After All, Ketchup’s Not the Only Condiment
I feel bad. Yesterday I praised America’s favorite condiment, ketchup. I started to feel sad for saluting its red cousin, but I shouldn’t have felt so bad. Mustard (the common yellow variety) is also a heavyweight in its own right. Over 700 million pounds of mustard are consumed every year worldwide. That’s a lot of anything.
Of course growing up in the United States we are introduced to the common yellow mustard at a young age and for many that’s the only kind of mustard they know. I know I was surprised at one point to find out mustard could actually gritty with the whole seeds from which it’s made forming the bulk of whatever brand I was looking at. Of course if you’re a certain age you’ll remember the Grey Poupon commercials which promoted that brands Dijon-style mustard.
Mustard may even be superior to it’s crimson rival ketchup. Clint Eastwood in one of the Dirty Harry movies tells a colleague who’s eating a hot dog at the time, “Nobody, but nobody puts ketchup on a hot dog!”
The use as a food topping is only one use for this versatile condiment. It’s often used as a base in vinaigrettes or to make other sauces. The varieties of mustard are countless and vary between the universally-recognizable yellow mustard in familiar yellow bottles to highbrow specialty mustards that cost appreciably more.
Our familiar yellow variety, while made from mustard seeds, gets its yellow color from turmeric. That spice is now popular as a substance that relieves inflammation. Who knew putting mustard on your hot dog was good for you?
So now I don’t feel so bad. 700 million pounds of anything per year is worthy of respect and mustard has its own place in the pantheon of condiments. Hot dogs, anyone?