Pass the Mustard

by Marinka on September 22, 2008

What, this isn’t how you set the dinner table every night?

The good news is that my husband and I are not one of those nauseating couples who are always hugging and kissing and telling other people how in love we are. Because everyone hates those people, and they know it, that’s why they cling to their beloved so much.

The bad news is that we recently had some words about mustard. That’s right, mustard. And no, I’m not using it as a euphemism for anything. And no amount of sunflower staging (see photo) can detract from the fact that my husband and I are mustardinally incompatible.

My husband lived in France for a while and during that time became convinced that French mustard (and apparently that doesn’t include Gray Poupon) is the only mustard worth having and everything else is an insult to humanity. His brand of choice is Amore. I can’t find a photo of it online, but for some reason, his many French friends who come to stay with us, all come bearing it. I suspect that reason is that he demands it in exchange for letting them stay with us. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if they were not really friends, but random Parisiens who responded to his ad on LeCraig’s List, which propbably read something like, “Stay in the heart of Greenwich Village for free! Mustard required.”

But every once in a while, French friends do not come to visit, I don’t know, perhaps they’re busy looking at the Mona Lisa, or climbing the Eiffel Tower or eating a baguette. And then we find ourselves mustardless. You may think that there is photographic evidence to the contrary, but that just tells me that you’ve been skimming this post. Because I repeat: mustard that is not Amore is an insult to humanity, and possibly poison.

I know this, and yet I keep trying. Two weeks I bought the Trader Joe’s mustard, seen on your right. My husband took a sniff, and condemned it as “not sharp enough.” I know what you’re thinking and you’re right. I really should have Lorena Bobbit’s defense attorney’s number on speed dial.

One year ago ...

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

binks September 23, 2008 at 12:05 am

Speaking of mustard, you really MUST go (Or not – I’m not the boss of you) and read the very first comment to the dont-you- hate-it-when post -here .
Maybe that would be “sharp” enough for him.


Kylie w Warszawie September 23, 2008 at 2:40 am

Living in Poland has taught me that there are a billion different types of mustard, and so yes, I set the dinner table like that every night.

I had a conversation with an employee of my husband’s one day about the different types of mustard and what they are all used for. It was surprisingly fascinating.

Of course this is the same employee who told me to go hunting mushrooms in the forest and explained in great detail which ones I should NOT pick. When asked if he was a good mushroom hunter, he responded, “I’m still alive.”


Sonya September 23, 2008 at 4:45 am

Well, I admit to begging our Austrian friends to bring me a tube of the best mustard for hotdogs whenever they visit. I can’t remember the name, but it’s in a toothpaste style tube and has a branding iron or iron fork on it (obviously we ran out).

When R and I went to visit them last February, in Paris, it was that German or Austrian mustard I wanted to bring home. I did bring home a French mustard, but that was only because they packaged it in a pretty glass that I wanted to slurp wine out of at a later date….


Z September 23, 2008 at 6:07 am

I love mustard, and have that many kinds in my apt as well… But luckily, no one around here is so set in their mustard ways, and so all get eaten… Mmmmm… Mustard…


Kate Coveny Hood September 23, 2008 at 6:36 am

There have GOT to be some gourmet food stores that carry French brands. You live in NYC for gods sake. What is the point of living in the most expensive city if it doesn’t give you what you are paying for? You should be able to find whatever you want whenever you need it (and go to world class museums and restaurants – and shop in fabulous designer boutiques – but whatever).

I say make it his job to hunt down the perfect mustard. He can do his own research, conduct taste testings, bribe someone in US customs, find someone who knows a guy (again – you’re in NYC) who may have a case of Amore about to fall off the back of a truck… You’ve done your part. Now he’s got to step up and take some responsibility for his preferences.


Webradio September 23, 2008 at 6:41 am

Hello You !
Nice post…
I’ll come back…
See You later.


Insta-mom September 23, 2008 at 8:05 am

Thank God my husband has never been to Europe. He’s already picky enough about his mustard.


Sophie, Inzaburbs September 23, 2008 at 8:54 am

Your husband? Totally a mustard snob. Grey Poupon? Totally acceptable. Well, OK, in a common, hypermarkety kind of way.


Mekhismom September 23, 2008 at 9:05 am

Isn’t it funny how the littlest things can lead to disagreements. Well, I guess it isn’t a small thing for your husband. Why not buy a box and then you will have no worries.


Me September 23, 2008 at 9:20 am

I get alot of British food items from special websites. I found out about the websites from a Brit but I supposed I could have found them with some good old fashioned googling.

If I come across a French foods website, I will let you know.


