Regardless of how much it still feels like summer, Oktober begins this weekend. Yes, that’s with a “k”—I like to let my German side out a little bit to welcome in the change of seasons, and that also means slathering a delicious mustard on bratwursts and salt-encrusted pretzels. My favorite lately has been a local mustard made by Wilder Condiments. I first tried it at Stripe, lured in by its eye-catching graphic label, and ended up going home with all three varieties: a traditional Dijon-style mustard with white wine, honey jalapeño and horseradish.
It’s amazing how many uses for mustard I find now that I have a few in rotation that I really love. A swipe will energize a burger or sandwich, of course, but it’s also delicious tossed with roasted potatoes, as a substantial dressing that can hold its own against hardboiled egg and lardons in salade lyonnaise, or as a marinade for grilled meat. It’s also easy to toss in a bag and take down to the beach for the last of the summer’s beach cookouts.
Isabel Freed, the one-woman show behind Wilder Condiments, is committed to using organic ingredients and sourcing them locally, which really makes her products stand out. For example, she adds Bonny Doon Vineyards’ Le Cigare Blanc white wine to her classic mustard, and honey sourced from “an adorable couple in the hills of Mount Madonna” to the honey jalapeño. And she hand-makes every batch here in Santa Cruz, her hometown.
“We love Santa Cruz, and we seek to embody the place we come from. The flavors in our mustard are the flavors of California: bright, sunny, and great quality. We hope people are enjoying our products with friends, and that we’re adding to the experience,” says Freed.
Available at New Leaf Markets, Stripe, Cameron Marks, Picnic Basket and Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard. wildercondiments.com
BREW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
Keep your eye on the Westside—Shanty Shack Brewing hopes to open on Fern Street by the end of October. Brewers Nathan Van Zandt and Brandon Padilla will offer a variety of New World and Old World styles, plus a selection of farmhouse-style barrel-aged beers, which guests can enjoy on their fruit-tree-filled outdoor patio. www.shantyshackbrewing.com.