Don't Pass the Grey Poupon: One Man's Journey Through Mustard

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For as long as I have had functioning taste buds, mustard has never really been my thing. What I'm saying is: I haven't given mustard a full-blown, balls-to the-wall chance in several years.

Maybe it's because I have persuaded myself I loathe it and forevermore want nothing to do with it. Perhaps it's because I've just always preferred ketchup -- and not just ketchup, but other condiments. (BBQ sauce? Hellyeah. Ranch? Count me in. Mayo? *fist bump*)

This unwavering appreciation I possess for other condiments makes my dislike of mustard all the more curious. I want to like mustard -- really, I like the idea of being handed any sandwich setup in the world and feeling comfortable eating it.

So, as the title matter-of-factly states, I'm going to give the yella' stuff one more shot. I can't promise anything is going to be different, but here's what I can promise -- I'll give four different types of mustard the old college try and see if any of them arouse my taste buds this time around rather than leaving them disgruntled and flaccid.

I will dip no less than five McDonald's French fries into each type of mustard, with every fry receiving a thorough and consistent mustard bath.

The following mustards will be used, and the number by their name indicates how reluctant I am (out of 10) to eat a heaping fry-full of it:

- Dijon mustard (8)

- Honey mustard (7) 

- Yellow mustard (10)

- Spicy brown mustard (9)

So, without further ado, my observations on the four different mustard varieties (I should note that their collective scent is already starting to make me feel a little uneasy):

Dijon: Good God, I feel like a hive-full of angry bee's stung my tongue the moment that Dijon passed through my lips. It was spicy. Too spicy. I am now immediately more concerned about the spicy brown than I am the yellow. I expected the Dijon to be the tamest, with its pastel-like yellow appearance and all. Not the case. My gut reaction was the reaction children have when forced to drink cough medicine - pissy and making some sort of extended "guhhhh" sound. I drank three large gulps of water and ate half of a cracker afterward, and I still feel that Dijon hangin' in the back of my throat, seemingly setting up shop for the next few hours. Visions of the old Grey Poupon commercials flash through my head as I drink another cup-and-a-half of water and prepare myself mentally, physically and spiritually for the next three 'turds.

Honey: I'm pretty optimistic that honey, as you can see in the reluctance scale above, is likely to be my favorite of the bunch; or rather, my least-despised. I mean, I love honey... how bad could this be?

*Takes heaping bite*

Oh, pretty bad. .

Yellow: As I find myself halfway through this test, a light headache is beginning to form. I take a bite, and my head instinctively begins to shake violently from side-to-side. It seems the yellow mustard-coated fry took for more than 10 minutes to exit my mouth before it began its journey through my digestive system.

The thought that every day, millions and million of people put this shit on their sandwiches boggles my mind. The best way I can describe its taste is "toxic", and the picture on the bottle of curvy-lined mustard atop a hot dog is not doing me any favors. It's akin to looking at Faces of Death, only more mustard-y.

Spicy Brown: I should make it clear that my hand is now shaking. This spicy brown is far and away the shtankiest looking. There are only five ingredients in this, and the only ones I like are water and salt. Here we go: JEEBUS!. This is brutal.


It's thicker than the other three, thicker and ploppier. After I took my first bite of it, I took one long, slow breath in...it was a huge mistake, to be sure. In addition to the aroma, which has increased roughly tenfold since the start of this experiment, the taste lingered on as well. It's as if this mustard somehow farted right in my mouth. In a perfect world, I'd give you the play-by-play of what I'm tasting (a la Andrew Zimmern), however, this spicy brown mess has me not even thinking straight.

Rough taste aside, the speckled nature of this mustard looks like exfoliating scrub, which probably tastes better.I will have no mustard renaissance in the coming decades as I have for avocado, tomato, and the like. Instead, mustard is now, without question, added to my blackballed list right beside mushrooms, Bloody Mary's and gelfilte fish.

Ketchup for the win.

Follow City of Ate on Twitter: @cityofate.

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