In the picturesque town of Dover, New Hampshire is a condiment company with a simple but passion fueled idea; to make condiments that are complex and unique in flavor with ingredients that don’t require a magnifying glass to read.
The Little Acre Gourmet team is the husband and wife duo of Bill and Trina Ahrens with the former handling sales and marketing and the latter in charge of recipes and ingredients. Although their imaginative products like their Balsamic and Fig Whole Seed Mustard are only sold through retail outlets like Whole Foods, they are looking to burst onto the foodservice scene in the coming months.
Little Acre Gourmet began with Bill’s love for condiments. “He’s always been a condiment lover” said Trina, “He sees food as merely a vehicle for condiments”. This led to them creating condiments for a local hot dog place. When customers wanted to start buying the mustard at the store, Bill and Trina knew they wanted to make a go of it. They started out with whole seed mustard, a classic favorite and something that elevated basic food like hot dogs to a whole new plane. Now their line includes the classic mustard, a balsamic and fig version, three incarnations of three pepper ketchup (from regular to “more spicy”), a cranberry sauce and a sweet and savory onion spread. Trina tests recipes in her kitchen and has perfected the flavors of each offering. She broke down each condiment for us as well as her favorite ways to use and pair them. Little Acre even offers up recipes on their website littleacregourmet.com.
“The original mustard is a classic yellow mustard flavor with an added texture when you bite into the whole mustard seeds”. Little Acre recommends it in french salad dressings or sandwiches but also as a grilling glaze or in a refreshed recipe for deviled eggs.
At a sampling at Whole Foods in Westford, Massachussetts, a woman sampling wanted the Balsamic & Fig Mustard for her lamb hotdogs, a combination even Little Acre had not thought of. Along with that, the Balsamic mustard is great for fish glazes and livening up salad dressings.
Trina is quick to point out that the three pepper ketchup is “not like your regular tomato ketchup. The base is half red peppers and half tomatoes”, a foundation that gives it a different texture and initial sweetness. Add in natural and fresh jalapeño and ground cayenne and the ketchup has some heat that accents rather than dominates the sweetness. Little Acre loves it on gourmet burgers and fries as an update to regular ketchup.
The Bourbon and Berry Cranberry sauce sounds sinful but Trina assures that while you get a hint of the Jim Beam they use to make it, it balances out with tart and savory notes from fresh cranberries. For restaurants looking to liven up their hors d’oeuvres, this sauce with brie and phyllo dough could be the answer.
“I love the onions with anything” beams Trina while talking about the final product, a tart mixture with a kick of horseradish that restaurants could use on sandwiches, on hotdogs or as an addition to a cheese plate with soft, mild goat cheese.
The team at Little Acre Gourmet is constantly looking for new recipes and applications with only a few rules in mind. There products contain no preservatives, are vegan friendly and use natural ingredients that are sourced locally whenever possible. While you could find their products on shelves in local retailers across the country, these condiments would be a major upgrade over bland and lifeless condiments used in foodservice. You can get in contact with Little Acre Gourmet by sending them an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org