National Mustard Day
Ground from the seeds of a mustard plant, mustard is one of America’s favorite condiments. Food lovers can celebrate this versatile topping on National Mustard Day, August 5. The National Mustard Museum was the originator of the holiday and celebrates the day every first Saturday in August. Guests who visit the museum on this special day can take part in a wide variety of games and even try a free hot dog and mustard sampling. Of course, you don’t have to go to the museum to have fun. Be sure to try out as many mustards as possible: the standard yellow American style, French Dijon mustard, Bavarian sweet mustard, and the tangy, beer mustard!
HISTORY OF NATIONAL MUSTARD DAY
Mustard has been among the most used spices in the world for centuries. Believed to have originated in Ancient Egypt, it was used for medicinal purposes as well as a spice. The Greeks and Romans followed suit, utilizing mustard for both flavorings and as a herbal remedy. Mustard was prescribed as a cure for a range of ailments, from snakebites to hysteria.
The mustard arrived in Northern France where it was gradually cultivated by local monks. The word ‘mustard’ is derived from the word ‘mosto’ or ‘grape muss’ — a type of unfermented wine that hasn’t matured and was mixed with mustard seeds by the French monks. Monasteries started producing large amounts of mustard in the 9th century, from which they generated even larger amounts of income through sales.
Prepared mustard or modern mustard as we know it, was created in Dijon, France in the 13th century. The preparation of this condiment is thanks to the efforts of Pope John XXII of Avignon, who loved mustard and created a special post of Grand Moustardier du Pape, or the Grand Mustard-Maker, to which he appointed his nephew.
At the beginning of the 19th century, mustard was finely milled into powder by the world’s first mustard millers, the British. This is how mustard became an industrial-level food ingredient. In 1904, the modern yellow mustard was introduced in Rochester, New York, where it became popular due to its pairing with the classic American hot dog.
NATIONAL MUSTARD DAY ACTIVITIES
1.Mustard is the favorite topping for hot dogs
A National Hot Dog and Sausage Council survey found that 71% of people confirm mustard as their top hot dog condiment. It’s a staple at baseball games and other sporting events, always on hand to supplement the concession stand food. It’s the perfect garnish for a tasty treat — just make sure you pick up an extra napkin so you don’t spill any on your shirt!
3.It’s good for you
It’s well-known in scientific circles that the elements found in mustard seeds can stop cancer cell growth. Mustard is also used as a remedy for muscle pains and certain types of skin disorders. Mustard seeds come with high levels of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. As a great addition to some of your favorite foods, mustard is a low-calorie, low-sugar alternative to other condiments.
3.You can put it on almost anything
Mustard isn’t just for hot dogs. With all the varieties, it’s the condiment for creatives: if you can dream it, you can achieve it! Try out a breakfast casserole infused with honey Dijon. Bake up some mustard-roasted potatoes. Glaze a ham with honey mustard. If you can’t let go of your traditional roots, have a Chicago-style hot dog with yellow mustard, chopped onions, relish, a pickle spear, and tomato slices.
WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL MUSTARD DAY
A. You can learn all about it at the National Mustard Museum
Located in Middleton, Wisconsin, the National Mustard Museum is the birthplace of National Mustard Day and the Holy Grail for mustard lovers. Started by Barry Levenson in 1992, the museum is home to nearly 6,000 different types of mustards from all over the world. Stop by to see the Great Wall of Mustard, an antique collection of mustard pots, and try out a free mustard tasting! This free museum is open seven days a week.
B. Host a mustard-tasting
Serve up pretzel rods, hot dog bites, and pita bread for guests to test out as many types of mustard, as possible. Hit up your local store to buy out their mustard varieties. You should even try out a local artisan market to see if you can pick up additional, hard-to-find mustards. Place the different kinds in small serving dishes and let everyone try out all the combinations of snacks and toppings.
C. Make your own mustard
Who says that French and Grey Poupon should have a monopoly on good mustard? Try out your own recipe on National Mustard Day. Soak mustard seeds for a full day in your liquid of choice: vinegar, water, wine or even beer. Then, grind up the seeds in a food processor. Make the mustard to your liking by adding your favorite flavors, like brown sugar, honey, or tarragon.
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