An office break room can be a dangerous place for hungry workers who spy food, spread out for sharing. Treats can be gobbled up rapidly, sometimes even without an awareness of what is being consumed. But that wasn’t the case at United Airlines two years ago, when baggage handler Jason Sohn shared the mustard he and his wife Mandie made at home with horseradish and cayenne. His co-workers quickly recognized how special his offering was, especially compared to the usual flimsy tray of day-old supermarket cookies. Not only were the United employees asking him to bring more to share, but they also wanted him to make it for their relatives and friends as gifts. And they were willing to pay for it.
Thus began the enterprise of Fatdog Mustard, named in honor of Jason’s ten-year-old lab Skater. The recipe for the sweet mustard that ends with a spicy kick originated as a wedding gift from one of Jason’s relatives. Once the Sohns started making and selling the spicy sauce, they discovered that it went superbly with the crisp (without being dry) pretzels that are a family recipe from Mandie’s side. These are dubbed Fatcat Pretzels for Mordecai their cat. Seasoned sweetly like cinnamon toast, the pretzels also come in wasabi, garlic, and spicy so that every corner of one’s mouth can be satisfied.
While the mustard does taste great on brats and burgers, Mandie and Jason also want to encourage people to think of it as a cooking tool, not just a condiment. Used in salads, as a marinade, atop fruits and vegetables, and mixed into soups, the spicy blend can add depth to most dishes. In fact, a baker they met at another farmers market has even incorporated it into brownies – with success!
Made with Serrano and cayenne peppers, as well as Washington eggs, Fatdog Mustard emphasizes using local ingredients. It typically takes about four hours to make and requires cooling overnight, but the mustard can last up to a year. The Sohns do warn you that over that amount of time the horseradish does start to lose some of its zing. More likely than not though, once you try some of this special sauce, it won’t have the opportunity to sit around for a year.
Fatdog Mustard are usually at HFM one week each month. They like visiting the farmers markets because it helps them get feedback from customers on how the mustard is used, as well as what else might be added to the product line. Vegan and garlic recipes of the mustard are in the works, thanks to valuable customer input. Shifty, the Sohn’s third pet, would like the process expedited so that he can have a product of his own too!