just seen the movie Sling Blade on video with
its classic line Mustard’s good on ’em to me we
simply could not resist a trip to Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin and
its world famous Mustard Museum. Much to our delight, what
we discovered was a confluence of cheesy tourist diversions.
A veritable treasure
After a few
the drive. The Tin Man
of Oz fame, who doubles as a mailbox, showed us the spot. We were
given a welcoming wave from the couple up by the house so we got
out and walked across the little bridge to say hey.
Wally employs kinetic energy in many of his creatures,
giving them interesting movement and sound. Folks in these parts
have come to know the Kellers well and will special order works
or drop off an unneeded hunk of scrap metal or two. Many a morning
Wally wakes up to discover these late night offerings next to his
With the Tin
Man in our rearview mirror, we headed out for the last few miles
into the mustard Mecca. Driving into town on Main Street it quickly
became obvious that something strange was afoot. Ever feel like
somebody’s watching you? Well, in Mt. Horeb they actually are.
Dozens of diminutive, below the bridge dwellers of all shapes
and sizes — wooden trolls, metal trolls, big trolls, little trolls,
painted trolls, ceramic trolls, you name it, all lining the roadway
they call the Trollway.
literally said, “wow, it’s really yellow in here.”
Why? Because it freaking IS.
those who think of mustard as a plastic squeeze bottle of
bright yellow goo, the Mustard Museum will give some food
for thought. Over five thousand different mustards are on
exhibit in the museum and more than five hundred on sale in the shop.
The shop also houses the worlds only mustard vending machine.
exhibits showcasing mustard in medicine, mustards love
affair with sports and mustard advertising through the ages
line the walls. On the medical front, it looks as though mustard,
as a treatment for pulmonary diseases, snake bites and skin
rashes is no longer on the forefront of
the healing arts, but some folks still swear by mustard rubs and
baths. Go ahead and smear on some Frenchs or draw a tubful
of Plochman’s if you think it will help. Seems like an
of squeezing but well be standing by with some pastrami at
the full mustard experience — without actually wallowing
in it –we decided we must procure some for our personal consumption.
We proceeded to the tasting area. After choosing several we
thought we might like, we were led to a table in the back
where tiny samples of assorted mustard
styles are offered on little plastic spoons. We can honestly say
wed never had mustard straight before, silly rabbit — mustard’s
a condiment. Even Davids weird little
friend back in grade
school, Donny The Mustard Eater, made sandwiches out of it — he
never ate it straight up. The samples couldve used a chaser.
Perhaps a bratwurst.
took a crack at eye-watering horseradish style, tongue-burning
habanero and sickly sweet honey varieties.
We passed on
the “Bite Me” and the “Smack My Ass & Call Me
Sally,” but like Goldilocks, found a just right German stone
ground and a not too ferocious jalapeno. Now thats good eatin.
safely tucked into our bag, it was off to University, Poupon
U — right there in the shop. At least their swag is. With
a slogan like “building character dollop by dollop”
they must be good. Ah, if only our offspring had known about
Poupon U before they chose those other institutions
of higher learning.
videos on the making
of mustard mixed in with goofy celebrity sound bites. It’s great
— Jonathan Winters, Joanne Worley and Woody Allen proclaiming
their undying love of mustard.
As we were
leaving we met the curator, author and all around wacky guy, Barry
Levenson. When asked why the museum is moving from Mt. Horeb to
Middleton, Wisconsin this fall, he answered, “It’s the only
way to get there.”
David & Veronica,