"People like things that are done illegally," Diane DiMeo says of her decision to name her pickle and condiment company Bootleg Farms.
DiMeo isn't exactly a stranger to bootlegging; growing up on a ranch 80 miles north of Los Angeles, her family made their own wine and moonshine. "We'd take fruit and throw it in a vat and just let it ferment and ferment," she explains.
She put those early fermentation lessons to work as a professional chef, making pickles and accompaniments in every kitchen she worked in. DiMeo used those experiences to help launch her own line of globally influenced food products, from Jalapeno Escabeche to Korean Kalbi Marinade and kimchi.
"People want to have flavor and spice," she says, adding that she draws on the Korean side of her heritage for inspiration whenever possible. "The more ethnic it is, the more it sells."
Her early exposure to the world of booze production may be a strong influence too: DiMeo swears by the preventative powers of her Spicy Asian Pickles. "If you eat one of the pickles before going out drinking," she promises, "you won't get a hangover."
Find Bootleg Farms at the Brooklyn Night Bazaar or visit the site for more information or to order directly.
About the author: Stephanie Klose has more mustard than you. You can follow her on twitter at @sklose.