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National Mustard Day: Do condiments deserve holidays?

August 5, 2009 |  3:08 pm

A shop assistant in Dresden, Germany stacks jars of mustard bearing a photo of U.S. President Barack Obama.Like Trident missiles during the Cold War, the proliferation of quirky and often corporate-sponsored food holidays continues unchecked.

We've recently celebrated (or maybe we haven't) such delicious holidays as National Doughnut Day (June 5) and National Crème Brûlée Day (July 27), and we're prepping for (or maybe we aren't) National S'mores Day (Aug.  10) and National Sponge Cake Day (Aug.  23). But last Saturday's National Mustard Day demands we ask: Do condiments deserve their own holidays?

In Wisconsin, the answer was a resounding yes. The Mustard Museum, which has been located since 1986 in Mount Horeb (also the self-proclaimed Troll Capitol of the World) has proved so popular that owner Barry Levenson is relocating his 5,000 mustards and 1,500 antique mustard pots, bottles and tins to a larger venue in nearby Middleton (about 8 miles northwest of Madison).

Sure, I like a dab of Gulden's Spicy Brown on my sandwiches, a dip of French's classic yellow on my pretzels, a dash of Mendocino Hot & Sweet as the base for my vinaigrette. But now that mustard has its own holiday (celebrated the first Saturday in August), where will the madness end?

"A man can't know what turnips are in perfection without mustard," Mark Twain once wrote. Funny, I must've missed the celebration for National Turnip Day.

-- Elina Shatkin

Photo: A shop assistant in Dresden, Germany stacks jars of mustard bearing a photo of President Obama. Credit: Norbert Millauer / AFP/Getty Images