In a galaxy of bangs-flaunting, vintage- apron-wearing jam-makers, Jam Stand’s Jessica Quon and Sabrina Valle use two old-fashioned strategies to seduce: booze (in the jams) and flirtation (on the labels, at least). For instance, a blueberry-bourbon-vanilla flavor called You’re My Boy Blueberry (“This jam tastes so sweet when it hits your lips!”) (Urban Rustic, 236 North 12th St., nr. Driggs Ave., Williamsburg; 718-388-9444).
The idea of a store devoted exclusively to mayonnaise may seem not just absurd but a little … disgusting. But Empire Mayonnaise Co.’s 50-plus spreads—heritage pork belly to saffron—really, actually, make the sandwich (564 Vanderbilt Ave., nr. Dean St., Prospect Heights; 347-281-2291).
Marlow & Daughters is home to the town’s most bearded, bespectacled sausage fest, with dudes cranking out sweet and spicy links such as lamb curry and poached boudin blanc from local grass-fed livestock, all in plain view ($12 to $16 per pound at 95 Broadway, nr. Berry St., Williamsburg; 718-388-5700).
Touting itself as the city’s first operation of its kind since Prohibition, Kings County Distillery (co-owned by New York’s David Haskell) pumps out handcrafted bourbon and moonshine made in teeny-tiny batches from five eight-gallon stills (Greene Grape, 765 Fulton St., nr. South Portland Ave., Fort Greene; 718-797-9463).
A match made in … Brooklyn: Graphic designer (Jason Wong) meets photographer (Jordan Provst), they launch Enormous Champion, a line of screen-printed stationery to make typography geeks swoon (Papél, 225 Court St., at Warren St., Carroll Gardens; 718-422-0255).
Built for manual labor but more commonly spotted on Williamsburg wait staff, Stanley & Sons’ leather-and-denim aprons are stitched on a vintage single-needle machine by the grandson of a forties apron-maker (Hickoree’s Hard Goods, 109 South 6th St., nr. Wythe Ave., Williamsburg; 347-294-0005).
How to arrive at vanilla extract as fresh and pure as Binxgoods? First travel to India and befriend a bean farmer. Then let your imported beans steep for six weeks in your South Brooklyn kitchen (By Brooklyn, 261 Smith St., nr. Degraw St., Carroll Gardens; 718-643-0606).
What ricotta cheese could possibly be more authentic than the Italian kind? The kind from Salvatore Bklyn, made by a pair of Clinton Hill lesbians with Hudson Valley whole milk and fresh-squeezed lemon juice (Choice Greene, 214 Greene Ave., nr. Cambridge Pl., Clinton Hill; 718-230-1243).
In a world of evil food coloring and high-fructose corn syrup, People’s Pops dares to save those tempted by ice-cream trucks with cold, Greenmarket-produce-packed treats that taste far better than any Otter Pop. Its new stand-alone shop will come to the rescue of Park Slope moms May 1 (808 Union St., nr. Seventh Ave., Park Slope; 347-850-2388).
Even if it tasted like feet, people would probably buy Kings County Jerky based on the loving backstory (grass-fed beef, marinated, spice-rubbed, dried for six hours, sweetly trimmed) and the bearded charm of its maker-sellers. But—in flavors like Korean BBQ and Sichuan Ginger—these meat sticks have another thing going for them: spicy, smoky, just-chewy-enough deliciousness (Brooklyn Flea, both locations).
After Drake Page got canned from a hedge fund in 2009, he felt a calling: Make very special, very tasty, very expensive sandwich fixings. DP Chutney Collective’s spicy-sweet Indian-inspired spreads like mango-chile ketchup and hot pear mostarda are, in a word, divine (Blue Apron, 814 Union St., nr. Seventh Ave., Park Slope; 718-230-3180).
Brooklyn Hard Candy proves that Brooklynites will buy just about anything if you put it in an apothecary jar (once it’s empty: terrarium time!). The darling packaging turns simple sugar-and-citric-acid cubes into a layup hostess gift/party favor ($8.50 at Bedford Cheese Shop, 229 Bedford Ave., nr. North 4th St., Williamsburg; 718-599-7588).
Blame Good Batch’s Anna Gordon for the disproportionate number of Pavement-T-shirt-clad kindergartners demanding more stroopwafel. Her addictive Dutch-style waffle-sandwich cookies are pressed and filled by hand in Sunset Park (Bedford Cheese Shop, 229 Bedford Ave., nr. North 4th St., Williamsburg; 718-599-7588).
Wait, what? This is the sort of product that would have had to be invented for this particular scene were it not an actual thing. And yet … no self-respecting urban woodsman should go without MCMC Fragrances’ pioneering beard oil. Made in Ann McClain’s Greenpoint fragrance lab, the roll-on scent called Dude No. 1 turns scraggly facial hair glossy and vaguely woodsy-smelling (Bird, 203 Grand St., nr. Driggs Ave., Williamsburg; 718-388-1655).
Coffee That Bites
While you’re waiting for pour-over coffee to dribble into your cup, here’s something new. Grady’s Cold Brew has the same punch without the drip-drop-yawn part. It’s concentrate made from steeped, fresh-roasted beans and chicory that can be mixed with milk or drunk straight over ice ($8 and up* at Union Market, 402 Seventh Ave., nr. 12th St., Park Slope; 718-499-4026).
At Olga Guanabara, ridiculously good-looking Brazilian carpenter Richard Velloso crafts ridiculously good-looking (and exorbitantly priced) coffee tables out of logs he finds under the Manhattan Bridge (from $1,200; 63 Pearl St., nr. Water St., Dumbo; 718-522-7100).
Pickles! Pickles! Pickles!
The mayor of Pickletown, U.S.A., Brooklyn Brine’s tatted-up Gowanus pickler Shamus Jones drowns his fresh produce in brines like Whiskey Sour and Maple Bourbon—each is, of course, local, made with apple-cider vinegar from upstate and spirits from Finger Lakes Distilling ($6 to $8 at Greene Grape Provisions, 753 Fulton St., nr. South Portland Ave., Fort Greene; 718-233-2700).
The Twee Party: Is Artisanal Brooklyn a Step Forward for Food?
*This article has been corrected to show that Grady’s Cold Brew retails for $8, not $4.