Anarchy in a Jar

the revolution starts in you

Summer Savory + Urfa Pepper Mustard :: A Fresh, Raw Recipe

Laena McCarthy

This is one of my favorite mustards and my all-time favorite technique for a full-flavor, fresh mustard that retains the spice and warmth of the seeds and spices, and kept in your fridge, can be used indefinitely.

This is a non-canned, not shelf-stable, mustard that is never cooked, just lightly toasted, so the flavors are retained to their fullest. Mustard seeds do not like to be cooked. It changes their flavor and makes them bitter. But they love to be gently brined in vinegar, wine, and spices. This is how mustard was made in the 14th century in France, and it's still a great way to enjoy it now.

Summer savory is a delightful herb that balances perfectly with the Urfa pepper that has a rich, dark, smoky, fruity, raisin-like taste. You can substitute other herbs/peppers if you cannot get your hands on these (tarragon is a good substitute for summer savory, and you could always use dried cayenne or chipotle pepper as a substitute for Urfa). 

Urfa biber is a dried Turkish chili pepper cultivated in the Urfa region of Turkey. The peppers are sun-dried and then wrapped tightly at night to sweat them, resulting in a purplish black pepper that is smoky, fruity, and mild. Urfa biber is less spicy than many other hot peppers, but has a nice lasting, slow-build of heat. You can buy it from The Spice House online or at Kalustayan's in NYC.

ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown mustard seeds (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh, minced summer savory (about 1 sprig)
  • 1 teaspoon dried urfa pepper

process

  1. Toast mustard seeds and summer savory in a dry small heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until mustard seeds begin to pop and turn 1 shade darker, about 3 minutes.
  2. Transfer to a small, nonreactive bowl or container and whisk in the rest of the ingredients to combine. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or in a sealable container, and let sit at room temperature for 2 days. 
  3. After 2 days, transfer the mustard mixture to a food processor. Pulse until the desired consistency is reached, about 30 pulses for a coarse texture. [NOTE: this is a wholegrain mustard and will never be smooth, for a smooth mustard, use this recipe].
  4. Transfer the mustard to a small, nonreactive container with a tight-fitting lid, such as a mason jar, and refrigerate. The heat and flavor will dissipate over time, but mustard will never go "bad" as the ingredients do not spoil. 
  5. Serve with meat, cheese, and even fruit. I love to eat this with roast chicken, or stirred into a poached chicken salad for summer. 

 

Spicy Horseradish Beer Mustard :: A Shelf-Stable Canning Recipe

Laena McCarthy

Happy grilling season! I've gotten a bunch of emails over the past few weeks asking for a good summer mustard recipe. Your wish is granted! I love this spicy horseradish mustard, it's spicy, sweet, and malty. Perfect for meats, cheese, sandwiches, and anything grilled (spoon over grilled asparagus). 

This is for a shelf-stable, water-bath canned mustard (great for gifts) that is sealed in jars. See this other recipe for a fresh, non-canned mustard that is also so good, and does not need to be cooked or processed like this one

SPICY HORSERADISH BEER MUSTARD

  • 8 oz sweet, malty beer (1 can), such as Narragansett
  • 1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 cup malt vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons horseradish

BRINE THOSE SEEDS

In a bowl combine the mustard seeds, lager, and malt vinegar. Let sit at room temperature for 12 to 18 hours (overnight). After 18 hours, cover and refrigerate, or use. It is fine to leave this in your fridge for a week or two, the flavor will develop.

PREPERATION

Prepare a big pot of boiling water. When boiling, turn off heat. Set bands for your lids aside, and place jars inside your hot water pot, letting them sit until ready to fill. Place flat lids in a small bowl and cover with hot water, letting them sit until ready to fill.

Place the soaked seed mixture, including the liquid, in a food processor and pulse 20 times, until seeds are broken up. 

In a double boiler (or a large bowl set over a pot of boiling water), place the brined mustard seed mixture, and whisk in pepper, salt, sugar, dry mustard, garlic, and horseradish. Bring to a simmer. 

Ladle hot mustard into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace (don't fill to the tippy top!). Remove air bubbles by stirring with a knife or chopstick. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.

PROCESSING

Put all the jars in your hot pot of water. Make sure jars are TOTALLY covered by at least 2-inches of water. Process in a boiling water bath/canner for 10 minutes (adjusting for altitude). Start timing your 10-minute bath WHEN THE WATER IS AT A FULL ROLLING BOIL. The filled jars must be in a fully boiling, totally covered pot for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and remove lid. Let them sit in there for a minute or two, till water is not boiling. 

