Don’t you often wonder how you discover certain things? The Accidental Locavore has no idea where she heard of New York Mouth, however, it’s a great site, devoted to artisanal, small-batch and generally local purveyors.
For a project, the Locavore has been exploring food-related websites — comparing them for gastro-porn (how tempting the photography is), amusing copy, interesting product mixes and ease of ordering and, when the boxes arrive, how well the packages promote the brand and how the food is wrapped. Most often there is lots of room for improvement, but with New York Mouth, they pretty much scored a home run!
First of all, the site is beautiful. It’s clean and all the food looks enticing (gastro-porn box: check). Then, I believe what they say — that they love food, love beautiful packaging, love tasting things on little wooden spoons, etc. (amusing copy: check). Even though the site is fairly young, the product mix is intriguing with a lot of hard-to-find items. And there are some great combinations they’ve turned into gift boxes (interesting product mixes: check).
Strictly in the interest of research, the Locavore decided to order a couple of things, specifically a bourbon-smoked black pepper and an artisanal soy sauce I’d heard a lot about. It was super easy to fill up my shopping bag and I was especially grateful for a little blurb that popped up from the get-go, explaining what the shipping charges were and how far I was from getting free shipping (ease of ordering: check). Since shipping charges are often an expensive part of ordering food online, especially when you live in a place where most of it can be found for the cost of a couple of subway rides, it was great to not have it be an unpleasant surprise at the end!
The site also had another smart disclaimer on it, saying that because they were new, it might be a few days before the order shipped, so nothing was expected for at least a week. Imagine my surprise when two days later the box with my goodies showed up! The box itself was your basic brown cardboard box, with New York Mouth stamped all over it and printed packing tape saying “open wide!” (packages promoting the brand: check, but there is room for improvement there…bolder logo, white box?). Inside, a canvas sack with my purchases beautifully rolled in corrugated cardboard, bumpy side out, and sealed with an orange band. Even more impressive, was a handwritten note, thanking me by name for my order, secured with a matching orange paper clip to my packing list.
So how was the food? The bourbon-smoked pepper was good. I used it in a salad, where the coarseness of the grain was a tiny bit overpowering for the tender greens, but it had a lot of flavor. Don’t you think it would be great on a steak or in steak tartare, where it would really have a chance to sing? As for the soy sauce, it’s happily waiting its turn.