Tomato Achaar // Brooklyn Delhi // Brooklyn, NY
What hot sauce is to southern tables or mayo to the midwest, achaar is to India. Hindi for pickled, the pantry staple of the sub-continent is a sweet-spicy-tart-aromatic mix of veggies and fruits, spices and chili peppers. It’s ubiquitous there, but rare here, and Brooklyn Delhi’s founder had to stock her home kitchen with a suitcase full of street-swiped jars jars gleaned on trips back home to India — until she made her own. Swimming with savory roasted tomatoes and sparkling sweet tamarind, it’s the perfect compliment to a traditional lamb pita: quickly char a slab of rump roast, slice it thin, and pile on grill-warmed bread with a scoop of yogurt and sprinkle of parsley.
Char Grilled Lamb Wraps With Tomato Achaar Recipe Here
Tomato ‘Nduja // City Saucery // Brooklyn, NY
The best food is fleeting. A good tomato — we mean a *really* good tomato — is at its best for a sun-warmed second, before it fades. And that’s, of course, as it should be. That’s as nature intended. But grandma had other plans. Hence the deep tradition of home-canned sauces to keep Calabrian pastas and casseroles bathed in the summer’s harvest all year long. The most famous of them all is a spicy spread called ‘nduja. The old way is heavy on the pork, but this one is deliciously vegan — all the savory roasted pepper and tomatoes, none of the pig parts. Toast a few tablespoons in a bit of olive oil, then add in your pasta’s cooking water and simmer. Top your favorite noodles and warm up winter with a burst of summer sun.
Cavatelli // Sfoglini Pasta Shop // Brooklyn, NY
The secret to perfect pasta is easy. The water — salty as the sea! The sauce — fresh as summer morning! The pasta — well, for most, that’s where the secret ends. Raid even the best home cook’s pantry, and you’ll find store-bought boxes and plastic bags of brittle shells and snapped spaghetti. Not so in the kitchens of spots like Hearth, Roberta’s, or Frankie’s Sputino, where chewy semolina flour is hand-rolled into perfect shapes. And that is where these hail from: traditional priest’s ears, perfect for cupping the rich sauces of southern Italy. No need for a confession that you didn’t make them yourself.
Carrot Chile Sauce // Tango // Brooklyn, NY
Carrots get no love. As the can of spinach needs its Popeye, carrots get their Bugs, animated incentive for kids to munch. (Let no one mention the baby carrot, those shorn and cutesy lap dogs of the veggie world.) But picky eaters don’t know what they’re missing. With a little spice, the tuber turns transcendent — what’s up doc is the heat level. We love those pickled escabeche cups tossed on taco plates, and most trucks worth their masa have ’em. We wish they had this sauce too. Here, carrots give more than crunch and color, but become a perfect vehicle for the extra spice, adding a nice, creamy body to an already perfect hot sauce. Drizzle it on tacos, grilled shrimp, or seared chicken, and eat your vegetables.
Cold Brew Bean Bags // Grady’s Cold Brew // Brooklyn, NY
The only thing better than coffee is iced coffee — and the only thing better than iced coffee is New-Orleans-style cold brew, perfected, as only Brooklyn coffee snobs can do, by the folks at Grady’s. Steep this spicy-smooth mix of chicory and dark-roasted beans overnight and pour over ice the morning after, or better yet, mix in a few ounces of bourbon, some heavy cream, and a bit of sugar — bourbon-smoked, naturally — and freeze into grown-up creamsicles.
A&B Pepper Sauce // A&B American Style // Brooklyn, NY
There’s a hot sauce arms race on, and your local supermarket condiments aisle can feel like a bio-war munitions lab. Bottles come with warnings — better fit for stripping paint and clearing drains; just reading the labels makes our eyes water. But not A&B’s. They don’t call it hot sauce, because it’s not about the heat, it’s about the flavor: Fresnos, carrots, onions, vinegar, and salt. Forget your Ghost Peppers and Carolina Reapers — Fresnos are perfect for sauce, a bit spicier than jalapeños, but with tons more citrusy, fruity flavor. Finally, a hot sauce fit for civilians.
