2 August 2022
Rejoice, mustard lovers...today is your day.
I mean it. Really. Today is National Mustard
Day, celebrated in grand style every year in Middleton Wisconsin. It is
a fun-filled day for the whole family and has traditionally included FREE hot
dogs as well as music, games, other entertainment, FREE mustard sampling, and
more. The Mustard Museum has been the official sponsor of this event since 1991.
Middleton, Wisconsin, it seems, is the home of the Mustard
Museum (another of those oddball museums I would like to drive across America to
explore...sort of like the Jello Museum, but with a bit more "bite" to it!)
The Mustard Museum is home to the world's largest collection of
mustards and mustard memorabilia. And I'll bet you didn't even know there
was such a thing as mustard memorabilia, did you!
According to Barry Levenson, founder & curator of the National
Mustard Museum, you can blame it all on the Boston Red Sox. In the wee hours
of October 28, 1986, after his favorite baseball team had just lost the
World Series, Barry was wandering an all-night supermarket looking for the
meaning of life. As he passed the mustards, he heard a voice: If you collect
us, they will come.
He did and they have. In 1992, Barry left his job as an Assistant
Attorney General for the State of Wisconsin to open this most improbable
museum, now one of Wisconsin’s most popular attractions. The Mustard Museum
has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the popular game shows
Jeopardy! and To Tell the Truth, as well as countless features on other
national television and radio shows, and in major newspapers everywhere.
Did you read that? The guy was Assistant Attorney General of the
State of Wisconsin and he gave it all up to open a mustard museum!
The museum has collected -- get this -- more than 5,676 mustards from all 50
states and more than 70 countries. The museum is so popular it is open 7
days a week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is FREE.
The on-line store includes the opportunity to buy an astonishing array of
mustards and even a periodic table of mustards on a t-shirt.
I don't know about you, but when I was growing up, mustard was
always that canary yellow, mild flavored French's mustard. I didn't know there
were any other kinds of mustards until I started seeing commercials for Grey
Poupon. I tried and and discovered that it tasted OK. Still not what I grew
My mustardy tastes expanded on a trip to Mendocino once when I
tasted Mendocino mustard. Oh...myyyy! This was a sweet mustard and I
loved it. I bought whenever I found it anywhere and ate it on anything that
seemed to require mustard. When I joined Weight Watchers, I was thrilled to
discover that mustard was an OK thing to eat and you didn't need to count
points....except for sweet mustards. Wouldn't you know that with more
than 5,000 mustards in the world, I had picked one of the very few that was
I learned when we would have Cousins Day that my mother has a
love for Coleman's mustard, which I had never heard of before, but which I
discovered I liked. To me it tastes like it has horseradish in it (though a
check of the ingredients does not reveal that). It's difficult to find,
though. When she was still living in her house, I tried to buy her some
Coleman's mustard, because she always complains about how expensive it is, but
none of the grocery stores in Davis seemed to carry it at that time.
Apparently mustard is good for the skin. The museum sells
products for mustard baths (I wonder if you eat hot dogs as you bathe).
The gift store also has a selection of cookbooks, including one
dedicated to the aforementioned Coleman's mustard, one called "Mustard on a
Pickle" (I'll give one a WIDE berth!) and one called "Habeas Codfish:
Reflections on Food and the Law."
You can order mustards with special labels, as a greeting for
someone having a birthday...or baby.
To say "Get Well" or "Thank You," nothing says it better
than mustard. And to help celebrate the new arrival (the new baby) or the
recent welcome departure (divorce), mustard is the greeting that keeps on
Shakespeare mentions mustard four times in his plays and so for
$60 you can buy a gift box with English mustards, an English marmalade, an
English piccalilli, and "two fabulous Shakespeare toys" [sic]. You'll receive a
box of Shakespeare Insult Bandages (includes one that mentions mustard) and a
Shakespeare Action Figure.
You know, this entry started because I as looking for a quote
about mustard because I read somewhere that this was Mustard Day. But I just had
the best time ever going through the mustard
museum web site. And there is still more I haven't checked out yet...but
this had to be the best
I may have to get myself a yodel pickle...after I brush my teeth
with bacon flavored toothpaste, of course.