A couple weekends ago, I went to Artists and Fleas, an artists, designer, and vintage market in Williamsburg; they also have another New York location in Chelsea Market and two locations in the West Coast’s creative hub, Los Angeles. The regulars at the market sell jewelry, posters, records, clothes, and phone cases among many, many other things.
Then every week or so they give hard-working creatives and entrepreneurs a chance to showcase their creations and goodies. The constant shifting of businesses make it both exciting for the shoppers and the vendors themselves: you never know what’s going to be sold next or if you’re going to be the one selling it! The day I went, they were showcasing incredible food entrepreneurs who made and sold delectable goodies. From rich peanut butter pretzel chocolate cups to herb-y Mediterranean za’atar, New York’s wide array of various flavours and cultures came together in this little hub in the corner of Brooklyn.
There’s just something so amazing about the concept of bringing together people to support and inspire one another in this space. It makes shopping an experience that isn’t just about the buying. All the sellers were so friendly and you could see the sparkle in their eyes as they talk about their products. These are local, creative, hard-working business people who put so much love into their products, not large corporations who mass produce things for profit, although they provide access to people, which is a different story. The point is, it’s amazing to be able to put faces and stories to the things that you’re buying! Two faces I really got to know were the two behind ‘Zesty Z’. Alexander, the founder of the company, draws inspiration from his childhood memories of his summers in Lebanon where the aroma of za’atar emanated from the kitchen as he sat with his grandmother and family. Longing for the flavour and comfort, he decided to bring and share za’atar to New York. Lucky us!
This jar of za’atar is like a golden pot of delicious rich paste of sesame seeds, sumac, herbs, and olive oil. It’s vegan, all natural, low sodium, 0 grams of transfat and no need for refrigeration! You can spread it on toast, put it on fish, drizzle it on your salads, or really just anything… and everything. I bought myself a jar and it’s already almost empty!
I made scrambled eggs for brunch before I left for the bus back to Philly for my brother and he absolutely loved it! It goes well with the creaminess of the eggs and some fresh spinach, a dash of salt and cayenne pepper.
Check out Zesty Z’s website for more information. Their products are distributed all over New York and even in New Jersey! Bring some home to your dorm room in Philly or as a gift for your friends and family. So delicious and the perfect pairing to add some Mediterranean flair to your dishes. To learn more about Zesty Z and Brooklyn Food Works as well as Union Square Hospitality Group (which owns Shake Shack, The Modern, Gramercy Tavern and more! by Danny Meyers), sign up for our Penn Appetit career trek here!