Food Artisans

A different New York artisan every week.

Food Artisans: My Friend's Mustard

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[Photograph: Stephanie Klose]

A great deal of the appeal of the Brooklyn artisan-food scene comes down to the relationship that develops between the maker and the consumer, and few companies position themselves to be a part of that relationship quite as immediately and effectively as My Friend's Mustard. Just saying the name of the product implies warm feelings toward the company's founder, Anna Wolf—feelings that are only intensified when you actually taste the mustards.

The name came about at one of Wolf's first tasting parties. "Toward the end of the night, as the beer flowed," she says, "the phrase 'my friend's mustard' came up so many times in conversation that someone joked that that's what I should call it." Someone else cracked that she should put her face on the label, a suggestion she initially shot down, until her logo designer talked her into it. "It's a little weird to be working at an event under a banner with a giant cartoon of my face on it," she admits, but it certainly helps passers-by make the connection between the person and the product.

The products themselves are mustards made with beer from local brewery Sixpoint Craft Ales. Wolf describes herself as "really into craft beer," both drinking it and using it as an ingredient. "I like baking with beer, braising things in it," she says, "If something on the stove is drying out, I'm probably drinking a beer and I'll throw some in."

She'd always enjoying playing around with making mustards, relishes, and chutneys, so when she left a tedious ad-agency job and was considering starting a food company, she married those two interests. Since many beer mustards are smooth, Wolf keeps the seeds whole in hers for added textural interest.

Current flavors include Jalapeño IPA Mustard, which is made with Sixpoint Bengali Tiger IPA, Spicy Brown Ale Mustard, made with Sixpoint Brownstoner brown ale, and the latest addition to the line, Rye Ale Mustard, which features Sixpoint's Righteous Rye ale, caraway, and dried currants. Wolf has another flavor almost ready to launch, Hot and Sweet Action, which she describes as a "hot honey sesame mustard" that's spicier than the jalapeño mustard, and is developing a stout-based mole mustard for the fall.

Visit MyFriendsMustard.com for more information, or meet Wolf in person at one of these upcoming events: Get Real Belgian Beer Festival (July 8), Cook Out NYC (July 10), or The Great Hot Dog Cook-Off (July 23).

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