Granola Lab // Brooklyn, NY
Granola is no stranger to the usual suspects of birkenstocks, brown sugar, maple syrup and dried fruit. But Granola Lab stirs things up with vreative flavors like Gingersnap. We recommend topping off a dollop of greek yoghurt with granola, pistachios, fresh grapefruit and a drizzle of honey.
Morris Kitchen // Ginger Spice Syrup // Brooklyn, NY
Enjoying a well crafted cocktail doesn’t have to mean paying 15$ in a pretentious bar. Morris Kitchen’s handcrafted ginger syrup reminds us quality cocktails at home can be cheaper than coors light. Go for the Dark & Stormy, just fill a glass with ice, add 3 oz seltzer, ½ oz Ginger Syrup and lime. Slowly pour 2oz rum on top to keep color separate, garnish with a lime. Make a round of these and we promise nobody will care you may not have the proper glassware…
Drunken Monkey Jam // The Jam Stand // Brooklyn, NY
Stranded on a desert island with nothing but a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich sounds like something out of a *New Yorker* cartoon — or it could be the inspiration behind Jam Stand’s tropical spread. Other jellies are syrupy slimes of chemicals and artificial sweeteners; Drunken Monkey is a boozy mix of rich brown sugar, real pectin, and the all-natural sweetness of bananas, lime, and a spirited dose of rum. Use it to top your morning pastry, make a PB&J that turns snack time into an oasis worth lingering at, or even spoon a dollop onto your after dinner — er, breakfast — ice cream dessert.
Liddabit Sweet // Sea Salt Caramels // Brooklyn, NY
In a little nook in Brooklyn, a hustlin’ team are measuring, cooking, dipping, and wrapping at one of the coolest treat shops in America. Churning out everything from chewy candy bars that would have you snickering at a snickers to lollipops hand poured on bamboo sticks (which means no little sludgy bits of paper in your mouth). For these flavor hits, pure ocean sea salt is stirred into buttery caramel made with locally sourced Ronnybrook Dairy Cream.
Anarchy In A Jar // Spiced Beer Jelly // Brooklyn, NY
Two things Brooklyn is really good at right now: beer and canning. Laena McCarthy packs both under one lid starting with Sixpoint Craft Ale and local apples from Terhune Orchards in Jersey, finishing things off by infusing the mix with exotic spices like grains of paradise and black cardamom. Revel in this smearable beer by swiping some on a Beer Flat with a hunk of aged cheddar or enjoy the only PB & Jelly sandwich that mom wouldn’t have snuck in your school lunch box.
Biltong // Brooklyn Biltong // Brooklyn, NY
In South Africa, biltong is a way of life. Everyone makes the salty sweet meat treats, but Brooklyn Biltong’s founder Ben was lucky: his Granddad’s was the best in town, and he spent his childhood filling paper bags with handfuls at his family’s Pretoria butcher shop. While you and your buddies suffered through Slim Jims, Ben snacked on juicy, rich strips of air-dried goodness. He still makes it the old way: marinated with spices and slowly cured, not dehydrated, and never heated so it stays supple and chewy, even though it’s built to last, staying fresh on pantry shelves or stuffed in saddlebags for a long road ahead — as if you can wait to dig in.
Bourbon Cask Aged Chocolate Bar // Raaka Chocolate // Brooklyn, NY
The high-end, organic, flavor-grade cacao featured here makes one delicious detour from specially sourced Belize-grown bean to Brooklyn-made bar: It stops off for a drink. Bourbon, to be exact: resting in Berkshire Mountain Distillery barrels, where the nibs soak up the now-drained spirit’s spirit for a full month before being ground, melted, sweetened, and shaped. All of which means your after-dinner indulgence can get right to the point: a tipple, a treat, or both at once.
T Bone Spice// Greenpoint Trading Co. // Brooklyn, NY
But if you’d rather cook the cow yourself, we have you covered. Or at least the steak. Greenpoint Trading’s blending warehouse on the industrial outskirts of Brooklyn is an incongruously fragrant portal to paradise: baskets and barrels of paprika and cayenne, coffee and turmeric awaiting hand-mixing into rubs like this. A life-changing replacement for your plain table salt, it also makes a perfect rub for any meat, not just the eponymous cut. We like skirt steak, a half-inch thick, brought to room temperature, rubbed, and quickly grilled.
