Mustard is one of my all-time favorite things. I’ve been left in the condiment aisle while shopping only to be found in the same place, after the rest of the shopping has been done. Lucky for me, my strong favor for this delicious flavor has also become a preferred choice for my wife. I’m also fortunate to have some questions answered by Barry Levenson, founder and curator of the National Mustard Museum!
Travis Blair: What gives mustard its pungent flavor?
Barry Levenson: The naturally occurring substance allyl isothiocyanate (also present in horseradish).
Travis: Do mustard seeds vary in taste depending on where they are grown?
Barry: Not that you would notice.
Travis: What is one of your favorite historical facts about mustard?
Barry: Shakespeare wrote about mustard in four of his plays (never once wrote about ketchup).
Travis: How many types of mustard are featured in your museum?
Barry: 5,811 different mustards in the permanent collection as of today.
Travis: What advice would you give if I wanted to make my own mustard?
Barry: Keep your liquid ingredients cold for a brighter flavor without bitterness.
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