21 October 2014


It goes without saying that the views expressed here do not represent my own. Mustard is disgusting. I found out that I used to eat mustard-glazed hams, but now I don't do that anymore.

If living with Food Thoughtz has taught me anything it was that I can't do things my way. It has also taught me some things on the mysterious and sacred nature of tea- and other towels, but that is a subject that should be tackled on my own blog, where I discuss the wonders and mysteries of the created and the eternal world.

Point is that Food Thoughtz has been tugging at my ear until I just gave up resistance, sighed and sat down to my computer to compose an essay on the genera and species of mustards. I love mustard and hot sauce, and condiments in general, especially if you count yogurt as a condiment. (FYI: I do) Although my parents' came from fairly different backgrounds they have always agreed about one thing: dry food is for fools. When I was a kid, we used to eat deep-fried things (I don't anymore, and neither does my sister and my mum. My dad does, but maybe that is the reason why he divorced my mum and married someone who is fond of schnitzels.), but always combined with something juicy or creamy. If we had schnitzels, we had them with mashed potatoes, if we had croquettes, or fried potatoes there was always some kind of sauce or condiment to balance dryness and crunchiness. Later on, when my sister and I went through adolescence we have discovered that the addition of yogurt enhances the quality of EVERY SINGLE dish. It was also around this time that I have discovered mustard and horseradish, and ten years later I have completed my gastronomical education by embracing hot sauce. 

This post is solely about mustard and the different kinds of it, I might write a review on hot sauce in five years, when Food Thoughtz has accumulated a sufficient amount of CAD to buy me a variety of them.

Plain old mustard

I am the direct descendent of a man who ate baloney, bread, mustard and mayonnaise horseradish for dinner every day, for fifteen years, while watching this.

At first I thought my grandpa's choice of dinner was somewhat boring and not very nutritious, but after having lived with him for three years, I have accustomed to his diet, and I would eat baloney with horseradish and mustard any time! Or maybe the love for baloney, mustard and horseradish was already in my genes? Nature vs. nurture! I'll let you decide.

Anyway, my grandpa always bought plain old Univer mustard, which is an excellent choice. It's not cheap store-brand grade mustard, which has most probably been died yellow by sulphur-dioxide or something, but it isn't too expensive to eat with suspicious-looking baloney either. Univer as the name says is universal, and can be put in everything to improve its quality.

Hot recipe tip: Mix it with yogurt, salt and a pinch of sugar, and dip some carrots and apples in it. Also put it in your béchamel sauce, along with nutmeg. Use it to marinate beef. Eat it with boiled beef and vegetables. I could go on....

Dijon mustard

At home, we call Dijon mustard the variety with coarsely ground grains. But one thing the I have learned as a French major was that us Hungarians are fond of naming foods inaccurately.
Hungarians hold a grudge against France because of the treaty of Trianon, and they took their revenge by naming baloney "Parisian" and a gross mayonnaise-covered steamed vegetable medley "French salad" (known as macédoine by the French). Anyway, the coarsely ground mustard (moûtarde à l'ancienne) is not the Dijon mustard, actually it is called old-fashioned mustard by the French, and just one among the varieties of Dijon mustards, which are instead characterized by the addition of white wine. The more you know.*

Dijon mustard is actually my favourite. It is the perfect mixture of heat, saltiness and tartness. It's delicious, it complements pork, beef and cold cuts perfectly. It's so good that you should not use it as an ingredient but as a condiment unto itself, or just serve it as dessert. Desserts are a waste of time anyway.

Hot recipe tip: eat it with a spoon. Put it on everything.

*I have discovered the true nature of French mustard around the time I have discovered my unending love for it, upon devouring a whole jar of Wendy's Maille mustard. Thank you, Wendy for the time I got to spend in your house and your fridge + and for buying me an extra bottle of Maille before my arrival to Canada this year. I don't think I would ever buy it for myself, so really, this post could have never been written without your contribution.

Sweet mustard

Sweet mustards are quite disgusting. Mostly because they are sweet. Sweetness belongs with fruits, drinks and desserts, it has no business in bread, meat and vegetables or mustard.

The Bavarian sweet mustard is apparently based on the idea of substituting sugar for vinegar as a means of preservation. Well, why would you do that, when you could have just used vinegar, or wine? As far as I know vinegar is actually just sugary water in the final stage of rotting, so I assume it must also be cheaper than sugar. It makes no sense whatsoever, unless Bavarians were just too lazy to mix the sugar with water and then let it rot (which actually makes sense, because they are also too lazy to get up from the table to go pee).

I am not sure whether I had this mustard when I was staying in Germany, but if this was the one I had, then I guess it was OK. It looks like diarrhea, but it's fine with rye bread, tomato and (obviously) baloney.

This President's Choice mustard on the other hand was vile and disgusting, it tasted like a tub of sweet earwax, much like the barbecue sauce that was served at McDonalds in the nineties. I put it on the street, because I assume that people in need need nothing more than a tub of earwax. Something like that will greatly enhance the quality of the actual food they already have.

Hot recipe tip
: Avoid it.

Flavoured mustard

Why do you want to improve something that is already perfect? You cannot. (cf. Republic 381b-c, this is why Christians later denied that God actually got mad at Adam and Eve or at the idolatrous and faithless israelites) What is even worse, while you cannot spoil God, you can spoil mustard with your foolish attempts. Just don't do it. (Maybe redcurrant mustard would be nice, though? Just a thought. Cooking is not theology there are no strict rules.)

I guess honey mustard flavouring is OK.

Hot recipe tip: Re-gift it to someone who likes arugula and dark chocolate with chilli.

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