Spicy Maple Bourbon Pickles // Brooklyn Brine // Brooklyn, NY
Fresh green discs, perfectly crinkle-cut, afloat in an onion-and-spice-packed brine: It looks like a pickle, it sounds like a pickle (crunch), but it tastes nothing like the sour dills you know, thanks to a swirl of organic New York State maple syrup and a shot of Finger Lakes Distilling’s spicy McKenzie rye. Like a pre-made pickle back, try ’em in a sandwich and we promise you’ll reach for the whole jar next.
Smoke Shack Split Pea Crunch // North River Dry Goods // Brooklyn
A picky eating toddler and her parents’ search for better-tasting peas led yes, to improved baby food, but more important, to a treat for mom and dad as well. What’s in it? Potassium, iron, fiber and protein — necessary nutrients for all ages, wrapped in snack-friendly flavors like this rich and smoky barbecue. What’s not? GMOs, sugar, soy, and chubby babies on the label. Eat your veggies like a grown-up.
Fresca Salsa // La Fundidora // Brooklyn, NY
Salsa is a grill-side staple these days, but those neon red jars of store-bought extra-chunky are as authentic as your shrink-wrapped buns are bakery-fresh. Grow up, hombre. Simple and fresh and bursting with flavors bright as beachside sun, La Fundadora makes the real deal: spicy serranos and tangy tomatillos, hot as sand, cooling as the waves. Give your fresh-grilled fish the dressing it deserves.
Organic Apple Raisin Oatmeal // Farm To Table Foods // Brooklyn, NY
Some cereals tempt by excess: in a bowl of yogurt and honey, seeds and nuts, powders and fruits, chia-this and coconut-that, the granola is garnish at best. Here, grain reclaims the throne. But your bowl is far from boring: all-organic oats, rye, wheat, spelt, barley, and flax rattle and hum in farm-grown glory. A dash of apples and raisins gives just enough natural sweetness; a topping of bacon turns granola into gold.
Salty Mango Lassi Taffy // Salty Road // Brooklyn, NY
Our first taste of street food is, in some ways, its psychedelic, carnivalesque epitome: summertime delights on boardwalks and county fairs, technicolor sno-cones, ephemeral candy floss, and the king of it all, saltwater taffy. But today’s reality is a far cry from that sunny childhood dream — most modern taffy doesn’t even use sea salt! Not so, Salty Road. These hand-stretched morsels, made first for a friend’s beachside stand on the Rockaways and now available to you, use all natural ingredients, from real vanilla beans down to the large-grain sea salt. Bonus: this particular batch was inspired by another street eat, the Punjabi summertime (hell, anytime) yogurt mango shake.
Hazelnut Whiskey Cookies // Whimsy & Spice // Brooklyn, NY
A husband and wife team — he a pastry chef, she a designer — so you know their treats will look as good as they taste. And vice versa. This little bit of edible art sandwiches Scotch whisky-infused Madagascar chocolate between two crunchy, hazelnut- and chocolate-chip-studded cookies. It’s not bourbon, and it’s not (necessarily) breakfast, but we couldn’t resist. On their own or dunked in a cup of coffee (Irish or otherwise), if the rest of this breakfast box won’t get you out of bed in the morning, a cookie sure as hell will.
Rooibos Tea // Teapigs // Brooklyn, NY
We’ve sung the glories of green; we’ve praised the pleasures of pu-erh; but what do you know about rooibos? Naturally caffeine-free with all the nutty, vanilla-and-honey richness of the sweetest full-leaf blacks, often mixed into herbal chais but a rarer sight solo. Stateside, at least — in South Africa, though, where rooibos grows wild in shrubby coastal forests called fynbos, it’s been drunk for centuries, by local tribes and colonizers alike. Sustainably sourced by this Brooklyn duo, rooibos is smooth and satisfying hot, rich and refreshing iced: a perfect start or finish to your African feast.
