Another week, another locally made product on our radars. Here are a few of our writers’ and editors’ new favorites including one horseradish to rule them all and a food-grade deodorant cream that will fortify your belief in natural body products.
Got a New York–made product you’d like to share? Let us know by leaving a comment.
Ariel Lauren Wilson: Soapwalla Deodorant Cream
Deodorant and I have traditionally had an on-again, off-again relationship. It started when my middle school gym teacher silently and suggestively distributed Lady Speed Stick samples to my sixth grade class. The gesture screamed: “Welcome to puberty. You stink. Now use this roll-on D.O. to deal so we don’t have to talk about it.” I obeyed until I became an enlightened, sort-of self righteous, environmentalist undergrad. I had heard tell that most major beauty and hygiene products are laced with dubious synthetic chemical cocktails, so like the rest of my fellow Chaco-wearing, glass jar-drinking cohort, I promptly dropped the stuff and liberated my “essence.” Turns out that these ideals were weaker than my rank B.O. awareness, though. I’ve dabbled in “natural” deodorants for years and found some products to be better than others. One of the definite winners has been Brooklyn-made Soapwalla deodorant cream that utilizes certified organic and food-grade ingredients like superfine vegetable powders, clays, lavender, peppermint and tea tree oil. I dab it on my dry pits after the shower and go on about my life, ideals and self-consciousness in harmony.
Tove Danovich: Morris Kitchen Syrups
When I recently got my boyfriend a copy of Death + Co‘s excellent cocktail book, I had no idea what a storm it would unleash. It’s cocktail night every night. (And don’t even get me started on our bitters collection.) Though our liquor cabinet has gotten respectable, mixers tend to be large and take up too much valuable real estate in the kitchen. You want a simple fruity drink? You’re out of luck. Then I found these Morris Kitchen Syrups and I was hooked. They have flavors like ginger, hibiscus and even spiced apple which you can add to a cocktail or just seltzer water to make a gourmet soda. A little bit goes a long way with these guys and they last for up to two years after opening.
Caroline Lange: Helen Levi Ceramics
My mother went to art school, threw a lot of clay around and her knobby, unevenly glazed but satisfyingly hefty mugs still furnish the shelves of my parents’ kitchen cabinets. These days, I admit to having joined the ranks of ceramics-obsessed Instagrammers; most of my Insta feed is either pie (I’m lookin’ at you @food52) or beautiful Brooklyn-made mugs and bowls. I’ve got a special crush on the work of Helen Levi, whose Camp Mugs make me feel swoony, and whose Eye Necklace, with its golden iris, looks mostly like a perfectly fried egg to me. Check her out: @helen_levi.
Ruth Temianka: Mint Mallomar
I’m forever trying to curb a sweet tooth first cut in France and further cultivated in other sweet-treating parts of Europe. My latest attempt to beguile but fool the senses involves tricking taste buds into thinking they’re indulging in something sweet, minty, mallow(y) and chocolaty all at the same time. They’d be correct, but the trick comes in knowing the treat is comprised of sugary goodness of the purest credentials. Sweet bakes small batches of vegan, gluten-free and nutrient-dense goodies at their hub on Flushing Avenue. So far I’m stuck on Mallomars and sensational brownies, which I purchase on Good Eggs, but there’s a whole other world of sweet-looking temptation on their site!
Talia Ralph: Brooklyn Soda Works
Though I hate the sickly sweetness of most sodas (except the occasional guilty pleasure Diet Coke) Brooklyn Soda Works has perfected the flavor balance to such a degree that I have become a soda fiend. Their drinks got me through the dog days of summer, but I crave their apple and ginger blend after a long, dehydrating day in the New York cold. If I could set up a keg of each of their fruit-and-herb varieties in my tiny Brooklyn kitchen, I’d be a happy and hydrated human for life.
Claire Brown: Tweefontein Herb Farm
I had hand surgery last May and am forever searching for muscle rubs that actually work. I never thought I’d find a good one at the Greenmarket, but Tweefontein Herb Farm’s Muscle Rub won me over. It’s infused with herbs they grow on site and the resulting smell is amazing. You can find them online or at Union Square Greenmarket — don’t miss their delightfully strong herbal teas if you visit in person.
Gabrielle Langholtz: Ish
My name is Gabrielle and I’m addicted to ish. This category-smashing horseradish has nothing in common with the jar on your grandma’s roast beef. The hot bite of fresh horseradish root shines brightly here, and the citrus, beet and ginger variations are each better than the last. I scored my first jar at the Union Square Greenmarket and have since been eating ish with cheese and crackers, in salad dressing, stirred into soup and as a sandwich spread (everything from turkey to PB). One recent night I made roast chicken with mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, braised cabbage and cornmeal biscuits and I realized that every single thing on my plate was better with ish.
Sari Kamin: Brooklyn Delhi Tomato Achaar
Much has already been said about the achaars that Crown Heights residents Chitra Agrawal and Ben Garthus make in small batches, but I don’t mind lending my voice to that choir — it’s just that good. While the achaars are available in several varieties, my favorite is the tomato. A little bit spicy with just the right amount of funk, tomato achaar is the stuff that savory dreams are made of. Inspired by the Indian condiments that Chitra would eat when visiting family in India, she came to the realization that if she was going to find a comparable product made with natural ingredients in New York, she was going to have to make it herself. Luckily for us, that is exactly what she did and they are now available for purchase at the Brooklyn Flea and most specialty food shops in Brooklyn and Manhattan. I look forward to weekend mornings when I have the luxury of slathering tomato achaar all over homemade eggs. I also love mixing it into soups, spreading it on sandwiches, cooking it with kale and, er… eating it with a spoon. I contend that achaar may just be the new cheese because somehow it makes everything better.