Product review: Larrupin Mustard!  »

If you have ever tried Larrupin Swedish-style Mustard-Dill Sauce, you know that it is the best condiment known to humankind. Unfortunately Larrupin is most conveniently available only within the realm of Humboldt County! Which is why every time I have a friend going on a road trip up there, I have them bring me back a jar! There are quite a few of us who went to college at Humboldt State now living in the Bay Area, and we know the power of the Larrupin.

If you have never been to Arcata, I suggest you think about a trip up there ASAP. It’s beautiful, and the vegan eats are abundant. If a trip to Humboldt is not in the cards, never fear! You can buy Larrupin Mustard online! I did this when I moved to Chicago, as I was homesick for my college town/former home/California in general.

Ilsa Hess, the creator and chef of Nacheez, got me this particular jar pictured above. We met up at Gracias Madre one night, and it turns out that we both went to Humboldt State, and actually know a few of the same people! Small world. Ilsa obtained some Larrupin for me, and now I am ETERNALLY GRATEFUL. She likes to eat her Larrupin with Gouda Sheese on lightly toasted sourdough, while I like mine with raw crackers and Tofutti cream cheese. However, if you lived in Humboldt, you know it is best with a Los Bagels slug and “cream” cheese. Nothing beats that!

"Great! But what does it taste like?" you ask. Larrupin is sweet, yet pairs beautifully with savory foods, like a Chik’n burger, sandwich, or bagel—basically, anywhere you would normally add mustard. The dill, vinegar, and turmeric keep it from being overly sweet, yet the dill is understated. Which is good for me, because I am not the hugest fan of dill.

Watch Humboldt County while eating your Larrupin to get a better idea of the place it comes from and also how I spent seven years of my life. Actually, Rural Rock’n’Roll is a better showcase of my past, but I quite enjoyed Humboldt County. The clothing in that movie is so bad, but SO SPOT-ON.

You can purchase Larrupin Mustard online at the Larrupin website and the Los Bagels website.


Guest review: Sacred Wheel in Oakland! VEGAN GRILLED CHEESE, Y’ALL  »

Even though I’d heard that Sacred Wheel offered vegan grilled cheese on Sundays, I was a little nervous about seeking out vegan food in a gourmet cheese shop. I had already imagined the eye-rolling response when I sheepishly asked about a vegan option and the ultimate disappointment it was sure to be.

Holy Sheese on a cracker, being wrong never tasted so good.

Not only did the friendly employees at Sacred Wheel not bat an eye when I asked about vegan options, they proceeded to make me the yummiest panini-style grilled Sheese sandwich ever! The shop’s grilled cheese of the day was a mozzarella-style dairy-free cheese with sundried tomato pesto. My beau and I arrived near closing and even though they’d long since sold out of the daily special, they offered us a regular cheddar-style grilled cheese. They had two vegan soups of the day to go along with their “Sunday Vegan Sunday” theme, a tofu tabouli that was amazingly filling and a TBR (tomato soup with PBR!) that was peppery and perfect for sandwich-dipping. We got a cup of soup and a giant sandwich each, which came out to about $20 all together. I happily ate the whole thing while dancing in my chair and humming “Why Can’t We Be Friends.”

The shop is adorable, very well laid-out, and seemingly able to accommodate a lunch rush with a giant picnic table, window/counter seating, and some little tables out front. We were lucky enough to get to chat with the owner, Jena, who was awesome. For being a store that specializes in gourmet cheese, Sacred Wheel has an impressive vegan selection. In addition to a few different kinds of Sheese, Sacred Wheel carries local tofu products made by Oakland’s Hodo Soy. There’s also a whole case of imported oils and a huge assortment of jams, jellies, and mustards.

Jena said she’d ultimately like to offer a vegan option every day, which means we should probably go in every Sunday to remind her that vegans in Oakland are desperate for more lunch options in Temescal. Because if I have to eat another slice of Lanesplitter pizza before it’s too early in the day to justifiably have a beer, I’m going to scream. (And then order a beer.)

Sacred Wheel is located at 4935 Shattuck Ave. in Oakland, Sunday through Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Courtney Flynn lives in Oakland and spends way too much time inventing vegan recipes, reading science fiction and crocheting hats for her dog Blender. She sometimes remembers to update her blog where she likes to write about food, restaurants and products that don’t suck. This is her second review for us. Thanks, Courtney!

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