Hello, you lovely people!
The diversity of this planet and all of the people on it will never cease to amaze me. Sometimes, that diversity is wonderful, sometimes scary, and sometimes it simply raises a questioning eyebrow and instigates a chuckle.
The story behind this travel point started in the mid 1980s, when the Red Sox were playing the Mets in the World Series. A man named Barry Levenson desperately wanted his Red Sox to win. Unfortunately, the Mets took Games Six and Seven, winning the Series. Depressed and up late that night, Levenson found himself wandering an all night grocery store and decided he needed to start a collection to distract him from this depression. He happened to be in the mustard aisle when this idea came to him… so mustard became his hobby, right then and there at 2:38am. This hobby became an obsession, and by 1991 Levenson left his law practice and devoted his time to mustard.
Because of this, you can now visit the NATIONAL MUSTARD MUSEUM- 7477 Hubbard Ave., Middleton, WI.
If you think a mustard museum is strange, imagine if Levenson had been in the baby diaper aisle when this idea came.
The museum opened in 1992. In 2009, it moved to its current, larger location in Middleton and houses the world’s largest mustard and mustard paraphernalia collection.
Middleton, for those having never been, is by its own right a charming small town with a walkable downtown area, including a nearby outdoor mall.
The top floor of the Mustard Museum is a store offering a wide variety of different kinds of mustard and a selection of other loosely-related items.
The mustard selection is large and categorized in many ways, from nationality to brands to styles to staff picks. Who knew there was a chocolate mustard? It doesn’t taste as bad as you would think. It’s actually very interesting. An even more interesting idea is the free recipe sitting next to it on the shelf for Chocolate Mustard Brownies.
They also offer apparel and accessories.
The museum is downstairs. Admission is free, but they do have a $2 suggested donation.
The museum has a large variety of historic mustard memorabilia and everything else mustard. It explains what mustard is and some of its historic medicinal uses.
Along with… um, film showings?
They also have the world’s first and only all-mustard vending machine, coloring pages for kids, and more. For the right sized monetary donation, you can have your own gravy yacht.
… I suppose you could put mustard in it, too, right? In any case, who wouldn’t want to be the envy of all in the gravy train and boat crowd?
The only thing the museum did not get into that I wish they had was how mustard as a condiment was discovered (unless I missed it, that’s always possible. I can A.D.D. on things sometimes).
Otherwise, if you are a mustard connoisseur or even a condiment enthusiast, this is a good stop while in Wisconsin. The self guided museum tour takes less than 15 minutes, so it’s short and sweet. The best part? Free samples in the shop! I recommend making the stop.
If you want a longer stop, consider arranging your venture for early August. August 6th has been declared National Mustard Day and downtown Middleton hosts a celebration in honor of this, everything from live bands to tasty treats to dances with the Duchess of Mustard (did not get the information on how she is chosen). I realize that I posted this too late for the 2016 celebration, but that means there is now plenty of time to pencil in National Mustard Day 2017 and beyond.
August 6th happens to be my sister’s birthday. I may have just found her birthday present.
I will leave you with this.
Until next time, dahlings…