Nothing livens up baked goods and salads like nuts and dried fruit. A small handful of almonds adds calcium, vitamin E, and heart-healthy mono-saturated fats, which lower cholesterol levels and our risk of heart disease. The simple raisin adds fibre to our diet, while dried cranberries bring a zing to the palate. Nuts and fruit are also healthier alternatives to chocolate bars or potato chips. Now, when you need that special ingredient, or when you have to hold off hunger pangs at work, kosher consumers can treat themselves to products from Bassé & Freres. For over twenty years, Bassé & Freres have produced a wide variety of the highest-quality dried fruit and nuts. After a chance meeting with Rabbi Saul Emanuel at a trade show in Toronto two years ago, Bassé decided to grant the MK - Canada’s Kosher Certifier the rights to supervise their kosher production. According to Bassé representative Eli Cohen, Bassé chose to work with the MK for two main reasons; they needed a company willing to certify dairy products, and wanted a symbol of kashrus that would be recognized and respected across North America.
Bassé uses a traditional Mediterranean dry roasting process that helps the nuts retain their taste and freshness. They produce at high volume, packing up to 100,000 bags per day, on state-of-the-art equipment that can package sixty bags per minute. They supply dried fruit and nuts for private label companies as well, including Life Brand for Pharmaprix (Shopper’s Drug Mart). Bassé works closely with the MK - Canada’s Kosher Certifier on each step of the production line to assure that all products conform to the MK’s specifications, including ensuring that all fruit used by the company is insect-free. At this time, all Bassé products are kosher-certified; Bassé made the decision to remove all non-kosher products and ingredients, as it was easier to make 100% of their products kosher than worry about accidental contamination.
Bassé’s choice of nuts, which come both dry roasted and with oil, includes almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, and macadamias, while the dried fruit include blueberries, cherries, cranberries, nectarines, peaches, and pears. They also produce snack foods such as chocolate-covered pretzels and almonds, as well as different trail mixes, all available in single-serving packages. While most of their products are pareve, they also make dairy, non-cholov Yisroel treats such as yogurt-covered raisins and milk chocolate-covered dried fruit.
Bassé is proud to announce two new products that will shortly be on supermarket shelves. “Greek Yogurt Trail Mix” combines Greek yogurt chips with macadamia nuts, almonds, pistachios, and dried cranberries, mango, papaya, and pineapple for a tropical treat. Greek yogurt has become quite popular in recent years, and the yogurt chips in this mix are specially formulated using real Greek yogurt. In “A Handful of Everything,” you can enjoy a combination of banana chips, whole apricots, almonds, pineapple, cranberries, chocolate chips, and raisins. Their products are widely available in many stores, including large chains such as Dollarama, Walmart and Costco, as well as small neighbourhood stores such as Mourelatos, Anka (2880 Barclay in Cote-des-Neiges) Supermarket P.A. (4440 Boulevard Samson in Laval), Maruti Fruit (5478 Westminster in Cote St-Luc), and Green Canadian (6444 Somerled in NDG). Bassé Freres also operate company stores in the Montreal area and Toronto.