“Not everyone in the Middle East eats hummus and falafel everyday.”

Meet Ron & Leetal Arazi, the founders and chefs behind NYShuk Harissa, an artisan, aromatic chili paste made in Brooklyn, NY.  As Ron explained to me, you can find harissa in almost every North African/Middle Eastern family kitchen. Every mom has a family recipe passed down from their mom, and every recipe is different. Though not yet an American staple, harissa is becoming more and more familiar around professional kitchens. I’ve seen it in the aisles of gourmet markets. In restaurants, on interesting sandwiches and egg dishes. It’s like sriracha 5 years ago, about to have its moment.

For Ron & Leetal, this is a blessing and a curse: as mass produced harissa is on the rise, the tradition of homemade harissa is “dying.” So, they started NYShuk to preserve the craft. Using 3 distinct types of chili peppers and tons of physical labor, their harissa refuses to cut corners, “a night & day difference from most supermarket brands.” It’s a condiment that transforms dishes, that magic kitchen ingredient the adds richness and depth to a dish.  I mix it into mashed potatoes, simmer it into soups, braise it into meats. To be honest, I’m having my own harissa epiphany, and NYShuk wants you to have one too. Enjoy their story!

You can purchase NYShuk Harissa online from their website. They make new batches every week, so it’s guaranteed fresh.

Thanks for watching and supporting my food. curated. Best American Artisans story partnership with Food & Wine Magazine. Happy Eating!