Erica DiPietro of Swampscott sampled the creamy garlic parmesan dressing at the Farmers Market.
It came from a clear bottle labeled in black and white print — McMahon’s Dressing — framed by black and white sketches of a cheese round and a garlic rope.
Simple, spare and ...
“It’s delicious,” she said. “I just tried it for the first time. The garlic dressing. I liked it.”
For 25 years the creations from Maura and Mark McMahon’s kitchen have drawn similar reviews.
Their homemade dressing, croutons and pub cheese made the rounds, served at banquets, and at team and extended-family dinners.
This past summer the products went public, sold at the Swampscott Farmers Market.
The branching out kept the McMahons' kitchen cooking.
And now they are talking with a few food companies and supermarkets to see where else they can go with their products, said Mark, a chef.
Mark went to college at the Culinary Institute of America. After college he spent years, 1975-78, as the press dining room chef at Fenway Park in Boston.
When famous sports journalist Howard Cosell came to Fenway he would have his favorite steak, 18-oz. and rare.
“He always gave me a one-hundred dollar tip,” Mark said.
He cooked for players, too. Yaz liked sirloin steak, medium rare.
Owner Tom Yawkey likes lobster sauted in a little butter.
Mark has also been a chef at the Ritz-Carlton and owned a pub.
Now, he makes dressing, pub cheese and croutons. He keeps it simple. Makes them fresh and uses fresh ingredients, no preservatives.
And the pub cheese and dressing taste good.
The flavors are in balance, neither tang nor spice nor sweetness predominate.
If you think about the cheese or the garlic you taste them but otherwise they combine for a simply good taste.
The same goes for the pub cheese — its bacon, cream cheese, chives and horseradish raise their particular tastes in equal measure.
Many customers at this summer at the Farmer’s Market have been repeat customers.
The Sunday morning market has been a springboard for their products, said Maura, a third grade at the Bell School in Marblehead.
Often the kids will come over for a sample and like it, and then their moms dig in.
For more information about the McMahons' products or to order: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (781) 581-9856.