7 Things You Didn't Know About Mustard

Apr 30, 2012 11:31 am

Plant mustard seeds, reap the best condiment

mustard seeds
Photo: WordRidden on Flickr
Guess what honey mustard is made of? Believe it or not, honey and mustard,
 

Here's why mustard has to be the most badass, hardcore condiment of them all (no offense to ketchup, I'm sure none taken). Back in the day, there was a guy named Jared. Once in a while, he got worked up. Occasionally he would vent this excess energy by bellowing random phrases at the top of his lungs. And one of the less profane exclamations was "40 inches of mustard!" I believe that one was reserved for beer pong. Anyway, that showed up in a dream last night, so I thought I'd share about 40 inches' worth of little-known to downright obscure facts about this glorious yellow spread 

  • Broke your hollandaise? Don't tell anyone, but Japanese mayo is basically the same thing. Still insist on whisking the stuff over a double boiler yourself? Add half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and watch it come together like the last two minutes of a sitcom. 
  • America's Mustard College, otherwise known as Poupon U (shame on you, copywriter), is located in Middleton, WI, home of the National Mustard Museum and a mere 6,978 kilometers from Dijon, France.
  • Before sandwiches were even a glimmer in humanity's eye, the ancient Greeks would slather the stuff on scorpion stings. Less tasty, more life-savey.
  • Talk about having your priorities in order, Pope John XXII created the post of grand moutardier du pape (the pope's personal mustard-craftsman) in the early 14th century. Well, it was a two birds, one stone type of deal. Not only was he a fan of the spicy condiment, his nephew also needed a job. Good thing mustard's recession-proof. 
  • Mustard can refer to the velocity of a baseball thrown by a pitcher. For batters and those who don't like mustard (hereby referred to as the "gustatorily handicapped"), this instance of mustard is a bad thing.
  • The chemical compound that gives mustard its signature slow-developing heat is different from the capcaicin in chili peppers. The combination of myrosin (enzyme) and sinigrin (responsible for plant defense), which occurs when the cell structure of the mustard seed breaks down, can physically burn both internal and external tissue. So, be careful when you make your own mustard. Maybe inhale the aroma from a distance or don't put it on your scorpion sting right away. 
  • When talking mustard, one must shout out Germany. According to lore, brides would sew mustard seeds into the hems of their wedding dresses to symbolize dominance in the household. So much for sausage.

Now complete the sentence: the best sandwich for mustard is:______. 

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