Remove jars with tongs or jar lifter, and let cool. Let them sit undisturbed at room temp for 24 hours. Then check lids for seal -- lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed. If they are not sealed, just place in the fridge, they'll be fine to eat. 

These canned jars will last for at least 2-years in your cupboard, refrigerate once opened (lasts indefinitely in your fridge). 

THE MUSTARD DIARIES | Part I: Sweetness in Europe

Laena McCarthy

 FLAVOR PROFILE: SWEET

FROM FRANCE WITH LOVE

As we tramp around the world on our mustard journey, our first stop is in Europe, where the prevalent taste in mustard is "sweet"; from Italy to Belgium, the Europeans like their mustard seed brined with honey, fruit, beer, or wine. 

Mustard was ubiquitous throughout the continent, since the early formation of the nations we know as modern-day Europe, passed along trade routes from the Romans all the way up to the Saxons in the UK. 

The word "mustard" comes from the Anglo-Norman mustarde and French moutarde.  The condiment was originally prepared by grinding seeds into a paste with wine must, hence the Latin mustum, ("must", young wine) and ardens, (hot, flaming).

Hot flaming young wine must. Who knew mustard was so sexy?

The French learned to make mustard from the Romans, and the monks of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris began producing mustard by the 10th century.

Prepared mustard as we think of it now began in Dijon, France in the 13th century. This classic dijon mustard was slightly different than today's version,  a sweet and musty condiment made by brining mustard seeds with wine verjus. Pope John XXll of Avignon was a renowned mustard fan, and encouraged the proliferation of the  mustard trade throughout France, going so far as to create the position of “Grand Moustardier du Pape” or the Grand Mustard-Maker to the Pope for his slacker Nephew who lived near Dijon.  

Itching to answer the age old question, wtf is a grey poupon? In 1777, two dudes in Dijon, Maurice Grey and Antoine Poupon, started a company using Mr. Grey’s creative concoctions and Poupon’s bucks .

As trade routes to the East opened up, the allure of mustard was replaced by the magic of salt and spices. In 1856, the venerable Jean Naigeon, a mustard maker in Dijon, substituted verjus for the vinegar in Dijon mustard and a rockstar was born. Verjus made the condiment smooth and much less acidic. Another French mustard that you probably know of, as it's marketed heavily in the US, The House of Maille was founded in 1747, in Paris. The companies have recently merged into one French mustard conglomerate. They no longer use verjus, as white wine is easier to include in mass production. 

Fruit mustard

Mostarda di frutta was conceived in Lombardy in the 14th century. Large chunks of fruit are preserved in a sweet, hot mustard syrup that was traditionally served with meat and game. Traditional variations of fruit mustards are made throughout Italy, with flavors being localized to different regions. In Mantua, they make a hot apple mustard with small, sour mele Campanine apples that is amazing (Mostarda di Mantova), while in Venice, they make a mild, jam-like quince mostarda (mostarda vicentina). 

BAVARIA

Bavaria is the capitol of sweet mustard, sweetened with either sugar, apple sauce or honey. It is typically served with Weißwurst or Leberkäse, and called Weisswurstsenf, or "mustard for weisswursts". As with so much of Europe, Weisswurstsenf varies depending on the region, with little variations in the type of sweetener and texture varying throughout Bavaria. 

 

Beer Mustard featured on Hale & Hearty Soup's new Signature Sandwich!

UncategorizedLaena McCarthy

Beer_Mustard-overheadWe're really excited that our Beer Mustard will be on Hale & Hearty Soup's new Signature Sandwich! We'll be sandwiched along with our friends Murray's cheddar, some sweet & spicy pickles, all on our favorite City Bakery pretzel croissant. Sounds delicious! And it's finally picnic season.

They'll be available starting this Monday (4/25) at:

// 75 Ninth Ave (in Chelsea Market) // 745 7th Ave (at 49th St) // 110 Maiden Lane (at Pine St) // 350 Hudson St (in the West Village)

Monday is a perfect day to eat a sandwich. The Anarchy crew will be heading over to 110 Maiden Lane in the Financial District at lunchtime, come say hi.

