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Monday, June 25, 2018

Two Cowboys: The Spice Must Flow with Alberta Steak Spice in Canmore, Alberta, Canada

It’s the Spice

Someone once said that you can never have too much spice in your life. We agree. As we get older and our palates develop, some would say mature, we definitely lean towards discovering new and bolder flavors for cooking. Spice is one of the go-to options to add more flavor. It allows us to broaden our culinary repertoire. We have our favorites but we are always open to discover new ones.


There are a lot of places in the world known for spice production and its use in specific cultures and cooking. Mexico for chilies, India for curries, and Asia immediately come to mind with a mind-numbing array of bold spicy flavors. We didn’t think that the Province of Alberta was one of them until we discovered that it is the New World’s main producer of mustard! This opened our eyes to the adventures of Alberta’s spice masters.

We were fortunate enough to have met one of them, Larry Gale, at the Canmore Uncorked Food Festival a couple of years ago. Today, he is the inventor, proprietor and general cheerleader of Alberta’s newest and most adventurous journey into spice production - blending spice. According to Larry, Alberta has a unique demand for a  foundational spice that goes well with its world-renowned Black Angus Alberta beef.

However, he didn’t stop there. Once the foundation was laid he discovered that it worked with a lot more than Beef. It spiced up chicken, ribs, seafood, vegetables. In fact, Larry will canvas for the use of his spice even on Ice Cream!

The real opportunity came for Larry’s product when he hunted for a name for his spice. At first he settled on the unassuming and generally accepted convention for plain and simply referring to it as Alberta Steak Spice. Alberta’s people are Prairie farm folk. Simple folk. It is better to make it clear what the stuff in the bottle is for.

Then it struck him. Larry invented “ASS”! Or, more commonly referred to as Alberta’ ASS. The acronym for (A)lberta (S)teak (S)pice is ASS. This opened up all kinds of wicked marketing possibilities which he hasn’t even started to explore.


The novelty of the name may be the first thing that attracts someone to ASS. However, once you tried ASS you want to use it a little more in your daily cooking. We’ve used it on our steak and we’ve liked it more and more.

The blend is course, yet versatile, and a little on the peppery side - the way folks like it here in Alberta. It is a base blend which allows you to add more of your own adventures like a little more cyan pepper, mustard for pork, all spice fr chicken or even brown sugar for caramelization. Larry mentioned that he is adding to the ASS repertoire with a finer version of ASS (Alberta Seasoning Spice). He is doing it because folk have been using ASS on so much of their food and so many different kinds of food that there is scope for something with even more use.

We can see this only the beginning for this novel idea. It has our support. Where will you be able to get your own ASS, I hear you ask.

You can buy it online for worldwide shipping, in your local supermarket in Alberta (soon British Columbia and the rest of Canada). It is also available in the Two Cowboys Store. (

Hendrik van Wyk
Spice Cowboy

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Ribs and ASS

Larry and ASS

Amongst Friends

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