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Mustard and Ketchup

Brian H. Gill

Mustard and ketchup are part of the American cultural landscape, at least in this part of the country. Whenever you go into an eatery, there you'll find bottles of ketchup and mustard, or bins filled with little packets of these essential condiments.

As a youth, I favored ketchup, with it's spicy yet sweet taste. My wife reminds me, almost weekly, that I still like a few French fries with my ketchup. And yet, even in my youth I felt, if faintly, the allure of mustard.

Now that I have long since entered Man's estate, I find that my taste is becoming more refined. I have discovered the full pleasures of mustard.

Ah, mustard! Subtle as freshly-cut lemon slices, sophisticated as a backyard grill in August! Not only does mustard delight through taste, it adds visual drama to the culinary experience. That squiggle of mustard wiggling down the length of a home-grilled hot dog: witnessing this, who has not wondered at the dynamism of that lightning-like line, or taken a moment to savor the interplay of color and texture between the condiment's liquid yellow and the subtly-charred, rugged ruddiness of the wiener?

And consider that ephemeral moment, when mustard and ketchup meet, but have not yet merged. One is faced with that momentous decision: whether to swirl the two together and then experience an already-blended flavor; or to savor their fusion even as it happens, when one masticates the hot dog, bun and condiments in one penultimate act.

Contemplating all this, one asks oneself, "is there more to life than mustard?"

For those who may say "yes," I suggest taking a look at the rest of Brendan's Island. It is relatively mustard-free.

For those who say "no," the following links may be of interest.

I had no idea, when I started this project, that there were so many sites devoted wholly or in part to condiments. Before going on, I'd better say that I haven't studied these sites in detail. The links are here because I thought they looked interesting, or fun: not because I necessarily endorse their contents. Happy surfing!

copyright Brian H. Gill 2002


Mustard links

The Condiment Packet Museum
(Here you'll find dozens of pictures of little mustard packets, each one different. It takes a while to download this page.)

The History of a Condiment
(with links) (and a bit of a Coleman bias)

The Mount Horeb Mustard Museum Online
(They say they're "home of the world's largest collection of mustards. We have more than 3,800 different mustards from all over the world...") (10/11/2003, with a new (and improved) URL. Thanks to the Mustard Museum president for updating me.)

Mustard Day remembered (new 6/24/2004)
(At the 123 Greetings website. At last! recognition of what makes August 7 so special!!)

Mustard Facts, History and Myths
(at the Plochman site)

Mustard and Health
("Lots of information on mustard including a selection of recipes.")

Napa Valley Mustard Festival Online
The title says it all. For those who celebrate mustard.

The Plochman Mustard site
The first thing I saw here was a beautiful wilderland waterfall: then someone in a gigantic Plochman Mustard barrel went over the falls in a display of marvelously unconvincing special effects.

Ketchup links

Green Ketchup Links
This person made a more comprehensive survey of ketchup in cyberspace than anything I would do. It's not just about green ketchup, either.

Ketchups so good... you'll eat them with a spoon!
(Upscale ketchup.) ("The only thing ordinary is the name "Ketchup!" Once you pop the cap on any of these zesty partners your senses will be in for the treat of a life-time!")

Planet Ketchup!
("A world of information and passionate babbling about everybody's favorite condiment.")

opening narrative copyright Brian H. Gill 2002

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Brian's Attic: The Reading Shelf

 
Americana Observations Fiction
9/11/2002, 2005 Arthur's Home
by Naomi Gill
The Dream
An American Family Day of the
Living Driver
 
Ich Bin Ein Amerikaner Jonah Fan Page The Village, the Fence and the Sign
Mustard
and Ketchup
   
Ronald Wilson Reagan Once it Was Believed /
Now We Know
Wilbert and Grunt

Brendan's Island home page
I Love It Here! (life in a small town) | A Walk on the Catholic Side
Brian's Attic | Attack of the Amateur Photo Album
Brendan: A Monk, A Boat And a Legend
Brendan's Island Guest Book | Visitor Information Center


 

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This page last updated: December 19, 2010