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August 2012

Stuff to Eat: Mess Hall & Co.

In the summertime (when the weather is high), we're all about fresh, fresh, fresh. Produce is never better than when it's picked the day before and hand selected at a farmer's market.

Mess Hall & Co close up of cocktail jars

(Photo: Mess Hall & Co.)

But as we begin to set our sights on fall and the cooler weather that awaits (so we hear), it's time to start thinking about how to hang on to that freshness and flavor as long as possible. Enter Marianne Sundquist, formerly of Andersonville's In Fine Spirits Lounge, and her husband, Hans Peter, who started Mess Hall & Co.

Their philosophy: "We preserve foods that we love and use organic ingredients that inspire us. If we don’t know who grows it, we don’t make it."

Those local, organic ingredients come together to create perfectly preserved concoctions like ghost pepper mustard, apple rum butter and absolutely delectable bar cherries. And they're packaged in little jars with gorgeous, vintage-looking rubber seals that are almost too beautiful to crack into!

But here's what we're REALLY excited about: Their newest venture is Snow Patrol, a team-up with a vintage truck company that will travel the city and sell gourmet snow cones made with Mess Hall & Co. syrups. (Uh, yum? Never been more thankful for the heat wave that refuses to die.)

Glossed & Found, an adorably offbeat Chicago website specializing in videos about food, fashion and culture, got a preview of the Snow Patrol action in early August.

Spoiler: In the video, Marianne tackles cocktail cherries made with bourbon, Demerara sugar, cinnamon bark, star anise, cloves and telicherry peppercorns. Then they have a snowball fight.


We love the vintage feel of the Sundquists' products, and we're all for supporting local businesses (and farmers)! Wanna sample Mess Hall & Co.'s wares?

They're available at City Provisions in Ravenswood, Lemon Tree Grocer in Downers Grove, In Fine Spirits in Andersonville, and Provenance Food and Wine in Lincoln Square and Logan Square.


Meanwhile, keep those eyes peeled for snow cone relief as summer starts to wind down…we know this heat will hang around long enough for us to sample them!


Mess Hall & Co.

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