Cutting the Mustard

Do you like yours hot? Real spicy? Maybe a little chunky? Doesn’t matter what you like, this place has whatever flavor you’re into. The best part is, you can try ‘em out at the bar before you take them home.

Of course I’m talking about Mustard at the National Mustard Museum and gift shop in Middleton, WI. The museum is the brain child of former Wisconsin attorney Barry Levenson, who in 1986 decided to find a hobby after his beloved Red Sox lost to the Mets. Good thing for us that the Red Sox didn’t win the World Series in the next two decades because it gave Barry time to amass the inventory needed for his kitschy ode to mustard. And boy does he spread it on thick.

You’re welcomed by a big yellow sign, mustard-colored rooms, an all-mustard vending machine and mustard’s own university Poupon U. (Get it?).

The museum is downstairs and, for a suggested donation of only $2 per person, you learn about the making of mustard, its spicy cousin horseradish, and see Barry’s collection of the yellowy condiment. There’s an exhibition kitchen that apparently hosts cooking demonstration, as well as “Mustard Piece Theater” where mustard propaganda is set on a constant loop. We placed another $5 donation in the donation box and received a small paper bag with two complimentary 8-ounce jars of Grey-Poupon.

Upstairs in the gift shop, you can literally sample each and every mustard they have available – provided your tongue is up to it. We sampled six versions before we settled on a spicy mustard from Illinois by bottler Boetje and Wisconsin’s own Bucky Badger Honey Mustard Pretzel Dip.

This museum really cuts the mustard and is a must see if you enjoy a sandwich or hotdog with yours.