National Mustard Day is not my go-to thing to celebrate on August first. I usually begin this month pre-celebrating my August 6th birthday! But why not celebrate this wonderful condiment that dates back to ancient Greece? Learn about the different types of mustard, unusual uses for it and the many lies that come with it. When national mustard day meets weird food facts, crazy things can happen!
History of National Mustard Day
National Mustard Day has been celebrated in Wisconsin since 1991. Just like Michigan is pickle-crazy, Wisconsin has The Mustard Museum that draws crowds of over 6,000 ‘enthusiastic mustard lovers’ annually. This event happens to raise thousands of dollars for local charities – GO MUSTARD!
Southern Wisconsin is proud to call itself the home of the National Mustard Museum, which boasts “more than 5566 jars, bottles, and tubes from all 50 states and more than 70 countries.”Mental Floss
Weirdly enough, National Mustard Day is not always on the same day every year. In 2022 it will actually be on my birthday! Hello mustard birthday cake – or ice cream. The latter is an actual thing…
Mustard Ice Cream
Just because something CAN do be done doesn’t meant that it SHOULD be done. Although to be honest, I would love to try this ice cream! I have already sampled beer ice cream in Prague and I’d love to keep adding weird ice creams to my culinary bucket list. But I don’t think I’ll be making it myself anytime soon. However, if I did, I’d use this ice cream machine, which is on my to-buy list after I move in a few weeks!
Ancient Greeks and Romans
Mustard seeds have always been seen as a cure for something. In ancient times, Pythagoras endorsed the use of mustard to cure scorpion stings. Hippocrates on the other hand, thought it was a miracle remedy capable of soothing pains and aches. Finally, ancient Roman physicians used it to ease toothaches.
Before you laugh too hard at our ancestors, today people believe that it is a weight loss supplement, asthma suppressant, hair growth stimulant, immunity booster, cholesterol regulator, dermatitis treatment and even a way to ward off gastrointestinal cancer. In the not-so-ancient past, it was also used for appetite stimulation, sinus clearing and frostbite prevention.
Does mustard actually do any of these things? Ask a doctor, not me. One thing is clear: humans have not changed much over the centuries.
Ancient Egyptians – National Mustard Day
Many believe that mustard is the first condiment that humans ever put on their food. Before Wisconsinites celebrated national mustard day by raising money for charity and eating mustard in strange ways, Egyptian pharaohs stocked their tombs with mustard seeds. It was so important to them that they couldn’t see themselves without it in their afterlife.
King Louis XI was obsessed too – he refused to travel without mustard. This French monarch considered the condiment essential to his culinary experiences. He refused to be disappointed if he were to be served a meal in a household that wasn’t fully stocked, so he kept a pot with him at all times.
Mustard is a Plant Similar to Broccoli
The terminology when it comes to mustard is a little confusing. Mustard is the plant and mustard that is prepared is a condiment. The mustard plant is also closely related to broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, and cabbage! The condiment kind has MANY different varieties, not just Dijon!
The common varieties include American, which is the common yellow squeeze-bottle variety. Then there is English ‘French mustard’, a less-spicy alternative to English mustard. Bavarian mustard is sweet. Then there is Italian fruit mustard, Midwestern beer mustard, Creole mustard and there are a ridiculous amount of different kinds of German mustard.
The yellow shade of mustard that is so popular in America is a lie. Turmeric is added to improve the taste and make it yellow. No mustard seeds actually create mustard of that color. The real color of crushed mustard seeds alone can be anything from pale yellow to dark brown.
Also, most of today’s Dijon mustard is not actually from Dijon…
“When the Romans conquered the Gauls, they brought mustard seeds with them, and these seeds took root in the fertile soil of France’s Burgundy region. By the thirteenth century, Dijon had emerged as a hub of mustard production, which laid the foundation for the invention of the region’s signature “Dijon mustard” in 1856.
A simple ingredient swap added a new tang to old mustard recipes when Jean Naigeon thought to use verjuice, the acidic juice of unripe grapes, instead of the traditional vinegar—a change so easy to replicate that the recipe couldn’t be contained to a single city. Today, Dijon mustard can be made anywhere in the world.”Mental Floss
Mustard is an amazing condiment. Even the ancient Egyptians thought so! Celebrate National Mustard Day by enjoying the mustard variety of your choice on your favorite foods. If you’re extra brave, turn it into ice cream! This is where I would advertise some mustard earrings on Everyfelt. But I don’t have mustard earrings… yet. They are actually in the works so check back soon!
Follow The Travel Bug Bite for more great content!