Me September 23, 2008 at 9:26 am
Maura September 23, 2008 at 10:02 am

I second what Kate said above. Your ‘usband, eee needs to get, how do you say?, le clue.


Aunt Becky September 23, 2008 at 10:05 am

Will you, perhaps, consider marrying me? You’re cracking my ass up today.

And I am content with pretty much any mustard. Even the CHEAP STUFF.


PsychMamma September 23, 2008 at 12:14 pm

What IS it about mustard?? I thought my hubby was the only one. We frequently exchange words over mustard. His issue is more of a collection one. I just went and counted and we have 9 jars of various mustards in the frig. NINE!!! Horseradish, Bavarian, Beer, Hot, etc., etc. Between his mustard collection and hot sauce collection, I may just go insane someday.

I feel your pain.


anymommy September 23, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Absolutely SWORE I wasn’t commenting this week and you got me with this phrase: mustardinally incompatible. Awesome. Must comment, no matter what awesome.


Marinka September 23, 2008 at 5:11 pm

Binks–so great! so disgusting! I love it. And you are so the boss of me!

Kylie–My parents are great mushroom hunters, so I am always saying my farewells before dining. Perhaps I should send Husbandrinka to Poland for mustard exchange?

Sonya–Yes, Amore mustard comes in reusable glasses–some are wine, but we have the kiddie versions, with Narnia and Dora and some foreign looking characters that are probably chanting Death To America. It’s funny to think of Americans traveling throughout Europe buying condiments to bring back home. Because we’re so deprived here.

Z–I’m glad to hear that some people are egalitarian about their mustard. Look at me, using “egalitarian”! Hopefully correctly.


Marinka September 23, 2008 at 6:52 pm

Kate–see, this makes perfect sense and I have found the Amore at one market in NYC, carried it home like the prize it was and all was well until he pronounced the American sold Amore to be different from the French sold Amore. You feel my pain, yes?

Web- Thanks!

Insta-Mom–confiscate his passport now to minimize the risk of travel!

Anymommy–OMG, is it really you?

Psychmamma–Well, I’m glad that I’m not the only one. I look forward to a photographic blog entry about your mustard display!

Aunt Becky–I would accept your proposal, but I just read below that you want to sit next to dad, too! In which case, I may consider adopting you instead.

Sophie–Yes, but I’m worried that the snobbery is rubbing off on me, because I don’t love Grey Poupon.

MekhisMom–Oh, I will have worries!

Me (you?)–yes, that’s it exactly! Thanks for linking me. I will forward the link to Husbandrinka, but we’ve previously bough Amore in the US and he claims that it is different here than over there.

Maura–you’re so funny!


Me September 23, 2008 at 7:02 pm

I’m wondering if that Frenchy Bee website is selling it directly from France, or if it is from the American distributor (like you said).

Either way – be sure to let me know. Cuz, mustard is like so important 😉


Shelle-BlokThoughts September 23, 2008 at 8:27 pm

You girl are HILARIOUS! I think I just read through 5 of your posts…and YES Back Engine’s are NOT ornamental…I should know…I work for an airline!

So you just recruited another blog stalker! lol! 🙂

Don’t you just love binks? She’s the best!


Mama Ginger Tree September 23, 2008 at 10:26 pm

I’m late to the party here, but if I bring some mustard can I still come?

What Kate and Maura said.


Kylie w Warszawie September 24, 2008 at 12:57 am

We’ll bring you several different types of Polish mustard (my favorite: musztard chrzanowy) when we come to visit.

You have room for a family of 6 right? I’m making plane reservations right now. How’s the last week of October looking for you?


Heinous September 24, 2008 at 6:31 am

French mustard? That’s just wrong; they know nothing of mustard. That’s like having Jamaican borscht. Now Germans, they know mustard.

I feel sorry for the barbarism that your husband perpetrates on you.


uncouthheathen September 24, 2008 at 9:29 am

I probably shouldn’t say this among all these comments of foreign mustard lovers, but I just prefer the French’s mustard – that deliciously bright yellow stuff.


Rhea September 28, 2008 at 5:11 am

I’ve fallen prey to collecting mustards. I like the fruity kinds, the ones you find in tourist shops in Vermont. Cranberry mustard. Currant mustard. That kind of stuff.


melissa September 29, 2008 at 6:59 pm

i hate mustard, but i have never had mustard either (crazy picky eater) so i wonder if i hate it or just think i do. anyway, was in the grocery yesterday and totally thought of you on the mustard aisle…


ingrid October 22, 2008 at 6:13 am

😛 that makes me feel so much better about my spicy chili sauce collection. 🙂


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