of it’s simply butter, however it’s higher from a flavour perspective as a result of it’s browned,” he says. “It lasts longer, you’ll be able to cook dinner at increased temperatures, you’ll be able to hold it at room temperature ceaselessly. There’s extra that you are able to do with it than with common butter.”

Clearly, ghee has lengthy been obtainable in Canada, however OG Ghee could possibly be a game-changer in that Naga is offering a high-quality, locally-made product. His different secret weapon is his energetic advertising and marketing prowess. Different ghee manufacturers are likely to both are available old style stodgy packaging or go for an enlightened well being meals strategy — OG Ghee’s packaging is contemporary and younger and Naga can’t and received’t resist any wordplay or puns utilizing the phrase “ghee,” which removes the intimidation issue. Will that get Canadians slathering ghee on their toast rather than common butter or utilizing it to sear their steaks? Right here’s hoping.

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Vreshin Naga is having enjoyable advertising and marketing his OG Ghee product. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia Picture by Darren Makowichuk /DARREN MAKOWICHUK/Postmedia

To maneuver issues alongside, OG Ghee has launched new flavours to broaden the general public’s perceptions of ghee. Whereas Naga is a big proponent of South Asian tradition and encourages folks to strive their hand at conventional Indian delicacies, he’s additionally created completely different flavours of ghee to nudge clients in the direction of incorporating it into meals they already get pleasure from. Along with the unique ghee, Vresh Meals sells herb and garlic ghee (good for making garlic bread or tossing with pasta) and French-toast acceptable chai spice ghee, in addition to two restricted version collaborations: an “Italian backyard” flavour with Root and Regenerate City Farming and a espresso and vanilla selection made with Calgary Heritage Roasting Firm espresso that actually tastes like a Espresso Crisp bar in spreadable type. It’s tasty stuff that redefines an ages-old ingredient for a brand new multi-cultural market.

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OG Ghee is obtainable for buy on-line at vreshfoods.com and can be obtainable at various shops together with choose Safeway and Sobeys, Neighborhood Pure Meals, The Cookbook Firm, and Lukes Drug Mart.

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In different meals information, tune into the tenth season of the Meals Community’s Vacation Baking Championship this week to cheer on native chocolatier Kevin Conniff as he competes for the $25,000 prize. Conniff is the power behind Candy Bella Sweets and can be a longtime pastry chef and teacher at SAIT’s Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism. The sequence begins Nov. 6 and Conniff is the one Canadian competitor on the present.

Lastly, when you occur to be out in Banff or Lake Louise this week, the Style for Journey eating competition continues by means of Nov. 9. Over 25 mountain eating places are taking part, with particular menus and occasions on supply at favourites like Juniper Bistro, Hiya Sunshine, Brazen, and The Maple Leaf. For a full record of taking part eating places, go to banfflakelouise.com.

Elizabeth Chorney-Sales space may be reached at [email protected]. Observe her on Instagram at @elizabooth or join her e-newsletter at hungrycalgary.substack.com.

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