Get your mustard on: it's BBQ + picnic season

UncategorizedLaena McCarthy

Mustard is a stellar condiment year-round, but there's something about picnics and BBQs that begs for that spicy, salty, vinegary taste. You can put it on anything (try dipping fresh strawberries in the beer mustard), but it adds such great texture and flavor to summer foods, whether on a burger or grilled zucchini or stirred into potato salad or deviled eggs. I love all my mustard children; the spicy, malty Beer Mustard, the tarragon and garlic-fresh Herb Mustard, and the wild child Umami Shiso Fine. You can find all three for sale at the Bedford Cheese Shop in Gramercy Park, Manhattan (67 Irving Pl, New York, NY) or in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (229 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY). I even just dropped off a super special small batch flavor: hot peach honey mustard! Not very sweet, yes spicy, and yes peachy with the mouth pleasing warmth of local honey -- right now, it's my favorite mustard.

If you live faraway or are a lazy local, mouth.com has them for sale online, plus they come in a super cool box (http://www.mouth.com/products/umami-shiso-mustard).

BeerMustard2_ProductShot061314

Want to cook with mustard? These are some recipes I like:

Saveur's list of mustard recipes: http://www.saveur.com/article/Kitchen/One-Ingredient-Many-Ways-Mustard

Salmon with a whole grain mustard crust: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/roast-salmon-with-whole-grain-mustard-crust

Celery root salad with red peppers & mustard: http://noteatingoutinny.com/2011/10/02/creamy-celery-root-salad-with-red-peppers-and-mustard/

Cathy made these for a picnic we had last summer and they were fantastic! Cast iron roast chicken salad with chicken fat aioli sandwiches: http://noteatingoutinny.com/2014/06/05/cast-iron-roasted-chicken-salad-with-chicken-fat-aioli-sandwiches/

Roasted Spiced Lamb Ribs With Whole Grain Mustard Sauce: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2014/12/roasted-spiced-lamb-ribs-whole-grain-mustard-sauce-recipe.html

Mustard roasted potatoes: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/11/mustard-roasted-potatoes/

Salted Caramel Apple Butter: Recipe + Pairings

UncategorizedLaena McCarthy

It's officially fall, and that means we release our seasonal Salted Caramel Apple Butter. How do we make it? First, we prep apples that we get from our friends at Mead Farm in the Hudson Valley. We cook them in a touch of water until they're soft and buttery.

Next, we take dry organic, fair trade sugar and slowly melt it in a pan, adding the dry sugar slowly and stirring until it's a golden caramel. We deglaze with the softened apples and add the spices and sea salt. Then we cook it until the flavors blend and the texture is smooth and buttery perfection. Voila!

Then we eat it! I love to eat it on toast, but also with pork chops, or in a grilled cheese with either PRAIRIE BREEZE CHEDDAR  or my personal favorite, CABOT CREAMERY CABOT CLOTHBOUND CHEDDAR.

It's also great on a cheese plate. I recommend going to Murray's Cheese (they ship too, so never fear non-New Yorkers) and creating a master fall cheese plate with American-made cheeses: start with the creamy, oozy, floral 2014 American Cheese Society winner CELLARS AT JASPER HILL HARBISON, a gruyere from Wisconsin ROTH KASE GRAND CRU GRUYERE SURCHOIX, a rad cheddar such as 5 SPOKE CREAMERY TUMBLEWEED, a buttery classic American blue such as NORTH HENDREN CHEESE COOPERATIVE BLACK RIVER BLUE, and a wild, pungent, stinky tomme such as CATO CORNER FARM's HOOLIGAN. Dress the plate with some smoked almonds, dried cranberries, crusty bread bites and Castleton Crackers from Vermont (I recommend the Maple and the Rye), fill everyone's glasses with hard cider, and voila! A fall cheese plate that will knock your socks off.

The Manhattan Jam: Sour Cherry Preserves Recipe

UncategorizedLaena McCarthy

14625964144_34e5cbd04b_z Because it's cherry season, I'm posting one of my favorite recipes! Enjoy!

The Manhattan Jam // Sour Cherry Preserves    

A Manhattan cocktail in a jar! Sour cherries float in a red glow of rye whiskey, vermouth, orange and bitters

This recipe is an homage to my maternal grandparents, who only drank Manhattans and always traveled with a beautiful portable bar set. Classy.

Cherries are beloved in cultures all over the world, and are preserved from Eastern Europe to Iran. Sour cherries in particular are rich in healthy antioxidants, as well as high in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. They’re also one of the few foods to contain natural melatonin, which is a mood enhancer and sleep aid. Red Montmorency or Morello black sour cherries are my favorite. Montmorency have a slight almond flavor that’s wonderful in this preserve, and Morello black sour cherries have a delightful dark red color.

