Owner Peter Chehadeh has made a business out of his Lebanese grandmother’s garlic sauce recipe ($7 to $8), a blend of garlic — lots and lots of garlic — plus canola oil, lemon juice, water and sea salt. “I grew up eating it instead of normal American condiments,” he said. Tinkering led him to two variations on the original, straight-up garlic version: one is mixed with fresh basil, the other with chipotle peppers. Use them as a marinade on meat, fish or poultry, or as a sandwich spread, a salad dressing or soup garnish. “I have customers who use them as a chip dip,” said Chehadeh. He’s expanded his product line with two lively takes ($4) on hummus: white bean-garlic, and fava bean-harissa, both delicious.
Markets: Eagan MarketFest, Northeast Minneapolis, St. Paul (St. Thomas More), Tiny Diner
Best Cellar Pickle Co.
Jessica Olson channels her years of restaurant cooking and foraging into attention-grabbing products ($6 to $12). Intrigued by the flavors of summer shandies and citrusy IPAs, she merged the refreshing hefeweizen from Fair State Brewing Cooperative in Minneapolis with tart grapefruit to create her signature beer jelly. “I’m surprised how delicious it turned out to be,” she said with a laugh. Another top-selling treat: her chewy, earthy mushroom jerky, made from Minnesota-cultivated mushrooms that have been carefully roasted, marinated and dehydrated. “I imagined that I’d take some time off this summer and go camping, but I’ve been too busy,” she said. “That’s a good problem to have.”
Markets: Fulton, Linden Hills, Nokomis, Northeast Minneapolis and Tiny Diner
Last fall, Dulce Monterrubio officially traded her 13-year career in higher education to follow her passion. A self-taught baker, she views her eye-catching pastries, cookies and other sweets ($2 to $3.50) as a means of spotlighting Mexican ingredients (try the delicate amaranth seed-dark chocolate-raspberry tarts), and fusing Minnesotan and Mexican cultures. Traditional conchas pastries are refashioned into cupcake form (“a shape that every American kid will be comfortable with,” she said), then filled with familiar indulgences: Nutella, or cajeta. A lattice-topped pie brims with mango (Mexican) and rhubarb (Minnesotan), although the beyond-flaky, lard-built crust is entirely her grandmother’s recipe.
Markets: Linden Hills, Midtown, Shoreview, Tiny Diner
Sisters Sheilla and Yasmeen Sajady have their mom to thank for their foray into food production. The recipe for their versatile, jolt-of-energy chutney ($10), a staple of their Afghani kitchen, belongs to their mother, Fatima. Cilantro (“You either love it or you hate it,” said Sheilla) is the primary ingredient behind the garden-fresh scent, but the sauce’s bite comes from garlic, ginger and apple cider vinegar. Ground walnuts add a slight crunch. “It’s great with eggs, or grilled meats and vegetables,” said Sheilla. “At home, everything we do revolves around food, and we put this chutney on everything.”
Markets: Linden Hills, Northeast
“We love food trucks, but we wanted to do something different,” said Christi Kue, co-owner of this ingenious pop-up sushi bar. Her husband, Kou, a 10-year vet of the Twin Cities sushi scene, is the talent with the knife, and together they merge sushi with a farmers market sense of freshness, tapping fellow vendors for vegetables. “We look for locally raised foods when we dine out,” said Christi. “Why not apply that to sushi?” (The local focus extends to their stand on wheels, which was built by Twin Cities woodworkers and is outfitted with stools from Minneapolis-based Blu Dot). Another innovation? Kou fashions nori sheets into portable, cone-shaped hand rolls ($8 to $10), artfully filling them with rice, fish and raw and pickled vegetables. When they’re not at the market, the Kues are offering private classes and catering events.
Market: Linden Hills