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An Interview With The Condiment Connoisseur

bill ahrens condiments connoisseur gourmet interview little acre three pepper ketchup

It takes two to tango they say, and half of Little Acre Gourmet’s dynamic duo is none other than Dover, New Hampshire’s “hot dog man”, Bill Ahrens. It would seem that Bill has always had a calling for condiments, as even from a young age he has slathered anything and everything in ketchup, mustard, relish…the whole shebang. This guy sure loves his condiments.
With the creation of his gourmet hot dog business Downtown Dogs out of downtown Dover, Bill’s affinity for adding flavor and personality to food only grew as he partnered with his wife Trina Ahrens (the other half of Little Acre’s dynamic duo) to create some super awesome condiments to compliment and diversify his growing hot dog business. And just like that, Little Acre Gourmet was born.

The way Bill sees it, food is merely the thing that you put all these super awesome condiments on! If eating was like painting, the food would be but a canvas and condiments would be the vibrant colors crafted by the artist. If ever there was a so-called “condiment artist”, Bill is surely a da Vinci or a Michelangelo. Without further ado, onto a segment we like to call, Let’s Meet Little Acre!
Bill Ahrens: Hot Dog Aficionado and Condiment Advocate
 1. What is your favorite sandwich?
A perfectly melted cheese melt with Balsamic and Fig mustard and sauerkraut. It’s the combination of the sweet and the sour that I really enjoy. It sounds somewhat unusual, but sometimes you put things together that you would never think would taste good but this time it worked out.
2. What is your favorite recipe to make for dinner?
 I love chili.​ Especially the veggie version of the Downtown Dogs chili. We have yet to make chili using our ketchup, but a customer of ours says she adds Three Pepper Ketchup to her homemade chili to give it a kick. Another one of my favorites is the Lentil Sloppy Joe recipe.
3. What is your favorite condiment?
Definitely Spicy Three Pepper Ketchup​. It’s so versatile and I pretty much use it on everything. It’s just spicy enough!
4. What is the strangest food you've added a condiment to?​
I’ve tried A1 sauce on ice cream​...but Trina says that cranberry sauce is better. I’m all for trying new things but I probably won’t be putting A1 on my ice cream again any time soon.
5. What's the craziest gourmet hot dog you've ever created?​
A favorite at Downtown Dogs was The Dogfather: hot dog (or veggie dog) on a poppy seed bun​, caramelized onions, all beef chili (or veggie chili), bacon (or veggie bacon), and grated Mexican cheese blend.
6. Have you always liked condiments?​
Yes!​ I can’t imagine a life without condiments…that would be a sad life indeed. I’ve met a few that I don’t care for, but there are so many other delicious ones that it’s never discouraged me. I’m always on the hunt for new and unique condiments.
7. Where do you find inspiration when it comes to thinking of new products?​
I like most anything containing vinegar...I think it's the tart and sour flavors that I really love. So if I were to create a new product, it would be something along those lines.
8. What do you think sets Little Acre condiments apart from all of the other condiments?​
The unique, sweet and savory flavor and texture combinations.​ While I do enjoy other condiment brands, I think ours is truly different because of the amount of creativity and thought that goes into developing each of our products.
9. When you think of New England, does a condiment come to mind that embodies it?​
Cranberry sauce....the first Thanksgiving. And Pilgrims. That’s what comes to mind when I envision New England.​
10. And lastly…complete the sentence! Food without condiments is like​…
A day without​ a smile​.
Well, that’s all for this inaugural edition of Let’s Meet Little Acre! I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about Bill and his condiment obsession. He’s passionate about condiments and his business, and they just so happen to be one in the same! And there’s no doubt in my mind that passion shines through in everything Little Acre Gourmet does.
Little Acre Gourmet Foods

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