This Valentine’s Day, I would like to pen an ode to my love.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a big fan of what I consider this most under-appreciated of condiments. I always liked a healthy squirt of the stuff – French’s Classic Yellow, of course – on my hot dog, and burgers just weren’t the same without it. And a dollop on a soft pretzel from the mall? Mmm. Divine. Hell, whenever I played Clue, I always chose the character of Colonel Mustard! If he was caught in the library with a candlestick, that was a real bummer.
Sadly, not everybody is as fond of mustard as I am. In the condiment world, mayonnaise is the new king. Rounding out the top 5: ketchup, soy sauce, barbecue sauce, and hot sauce. Mustard comes in at a disappointing #6, slightly ahead of steak sauce. WTF?! I wouldn’t give A-1 to my dog! (Confession: I don’t own a dog. But if I did, I wouldn’t give him A-1. Also, if I owned a dog, I’d totally name him Rover. Because, as cliche as that is, have you ever actually known a dog named Rover? Neither have I. But I’m getting real off track now).
Anyway, mustard. I suppose I should be glad that it ranks well ahead of, say, mango chutney or tartar sauce. But that feels like a hollow victory. I love it so much, I feel like everybody should love it. Here’s proof of how much I love it – I opened the refrigerator door and found the following :
Seven bottles and jars of mustard? Even I was surprised to find so many in there. But in my defense, they’re all different! No wonder Tara rolls her eyes whenever I buy a new jar. At least I use them all!
I remember the first time I had mustard with an unusual pairing. I ordered a tuna sub from Subway, and they automatically slathered mustard on there. I might have protested – after all, that is a weird combination, even to this most ardent of mustard aficionados – but didn’t realize this until I took a bite. I was like, What the…mustard?!…that is just wro…err…whoa…that is delicious!
And my obsession began.
Classic French’s morphed into so much more. Dijon came first, thanks to the “pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?” television commercials that were so popular while growing up. I tried mustard/mayo combos. Aiolis. Chunky mustards, brown mustards, spicy mustards. When we go out to eat at our favorite German restaurant, I often choose the sausage platter just because it’s got a scintillating trio of three mustards, including a bier one. I buy mustards pretty much everywhere mustards are sold. Two of my latest discoveries? Dill, and jalapeno & white wine. Both are delicious.
Oddly enough, Tara does not share my enthusiasm for mustard. She’s a ketchup girl, which is fine and dandy. I like ketchup, too. But I like ketchup AND mustard. Throw in a little mayo as well, and you’ve got the holy trinity of condiments.
It’s the same with pickles. At any one time, there are at least three jars in the fridge. I’m very particular about my pickles: I like kosher dills. Garlic and spices are fine. Sweet pickles are revolting. And relish should be abolished permanently.
What foods are you obsessed with?