Mel’s Melting Pot: Sauces and Condiments Made in Queens

Queens is the most ethnically diverse place in the country. Just about every imaginable type of cuisine can be found within our borough but, there was one thing missing, until now. Travel writer, Darrin DuFord, and his wife, Melanie Aure, a trained chef, found that no one was making the chunky Quebecois-style fruit ketchup they loved. So, with Darrin’s access to unique spices found on his world travels, Melanie’s culinary background, and their strong commitment to supporting farmers by using locally grown produce, Mel’s Melting Pot was created. They have filled a void with their one-of-a-kind line of ketchups, sauces and condiments that differ greatly from American-style ketchup.

The first noticeable difference is that the ketchup made by Mel’s Melting Pot is chunky, not smooth. Lemon juice replaces vinegar, and lends a fruitiness that doesn’t overpower the other flavors. You’ll also find the ingredients used are interesting combinations of fruit and spices that can be anything from Vietnamese cinnamon to apples, pears, peaches, tomatoes or the Guyanese hot pepper known as wiri wiri. Not your typical ketchup, but not exactly typical to Quebec either. What makes this product so unique is that it introduces Americans to a Quebecois-style condiment that’s been influenced and enhanced by the diversity of Queens.

Just over a year ago, before their business was born, Darrin had recently returned from a trip to Guyana and was whipping up a batch of fruit ketchup in their Astoria kitchen. He decided to add a wiri wiri pepper, purchased in a Guyanese grocery store along Liberty Avenue in Queens. The result was to become their Spicy Fruit Ketchup, a Quebecois recipe by way of Guyana and Queens.

Not sure how to use such an unusual item? You’ll find Darrin and Melanie at markets around Queens and Brooklyn, offering  samples and giving customers advice on how to best enjoy their products. Their condiments can be used to amp up scrambled eggs, burgers, hot dogs, or paired with cheeses, meat, and fish. A Spiced Applesauce with Quince, made from NY state apples, can be used on pancakes, waffles, pork chops or ice cream. They even have a Mild & Mellow Tomato sauce; great on pasta or as a base for soups. All of their products are made in small batches, are preservative free and combine international flavors with local ingredients.

Mel’s Melting Pot: Quebecois-style condiments and sauces made in Queens.

Where to Purchase: Saturday, May 12 at the Queens County Market in Sunnyside. View their online schedule of events for future market locations and dates.

Contact: Visit their website for more details.