The first Saturday in August sees us celebrate National Mustard Day. Mustard is a condiment made from the seeds of a mustard plant. The whole, bruised, cracked, or ground seeds are mixed with liquid (water, lemon juice, vinegar, oil), salt and sometimes spices to create a sauce or paste.
Some interesting facts about mustard!
- Mustard was first recorded as being prepared by wealthy Romans, who mixed wine and mustard seeds and added it to their meals.
- America is the country that uses the most mustard in the world, with yellow mustard (a mild, American-style condiment, often used on hot dogs) being the most commonly used. Because of this, the rest of the world refers to it as American mustard.
- Mustard is healthy: its seeds are full of nutrients and antioxidants. They contain selenium, omega-3 and 6, potassium, magnesium and calcium, which have anti-inflammatory properties and are also supposed to speed up the metabolism and lower blood pressure.
- Before people began eating mustard, it was used for medicinal purposes. French monks were known to use mustard to treat their wounds while Greeks used it to relieve muscles, cure toothaches and stimulate appetite and digestion. A mustard bath is a traditional therapeutic remedy for tired, stressed muscles, colds, fevers and seizures. The mustard was thought to draw out toxins and warm the muscles, blood and body. It was a standard medical practice up until the first part of the twentieth century and continues to be used in alternative medicine.
- Did you know there is a National Mustard Museum? Opening in 1986 by founder and mustard collector Barry Levenson. The museum opened to the public in 1992 in Mount Hroeb and consists of 5600 prepared mustards from over 70 countries. The museum became the sponsor of National Mustard Day in 1991 which sees events taking place raising thousands of dollars for a local charity.
What better reason to hold a National Mustard Day event? Why not make some hotdogs, smother them in your favourite mustard and ask people to contribute to your local charity?