To remove the pits, the best tool is a snocciolatore (pronounced snotch-ol-atory) or cherry pitter (shown in the photo above). It will make the job much easier. If you don’t want to purchase a cherry pitter, then make a homemade version with a straw and an empty soda or beer bottle; set the cherry on the lip of the bottle and shove the straw into the center – the pit will fall in the jar.

This recipe uses added citrus pectin to minimize cooking time and create a good set. You may prefer to omit the pectin and cook the jam for longer till it congeals. A longer cooking time will produce a jam with a more caramelized flavor.

I highly recommend that you drink a Manhattan or two while making this jam. Produces about four 8-ounce jars or two pint jars

INGREDIENTS 2 pounds cherries, halved and pitted (about 5 cups) 2 ¾ cups sugar ¼ cup rye whiskey 2 tablespoons sweet vermouth 4 dashes of angostura bitters (or use Hella Bitters, my personal fave) 3 tablespoons orange juice zest of 1 orange

FOR THE GELLING This recipe uses Pomona's Pectin, an all natural citrus pectin that's vegan, gluten free and flavorless -- you can find it at many natural grocery stores like Whole Foods and online 3 teaspoons calcium water 2 teaspoons pectin

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT

1 cherry pitter, snocciolatore (Italian cherry/olive pitter), or straw & a bottle

PREP  For the cherries:

Rinse the cherries in cold water. Using a cherry pitter or snocciolatore, remove all pits from the cherries.

Place the cherries, whiskey, vermouth, orange juice & zest, and bitters in a 6-to-8 quart nonreactive pot and add 3 teaspoons calcium water from jar into pan; stir well.

For the jars and lids:

Wash and rinse jars; put them into a big stockpot; cover jars with water and bring to a boil; boil covered for 10 minutes to sanitize. Let stand in hot water until ready to fill.

Bring lids and rings to boil; turn off heat; let stand in hot water until ready to screw onto the jars.

For the sugar and pectin:

Measure sugar into separate bowl or measuring cup and thoroughly mix proper amount of pectin powder into sugar -- using a fork helps to disperse the pectin into the sugar. Set sugar mixture aside.

Place two metal spoons in the freezer. This will be for testing the set of your preserves later on.

COOK

Bring the cherry mixture to a boil and continue cooking in high heat for 5 minutes. Skim and continue cooking on high heat, stirring frequently to avoid scorching.

Pour the mixed pectin-sugar into the boiling jam slowly and carefully, stirring as you add. Stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve pectin.

Return to boil and remove from heat. Skim off any and all foam that has formed at the top.

Pectin gels completely when thoroughly cool; so don’t worry if your jam looks loose when still hot. To test, place a teaspoon of the hot jam onto one of the frozen spoons you prepped; let it cool to room temperature (about 30 seconds) on the spoon. If it thickens up to the consistency that you like, then the jam is ready. If not, mix in a little more pectin (½ teaspoon into ¼ cup sugar) and bring it to a boil again for 1 minute.

PRESERVE

Fill jars to 1/4″ of top — using a wide-mouth funnel and a ladle to fill the jars helps avoid a big mess.

Wipe rims clean with a damp paper towel. Screw on lids (Ball jar 2-peice lids are easiest to use).

Put filled jars in water; make sure they’re thoroughly covered with 1 inch of water over the top of the lids. Boil for 6 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level).

Lift the jars out of the water with your jar lifter or tongs and let them cool without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place. You can then remove the rings if you like. Once the jars are cool (at least 4 hours), you can check that they’ve sealed pressing gently in the center of the lid with your finger. If it pops up and down, it’s not sealed. If it’s firm and doesn’t move, then it’s sealed. If any of your jars have a faulty seal, don’t panic, just put the jar in the refrigerator right away and you can still use it – breakfast tomorrow!

Once cooled, store them in a dark place like a cupboard or closet. They last up to 12 months. After about 8 months, they may darken in color and start to separate or become less gelled. Preserves will last four to eight months once open and refrigerated.

Pairs well with soft cheese such as Bonne Bouche, Camembert and Bucheron; great on pizza with barbecued pork and Manchego cheese; delicious on top of yogurt and ice cream.

