oh yes mustard!

I sent my husband out the door this morning with a shopping list that had a rough total of about $87. Eighty seven dollars worth of mustard, that is. Yes, mustard. He is going south to Milwaukee, which means he’ll pass through Madison, which means there is no excuse not to stop off at the National Mustard Museum in downtown Middelton. But I should back up. Until recently – say with the last six or so years – I have not particularly liked mustard. I always kept the obligatory jar of Dijon in the fridge for dressings and marinades, and when forced to, I’d eat it if it came pre-applied on a bratwurst, but really I went out of my way to avoid it. My childhood memory of that strange smelling, yellow sauce really stuck with me hard.

Enter Delouis Fils Dijon ‘a L’ancienne’.  Not coincidentally, about six years ago I was visiting my friend Laura who then lived in Mount Horeb, WI – the former home of the Mustard Museum. It turns out that there isn’t all that much to do in Mount Horeb, so a tour of the Mustard Museum made the cut. I must have been in a particularly open-minded mood because for whatever reason, I voluntarily chose, by my own free will, to taste mustard. Several of them. And one in particular – the Delouis Fils Dijon ‘a L’ancienne’ – won me over. I left with three jars of it. Its taste is smooth yet its texture rough – I suppose “grainy” is the technical term.  It isn’t sharp. It isn’t smelly. The flavors meld together and melt in your mouth. I didn’t know mustard could do that. Ever since then, my idea of a good lunch often involves a baguette, some good hard cheese, sliced onion and a jar of Delouis Fils Dijon ‘a L’ancienne’.

And evidently, that was my jumping off point. The list I handed over to Mark included three jars of my standby, two jars of Saucy Sisters Golden Honey Russian Mustard, a garlic mustard from Obester Winery, several jars of Dijon, and a new one that I’ve been dying to dip into  – Aunty Lilikoi’s Passion Habeñero Mustard. The name alone makes it a worth try, but something tells me the fruitiness of the passion flower combined with the heat of the habeñero will be stupendous as a salmon rub. Cell coverage was dicey when Mark checked in this afternoon, but I thought he mumbled something about an amazing new walnut Dijon to boot.

Rest assured I am not purchasing upward of a hundred dollars worth of mustard just for us. This trip is kicking off our holiday shopping – what Christmas stocking is complete without a little jar of pungent bliss? And those cute hexagon jars of spicy, Russian honey mustard make the perfect host/hostess gift. My go to appetizer in a pinch is thick Bavarian pretzels with a perky mustard. So you see, it’s good to have a few jars on hand.  All I can say is thank goodness  I’ve come to my senses. Literally, in this case. Luckily I seem to be making up for lost time just fine.

Here is my favorite mustard sauce to spread on salmon fillets about 10 – 15 minutes before grilling. I can’t wait to try it with the Aunty Lilikoi’s. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Mustard Sauce

Combine and heat gently:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic

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