Gwen Fowler



A Taste of South Carolina: Simply Southern Gourmet mustards

Posted 3/30/2012 6:37:00 PM

Nancy and Jerry Novak of North Myrtle Beach got tired of the yellow and brown mustards in the grocery stores and decided to come up with their own.

That was long before they came up with idea of creating Simply Southern Gourmet, their specialty foods company that sells four types of artisan mustards.

They first experimented with sweet potato mustard.

“I was looking for something just a little bit different,” Jerry Novak said. “I don’t even like sweet potatoes. But my wife loves sweet potatoes so I said, ‘Let me see if I can do something with this.’”

He did something all right. His Sweet Potato Pepper Mustard is delicious.

Simply Southern Gourmet also makes Roasted Peach Mango Pepper Mustard, Roasted Pineapple Cranberry Pepper Mustard and Balsamic Sweet Onion Pepper Mustard.

The first one I tried was the Balsamic Sweet Onion Pepper Mustard, which I discovered in December when I was out shopping for South Carolina specialty foods for Christmas baskets. The onion, bell pepper and vinegar give it sweetness and tartness, and it made every sandwich we made so much better.

I recently tried the other three, mixing each with cream cheese. Any of these mustards make a simple but tasty snack served with cream cheese and crackers.

Here’s how the Novaks suggest serving them:

Try Roasted Peach Mango Pepper Mustard in deviled eggs, potato salad or brush it on shrimp, fish or scallops before grilling. It’s also great on chicken, hot dogs and hamburgers.

The Sweet Potato Pepper Mustard is great on hot dogs with blue cheese slaw, grilled sausage or in turkey meatloaf.

They suggest brushing the Roasted Pineapple Cranberry Pepper Mustard on pork tenderloin, pork chops or ham before roasting. Use more on sandwiches with leftovers the next day.

And the Balsamic Sweet Onion Pepper Mustard? Use it as a glaze on ham, turkey or pork; brush it on shrimp, fish or scallops; use it in deviled eggs and potato salad; or drizzle generously on hamburgers, hot dogs and sandwiches. It certainly added a lot of zip to my sandwiches.

In each of the mustards, there’s a balance of sweetness – whether it’s from the peaches and mangos, sweet potatoes, pineapple and cranberry, or sweet onion – and tartness from vinegar.

The Novaks were living outside Pittsburgh, Pa., when they began creating their own mustards. They had been visiting North Myrtle Beach and moved there full-time when they retired five years ago. After a lot of golf and tennis, they decided to turn their mustards into a business. Simply Southern Gourmet mustards have been on the market since September 2011.

Most retail locations where it is available are in South Carolina at gourmet shops and Piggly Wiggly. It can also be bought online

The mustards are all natural, gluten free, fat free, low sugar, low salt and Certified South Carolina.