When people go to New York these days, the focus is not so much on what theatre or museums they’re likely to see, but rather on what restaurants they’re going to visit and what foods they’ll eat. But if a trip to the Big Apple isn’t on the cards, a spin through New York Mouth – a colourful, delectable e-commerce site full of artisanal offerings from all over the Empire State – will leave you sated (or at least full of great ideas), not to mention stocked up on epicurean gifts that can now be shipped abroad.
Founder and foodie Craig Kanarick is a lover of indie brands; he says his site is a celebration of “the people who are actually making products like jams, pickles and specialty crackers. New York Mouth is about food where real skill and craft are applied to the making – food with stories about the creators and their products.”
Surfing the site, I started with Products and headed straight for the Snacks area, where the mix of sweet and savoury options includes everything from beef jerky by Slant Shack ($10, Jersey City) to Jacques Torres’s chocolate-covered Cheerios ($6, Brooklyn) to sesame lavash crackers by Hot Bread Kitchen ($6, Harlem). Each product features a short, quippy review, and a surprisingly engrossing paragraph or two about the craftsperson behind it as well.
On to Spreadables, for a selection of “deliciously slatherable” toppings: grapefruit and smoked salt marmalade by Anarchy in a Jar (second picture, $8, Brooklyn) and Nonna’s Spicy Tomato Sauce ($11, Long Island City), the perfect pairing for any fresh pasta. Other areas include Beverages – “drinks, syrups, and other tasty liquids” – as well as Sours and Sweets. Here you’ll find the most amazing array of that New York deli icon, the pickle (from $9), imaginative candies and the pièce de résistance – Tumbador’s chocolate-covered peanut butter cookies (first picture, $3, Brooklyn).
Best of all is the wide array of imaginative gift packages, unlike any other hamper I’ve ever seen. For anyone with a sweet tooth, The Choco-Lot Taster ($65) is about as good as it gets; packed with dark chocolate-covered pretzels and milk chocolate-doused bacon toffee bars, the gift grouping comes in its own reusable cotton tote. Other good bets include the Hot Stuff Taster ($100) – not for the faint of palate – and the Chef Taster ($100), a largely locally sourced cornucopia of fine wine, honey harvested in Sag Harbour, New York, by Bees Needs, and non-GMO soy sauce that will delight any curious cook.
There’s no shortage of food and gift sites out there, but none combines such a unique mix of treats, tasteful packaging and interesting personal stories. Don’t log on to this one hungry.