Anarchy in an Egg

UncategorizedLaena McCarthy

Back when the company was in its infancy, Laena would moonlight in food competitions, using jam as an ingredient in everything from risotto to grilled cheese. At this point, only a worthy benefit gets her back in the ring. The Anarchy in a Jar crew will be making deviled eggs at a fundraiser for Just Food's City Chicken Project, which provides training, coops, and hens for school and community gardening groups, assisting them in raising healthy chickens and tasty eggs. Tickets can be purchased here or by making a donation of at least $25 to the City Chicken Campaign.

It will be fun.

What are we making? "The Umami Shiso Cracked" deviled egg uses Anarchy's Umami Shiso Fine Mustard + magic aioli + Laena's crazy secret "umami in a jar" powder that she invented.

Come get your deviled eggs on. Plus there's free beer.

Monday, July 14th Brooklyn Brewery | 79 N. 11th St; Brooklyn 7:30pm - 10:30pm

Note: This event is 21+. Guests under 21 need to be accompanied by a legal guardian.

Mustard Now Available with Good Eggs

local, markets, sustainabilityLaena McCarthy

Good Eggs is a virtual farmer's market; a combo of  website, CSA pickup, and delivery service that lets you order food from local farmers and artisanal food makers. Good Eggs brings local groceries to your door, like Fresh Direct but with way better food and a cooler mantra. If you're in the Bay Area or Brooklyn, they’ll aggregate, pack and deliver your goods to your door, or you can pick them up free at lots of locations. We've always been fans. Great model, nice people; and as a trained information architect, I really appreciate their beautifully constructed online system.

And now you can get the mustard with your bag of goodies. Cheers all around.

Proud to Feed Apprenticeship

internship, sustainable food jobLaena McCarthy

In collaboration with our friends at Local Roots CSA, we've created a very cool apprenticeship.

The Proud to Feed Apprenticeship

This is an immersive apprenticeship, offering a unique opportunity to experience the food industry through two small businesses; an alternative CSA model and an artisanal food manufacturer. You will learn about food systems through an immersive experience from direct community supported agriculture distribution to the production and distribution of preserved foods.

About Local Roots NYC: Local Roots NYC strengthens the city's connection with local food by creating a culture of community, accessibility and innovation. Through the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, Local Roots NYC provides over 400 NYC residents with local, sustainably grown food and specialty items from small Brooklyn producers. They also host locally sourced Supper Clubs as well as cooking classes. Founder Wen-Jay Ying was recently named Entrepreneur of the Year by NYC Small Business Solutions + Mayor Bloomberg.

About Anarchy in a Jar: Anarchy in a Jar is a small-batch condiment company based in Brooklyn, New York. They make a variety of shelf-stable jam, chutney and mustard at their certified kitchen facility. Cooked by hand, all natural and using mostly local fruit, they combine old world techniques with modern flavors, bringing innovation to the classic art of preservation. They work with local farmers and agriculture networks to source fruit and ingredients from small farms in the region. Anarchy in a Jar has been featured in The New York Times, The New York Times T Style Magazine, The Martha Stewart Show, Saveur, Bust, Elle magazine Japan, New York Magazine, Tasting Table, Serious Eats, Time Out New York, and Edible Brooklyn & Manhattan. Get your jam on.

At Local Roots NYC, the apprentice will get a hands on experience in the local food movement through the management of a CSA site and assisting in community engagement events . You will have the opportunity to network with urban farmers, artisanal purveyors and others that are the driving force behind the local food movement. The apprentice is encouraged to take home CSA surplus items to cook with and to explore new recipes.

At Anarchy in a Jar, the apprentice will be immersed in the day-to-day workings of a small-batch manufacturing company. At markets and tastings, you’ll work beside the movers and shakers of the food world in Brooklyn, and learn about cooking, sales, start-ups, and the food business. In the production kitchen, you will learn to prepare, process and label jam and mustard.

Local Roots Responsibilities:

  • Assist CSA members to pick up shares
  • Act as liaison between members, Local Roots NYC, and farms
  • Set up and break down CSA distribution
  • Provide recipe ideas and cooking tips to CSA members
  • Plan community building events for the CSA
  • Help manage and expand social media outlets

Anarchy in a Jar Responsibilities:

  • Prep, cook, label and organize in the production kitchen
  • Set-up and manage tastings and demos at stores and markets
  • Assist in community building and networking events for the business
  • Help manage and expand social media outlets

Qualifications:

  • Passionate about local agriculture
  • Organized and pays close attention to detail
  • Easy going personality and enthusiastic to learn
  • Excellent customer service and communication skills
  • Must feel comfortable speaking with others
  • Hard working and responsible
  • Creative
  • Experience with social media outlets for the use of business

This position is part-time, approximately 10 to 20 hours per week.

