Great non-mass produced condiments


I don’t have a suggestion for a particular product, but you could do some scouting at festivals like the Garlic Festival in Saugerties (if you feel like taking a road trip) and the Chili Pepper Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Both attract lots of local small vendors that don’t do much distribution on their own. I’m still kicking myself for not getting some probiotic fermented hot sauce (don’t laugh, it was awesome) at the Botanic Garden in 2016, 'cause the company went belly up by the time I got around to seeking them out online.


Thanks for the ideas. The Chili Pepper Festival sounds right up my alley. Too bad I missed it this year. I’ll also look into those hot sauces.

I haven’t been to the Saugerties Garlic Festival but did go to the Gilroy Garlic Festival maybe around 15 years ago, and it was fun, but I wasn’t thinking of starting a company then.


Rogers kickin chicken . Duplicate that! That hot recipe is epic but I think he is out of business. He is from VA. Everyone I cooK for is amazed at how well chicken comes out when I use that and cook over wood/coals.


I really like the spice blends from Napa Valley’s Whole Spice ( , especially the barbecue rubs and the smoked salts. I also love the Brisket Rub from San Francisco’s Wise Sons ( which I use on all the meats I cook. They also have a chicken shawarma rub, but I haven’t tried it.


Thanks for the great suggestions!

corvette_johnny, it’s a shame if a really good business is no longer operating. I’m not sure where I could get some of that sauce if he’s out of business. Any ideas on that?


It’s a rub actually. Hands down the hot version is my favorite chicken seasoning.


I’m sorry they went out of business. If you find anything that’s a reasonable simulacrum, please let me know.


From Gilroy, CA


Thanks a lot for the specific recommendation! Which of their products do you particularly like? Also, do you know if anyone carries them, or whether they’re available only from the company?


That’s a good one! I grew up not far away- my family is still there- and the “original California style” is easy to find in CA grocery stores, haven’t seen it in nyc.
ETA: there’s a store locator on their site, closest store to nyc is 60miles away, and there’s less than ten stores anywhere near the east coast


Love this Italian mushroom pesto! I live in Europe, I don’t know if you can find in US. The product of Ursini is interesting, I have tried their tomato sauces, but this pesto is a must. (If you want to see the ingredient list, let me know, I can take a photo of the jar).


That link had a virus. I have seen this product at Sorriso’s and Rosario’s in NYC.


That’s not virus, more a technical bug in programming.
It’s good that you can find the product easily. The website that was selling it in France closed down, now I couldn’t find it anymore.


ccj, I just checked that website, and it’s down. Have you bought any fennel pollen lately? How are you sourcing it now?


Hi, everyone! I’m just back from a trip to San Francisco, where I attended the Fancy Food Show at the partially under-construction Moscone Center - my first Fancy Food Show. It was a very interesting experience. It’s easy to get sidetracked: I tried some outstanding 13-year Wisconsin cheddar, the best asiago cheese I’ve ever had (also, amazingly, from Wisconsin) and some delicious chocolate and toffee, but none of those are things the site will carry. My brother, who’s assisting with this project, and I concentrated on the purveyors of spicy and other savory condiments and sauces. For example, there is a man named Jake who makes barbecue and hot sauces, and we liked every one of them - here is his website. He was friendly and gave us the last two ribs he had cooked, so that we could have lunch. In fact, most of the purveyors we spoke with were nice, which is not surprising if you think of them as people who are passionate about food and delight in bringing people pleasure. Some other highlights were a Bavarian company named Essendorfer - I thought all their flavored pestos were delicious, so I’d like to carry some of them but have to make a decision about the scope of what we’re selling, at least at first. Another category of great condiments we tried were mustards. For example, there’s a guy from Wisconsin who makes an outstanding Fig Balsamic Mustard. He also makes a great lemon curd, in case we decide to carry sweet sauces sooner or later.

The scope of the items we will carry is one of the things that has to be decided on before launch. We’re currently planning on concentrating on spicy and savory sauces, though we might also include some dry spices or spice mixtures that are really outstanding. A propos, there was a vendor who had voatsiperifery for sale. We sniffed it and were very impressed. However, the wholesale price is very high, which is a consideration.

Also while I was in San Francisco, I tried a bunch of Japanese condiments my brother bought during trips to Japan. We can’t even read many of the labels, but quite a lot of the sauces were very good to excellent, well-balanced ones. My sister-in-law is Japanese, so either she may translate the labels or we can get someone else to do that. Then there’s the task of contacting the companies and finding out what the wholesale prices and minimum wholesale orders of the products are.

You might think that at a food conference, everyone stuffs themselves, but that’s not the case when you’re walking through every aisle looking for the best condiments and sauces you can find. It actually requires a lot of stamina to do business at the show when you’re scouting out whatever you can find in one or two categories, and someone who’s as focused as we were doesn’t eat more than small amounts of samples of extraneous products. On the afternoon of the last day, though, a lot of vendors give away large quantities of products, because they can’t take them back with them. So my bag almost broke that day, but mostly because of samples of hot sauces.

In the coming weeks, we will be trying more samples of sauces and condiments and getting more pricing and minimum order information. If you have any other ideas of particularly great spicy and savory condiments the site should carry, of course we’re all ears, and thank you for all your advice.


One planning question is whether we should start with only spicy products such as hot sauces or also including non-spicy or only slightly spicy condiments that are savory. Do you have any thoughts on this?


I’d run with the craft beer scene. It’s just blown up over the last years and seems to be getting stronger by the minute.

Some awesome beer mustard and beer cheddar cheese sauce for burgers/pretzels would be a cool idea.

Pickles are not a condiment I suppose, but I’ve been getting into some whisky pickles recently and I love them.


Oh yes they are, says the woman with about 15 different pickles in her condiment fridge.



How about some some stuff I’ve been messing around with recently…

Finishing salts

Vermont maple ham glaze with pineapple and habanero

Candied Jalapeños

Coffee steak rubs

Jalapeño maple syrup for chicken and waffles


Flavor Enhancers [salts, spices, herbs, blends of these items]:
finishing salt
coffee steak rubs

candied jalepenos

maple syrup
though mine also lives in the condiment fridge, but I don’t think of it as a condiment. Wonder why?

I have no idea how to characterize a pre-made glaze. Since it not “served” as part of a preparation [i.e. mustard jar on a ham platter, pickled jalepenos on a cheese tray] but enhances the, in this case, ham during its cook, is it a Flavor Enhancer as well?