Trees Knees Spicy Syrup // Bushwick Kitchen // Brooklyn, NY
While the “hot” in your go-to hot sauce might come from an honest-to-goodness pepper, the “sauce” part is often a slurry of vinegar, salt, and water, resigning it, if not to the processed foods aisle, then at least to the savory side of things. But thanks to a base of Catskill-harvested maple syrup, Trees Knees is a spicy-sweet switch hitter. Eggs? Pizza? Of course. But why not morning oatmeal? Iced coffee? Cocktails? Or, our favorite, a perfect bath for pan-fried brats, just pour over and simmer to glaze.
Filfil Garlic Sauce // Filfil Foods // Brooklyn, NY
Based on a North-African staple called filfel chuma, what began as a secret family recipe in Filfil Foods founder’s private pantry can now drench your own home cooking in piquant, pungent goodness: a smoky, spicy, and — of course — garlicky blend of paprika, garlic, oils, and spices. If your make-out partner blanches as you ladle it on (and trust us, you’ll be using your largest scooping spoon), you can woo them back with garlic’s heart-healthy bonafides like lowering blood pressure and cholesterol — or just offer a taste.
Maple BBQ Jerky // Field Trip Jerky // Brooklyn, NY
Barbecue is site-specific. Hot coals aren’t exactly TSA-approved. But jerky is a moveable feast: have meat, will travel. Field Trip is made for carnivores on the go. Started by three ski bums looking for a healthier, heartier fuel pre-, post- (and during) long days on the slopes, where mountain lodge sustenance is scarce, and usually covered in nacho cheese. Grass-fed beef, a kiss of smoke, a sprinkle of sugar, and no MSG or preservatives make this a perfect way to sate your grill cravings anywhere you go. Good luck passing the 3-ounce rule, though.
Alderwood Smoked Chocolate Bar // Fine & Raw // Brooklyn, NY
Fine and Raw grew fast, from a bonbons-by-bike-delivery service to sustainably sourced bean-to-bar chocolate evangelists, and their little treats tell stories just as big. As if quality chocolate wasn’t enough — and this blend of raw chocolate for smoothness and roasted for bite surely is — they’re sprinkled with salt and kissed with the sultry smoke of alderwood. Chocolate salves all sores. Smoked and salted chocolate doubles down on the comfort.
Cereal + Milk // Fatty Sundays // Brooklyn, NY
These Brooklyn sisters named their company in honor of the weekly day of family feasting, based around mom’s deliciously decadent baking. Days that often started early, ended late, and bristled throughout with mom’s special chocolate-dipped pretzels, an anytime indulgence, morning or night. The family recipe book now bursts with more than two dozen flavors, including our favorite, this breakfast-themed masterpiece of white chocolate and cinnamon corn flakes, meant to taste like the delicious dregs of morning cereal. Because slurping the milk from your plain old shredded wheat might be fine on a Monday morning, but Sunday is about fun.
100% Organic White Truffle Oil // Regalis // Brooklyn, NY
Almost every Michelin-starred New York restaurant worth its chef’s whites has truffles somewhere, somehow, on its menu — and almost every one buys them from Regalis. Want to savor those luscious Perigords with a three-figure Pinot? Get a reservation. We like our fanciest fungi lowest-brow: that is, fried. Cut up a few pounds of russet potatoes, drizzle with this white-truffle-infused cold-pressed Californian oil, and bake at 400 for an hour, flipping halfway through. Top with parmesan, serve without pretension.
Mustard Spice // Tin Mustard // Brooklyn, NY
Gorging our guts on fats and salts, we often need a wake-up call, even before the food coma hits — a repentant slap, a reminder that good things come with a cost. That’s why God invented heartburn. But that’s also why man invented mustard, that spicy, vinegary spark that brightens burgers and heightens tastebuds. Instead of that neon squirt or beige smear, this time try a jolt with some maturity. Like a slap from a manicured hand, this sexy sprinkling of custom-ground mustard powder is cutting but classy, spicy but deep. So better that burger, and dress up those chicken wings: toss them in a few tablespoons of spice, brush on olive oil, splash on lemon, drizzle with honey, and bake for 45 minutes, flipping once.
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