In the 1990s, New York City became the vortex of the indie-film movement, and all roads led to Miramax. New York Mouth is looking to become the culinary equivalent; a Gotham-based online store creating what it has dubbed "indie food" – small batch, artisanal, hard-to-find items that push the boundaries far beyond what can be found at your local grocery store. Formally launched this year, the store offers more than 200 products by 75-plus makers. With an emphasis on the burgeoning Brooklyn artisanal scene, the site provides access to foods previously only available in a tiny handful of local gourmet shops.
Founder Craig Kanarick made his name as a Web pioneer, then found his mojo in a nine-month stint as a prep cook at Mario Batali's Babbo. "It ranks up there with the best experiences of my life," he says. "Aside from the recipes and the technique and the thrill of a high-end restaurant kitchen, what I learned is how deeply connected people are to food experiences."
Kanarick has fused his two passions with New York Mouth, photographing the products himself and designing the elegantly luscious website. With its artfully arranged, beautiful bottles packed with magical oils, spices, and foods, the site vibe is "culinary apothecary" – no prescription required. And the carefully crafted products taste as good as they look. For the culinary-minded, there's a wide range of ingredients to explore – oils, vinegars, syrups, and sauces – each with a "Meet Your Maker" page, giving a detailed context to each food. Need to make a mundane meal unique? Check out the cornucopia of condiments. And for the snack-minded among us, there are items like fig salami (vegetarian yet delicious), chili-lime lollipops (sweet and spicy), and Landmarc Caramels (a huge hit here at the office). Long story short: munchie heaven.
Most alluring are the curated gift and taster bundles, ranging from the Summer Sipper Sampler (tonic, soda syrup, and bitters), to the Brunch In A Bag (perfect for an early picnic), to our favorite – the decadent Choco-lat Taster, with its so-wrong-its-right Bacon Toffee Bars from Nunu. Most inventive is the New Baby Taster, which is actually for the sleep-deprived parents, who are hungry but too tired to cook (Easy Like Sunday Morning Preserves and Pure Bliss Eats Honey Blueberry Granola). For those who prefer the subscription model, there are monthly selections of everything from jerky to pickles to cookies.
Lastly, if you're going to see an actual indie film – or a blockbuster, for that matter – we highly recommend the Roni-sue's BaCorn, a bacon caramel popcorn (and a Batali fave). This volatile blend of sweet and salty is not yet a controlled substance, but if New York's Mayor Bloomberg gets a whiff, who can tell? [newyorkmouth.com]