It's always eggnog season in PEI

Stephen Brun
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[Summerside, PEI]—- Do you take your coffee with milk, cream or eggnog?

Joshua Grady pours a 'Nogger,' a holiday-themed latté made with eggnog, at Samuel's Coffee House in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. Unlike most other provinces, PEI grocery stores often carry eggnog 12 months a year.

For many Canadians, eggnog is the drink of choice over the holiday season. But, unlike in most other provinces, Islanders have the luxury of enjoying the beverage year-round.

Summerside-based Amalgamated Dairies Ltd. has made the common Christmas treat available 12 months a year since 2007.

Although January to October is only a fraction of the company's eggnog production in November and December, the product remains viable all year.

"We keep putting it on the shelves and it keeps moving, so until we see a decline in it we probably won't make any adjustment," said Chad Mann, ADL's director of finance.

"The fact that we put it on the shelf each week and it seems to disappear, we can balance the production to the need. That's what we've been doing for the past five years."

About 90 per cent of ADL's yearly eggnog output is produced in the final two months of the year. The company will often hire extra staff to help produce it, but noted that other dairy products may see a decline in November and December, allowing staff help out with eggnog.

ADL's Water Street office manager, Darwin Gillcash, said demand for eggnog has increased steadily since the company began producing it all year.

"Our plant in Charlottetown used to produce the eggnog on an occasional basis through the year because there was a little bit of a demand, and that seems to have grown over time," he said. "I've had an older gentleman come in, and he puts it on everything from his Corn Flakes to his coffee."

In an unscientific poll conducted recently via the social networking website Twitter, local opinions on drinking eggnog year round varied from "absolutely vile" to  "perfect," if frozen after Christmas and thawed later the next year.

Of course, eggnog is also commonly mixed with alcohol to add some Christmas "cheer" to the family gathering.

One reader said, before it was sold year round, that they once bought 16 cartons of eggnog to freeze until the summer months.

"Only one at parties in July with rum/eggnog," the reader declared on Twitter.

Aside from being a mixing agent, Mann said regular customers often drink eggnog for dietary reasons throughout the year.

While it's higher in both sugar and fat than milk, eggnog's fat content is about one-third of an 18 per cent coffee cream.

"It delivers a large amount of nutrition and fat with a small portion," he said. "For someone that's on a restricted diet, it may suit their be able to get a lot of the good things in milk, and the higher dosage of fat."

As for their recipe that keeps people buying eggnog all year, Mann joked that we won't find out anytime soon.

"All our ADL recipes are top secret."

Journal Pioneer


Organizations: ADL

Geographic location: PEI, Water Street, Charlottetown

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