The rethinking of mustard as a gourmet food foundation, to be paired with other flavors and evoke pleasure among specialty food lovers rose to the forefront at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City with the breakout of four mustard sauces:
Hickory and Cracked Black Pepper Mustard Sauce
Salted Caramel Mustard Sauce
Raspberry and Wildflower Honey Mustard Sauce
Sweet, Sour and Smokey Mustard Sauce
Among thousands of gourmet food manufacturers exhibiting at the Jacob Javits Convention Center over the past three days, and adjacent to a large white sign with the message—INSPIRATION: Mustard Sauces—troves of food lovers stopped and sampled to decide for themselves if the distinctive mustard sauces worked for them.
“I’m surprised. I didn’t expect caramel to go with mustard,” said a specialty food store owner from Chicago, as he sampled the Salted Caramel Mustard Sauce on apple slices, “but it does. It complements it surprisingly well. It’s good. My customers back home will love this.”
Interest and praise for it and the three other mustard sauces reverberated down the line.
A grocery retailer commented on the Hickory and Cracked Black Pepper Mustard Sauce. “We have a scale to measure potential products, and this one excited me the most,” he said. “We call it ‘craveable.’ These levels of products are strong performers for us.”
The method behind the mustard sauces emanates from a Texas company called Fischer & Wieser Specialty Foods, Inc., and their CEO, Case D. Fischer, observed the response.
“As I watch people, I’m reminded of the reaction we had when we created and tasted them for the first time, and it’s validating to watch others have a similar reaction. Seeing and hearing the expressions and comments is a great sign that we’ve achieved something special.”
Also catching the eye of exhibitors, the Raspberry and Wildflower Honey Mustard Sauce was of particular interest for its unusual mustard color—maroon—and Mr. Fischer shared the story behind it. “We knew we wanted to combine mustard with wildflower honey, but after cooking it, we realized it needed something more,” he said. “We thought of adding raspberry, and then it took on a life of its own. Mustard is not supposed to be maroon, but why not, and when we tried it, I wondered ‘Why didn’t we think of this before?’”
Fischer & Wieser is used to thinking out of the box. The company began the fruit and pepper sauce craze in 1994 when it developed The Original Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce. That combination was also one of the first uses of the chipotle pepper in American gourmet food, and it sparked a trend that has reverberated to the present day.
“Our slogan is ‘Inspiring your culinary adventure,’” Mr. Fischer said, “and imagining new flavors is what we enjoy doing. We love to try new pairings. This show brings people throughout the country together to share ideas and new flavors, and we look forward to this event all year.”