What makes New York so uniquely awesome, among many, many things, is its abundance of mom & pop shops, especially in north Brooklyn where we can easily buy our veggies from the farmer’s market, our cheese from our local cheese shop, our meat from a skilled local butcher, and our mayonnaise from Empire Mayo, a soon-to-open storefront in the area. Wait, what???!! Seriously?!
Here’s a story from my life. For Christmas last year, we were going to boyfriend’s family in Southern Louisiana. Not knowing what to get them, I decided that “local treats from home,” i.e. artisanal local mustard, home-made local jam, Rick’s Picks pickles, artisanal fig cookies, and Mast Brothers chocolate. And you know what they did? Politely thanked me, pushed it aside and continued opening other gifts, while I sat there, mouth watering, dying to try everything I got them. You know why? Because while I spent a bundle on locally made, fine foods, what they saw was a bourgie, Yankee version of Creole mustard, jam they make anyway, Vlassic pickles in a cool package, darker Fig Newtons and a Hershey in designer wrap. That’s right, my fancy food gift was a total failure.
The point is this. It’s great to package delicious food that’s made just around the corner, and it’s even better (for the maker) that there are enough suckers out there willing to pay top dollar for all of it (yours truly included) but come on, guys. Luxury mayonnaise?! We have to draw the line somewhere (I think the Village Voice agrees with me) and for me, that line is mayonnaise, the otherwise nasty white goop that lasts forever in a jar! At least have the decency to give it a different name. How about Sauce of the People or Brooklyn Cream?