Email anarchyinajar@gmail.com to apply.

photo 1

blueberries to the moon!

 

 

 

Jam + Mustard for Sale on Tapiture

UncategorizedLaena McCarthy

Tapiture is a cool website and now they've got the jamz: http://shop.tapiture.com/collections/anarchy-in-a-jar It's interesting to see how sites such as Tapiture evolve our idea of a website; interaction, discovery, buying cool stuff. And massive content. It feels positively urban to tool around on the site.

TIS' THE SEASON TO JAM ON IT

UncategorizedLaena McCarthy

Jam is delicious all year round, but it's especially nice stuffed in a stocking or served with cheese and holiday feasts. Here's a few of our favorite spots to score some:

Bedford Cheese Shop in Williamsburg

Greene Grape Provisions in Fort Greene

Eastern District in Greenpoint

By Brooklyn in Carroll Gardens

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Union Square

Murray’s Cheese in the West Village and Grand Central Terminal

and of course, Whole Foods, all locations in BROOKLYN, New York City, New Jersey, Westchester and Long Island (find it near the cheese)

in DC? We love Gone Native Foods in Union Market, Washington DC

and if you like to shop online in your office or your undies: Fab.com and Mouth are ones we love.

Umami Shiso Fine Mustard

UncategorizedLaena McCarthy

Say it out loud and it's pretty funny: "umami shiso fine". Say it with a little swagger, maybe a slight Puerto Rican or Dominican accent. Our newest invention in the Anarchy kitchens is UMAMI SHISO FINE MUSTARD, and it's just what it sounds like: umami + shiso. How do we make it? We take mustard seeds and "pickle" them in a brine of rice vinegar, green tea, fresh shiso leaf, fresh garlic and ginger, fish sauce and Korean red chile flake.

This flavor reminds me of the time Kheedim from Mamo O's Kimchee and I made our "Anarchy Mama" jam-chee years ago -- the casualty of a radio show in which we were competing against which of our products was sexier (I won, no surprise). It was basically a kimchee flavored marmalade, an aphrodisiac and surprisingly delicious.

Mustard is a marvel. You take a basic item, dried mustard seeds which are harvested once the mustard plant (mustard leaves are delicious as well) has flowered, and add liquid + your imagination = limitless mustard condiments. Whiskey + apple mustard? Yes. Jasmine tea + ginger + lemongrass mustard? Yep. Port + plum mustard? You bet. The sky is the limit. We'll try and control ourselves.

Wait, but what's umami? Let me quote one of my favorite people, Robert Krulwich of Radiolab (please read this in his voice, if you can):

"UMAMI. Glutamate is found in most living things, but when they die, when organic matter breaks down, the glutamate molecule breaks apart. This can happen on a stove when you cook meat, over time when you age a parmesan cheese, by fermentation as in soy sauce or under the sun as a tomato ripens. When glutamate becomes L-glutamate, that's when things get "delicious." L-glutamate, said Ikeda, is a fifth taste. When Escoffier created veal stock, he was concentrating umami. When Japanese made their dashi, they were doing the same thing. When you bite into an anchovy, they are "like glutamate speedballs. They are pure umami," Jonah [Lehrer] writes. "Aristotle was wrong. Plato was wrong. We have five tastes, not four. But when Ikeda's findings were published," Jonah says, "nobody believes him.  So Who Was Right?

It turns out, almost 100 years after Escoffier wrote his cookbook and Ikeda wrote his article, a new generation of scientists took a closer look at the human tongue and discovered, just as those two had insisted, that yes, there is a fifth taste. Humans do have receptors for L-glutamate and when something is really, really yummy in a non-sweet, sour, bitter or salty way, that's what you're tasting. In 2002, this became the new view. It's in the textbooks now and scientists decided to call this "new" taste, in Ikeda's honor, "umami." If you want to get an umami headache, add some monosodium glutamate to your next bowl of noodles."

Read the full story at NPR.orgyellow-mustard-seeds

Note: I'd like to take credit for the name of this mustard, but it actually came from my much wittier friend, the wonderfully inventive curiosity-driven designer Caroline Brown.