Wednesday, February 08, 2006

World Wide Mustard Competition

Yes, I am a mustard judge. This was my second year tasting my way through more mustards than I knew existed. I'd like to say I was chosen because of my skills as a supertaster but really I think they take anyone who shows up.
We arrived at the Mustard Museum in Mt. Horeb, WI and after some schmoozing with Barry Levenson, the quirky curator, we decided what kind of mustard we wanted to sample. There are too many entrants for the judges to try them all so Barry had divided them into categories such as sweet/hot, deli, honey, horseradish, garlic, pepper hot, Dijon, and exotic. We all sampled two of these groups and a third if time permitted. I chose sweet/hot, horseradish and garlic. The first surprise as a mustard judge is how bad a lot of the mustards are. Overly sweet and gloppy or pasty with no mustard flavor, what were these people thinking?

I remember some of them from last year and wonder why my constructive criticism was not taken to heart (we're encouraged to give comments because they will be shared with the mustard makers.) Out of the 20-30 in each category, there were only a handful I'd ever want to have in my mouth again. The horseradish mustards were my favorites. I actually bought two of those.
By the end, my palette was reeling but you can bet I'll be back next year.


At 4:30 PM, Blogger Sam said...

First post!


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