Mustard Bonanza

Yesterday's post was the bacon showdown between the Czech and English bacon with the results being a dead on tie. Today it is another showdown. This time its mustard. 

In this corner we have Caraway Seed mustard. Weighing in with ingredients including caraway seeds, beer, white wine, salt and "spices".

Caraway Mustard

In the other corner we have Bavarian Sweet mustard. Ingredients include mustard seeds, beer, dark cane sugar, salt, and "spices". 

Sweet Bavarian Mustard

Just like the bacon challenge both mustards were from Kocurek Family Charcuterie. As a matter of full disclosure I receive no compensation from Kocurek.

Though I would like to. 

Seriously, free sausage would rock my world. 

Just saying. 

The first time I tasted the mustard I just about choked. It had nothing to do with the mustard and everything about expectations. My loving wife who said she was getting some ice cream and wandered off into the kitchen came back with two spoons and told me to open my mouth. Being a good blindly obedient husband I opened my mouth anticipating a cool creamy treat. Instead she had put the mustard on a couple of spoons. My reaction was instant and repellent.

I know those with a refined palate can easily taste condiments by themselves. OK, well my palate is not that refined. I think the initial shock of the ice cream/mustard substitution stuck for a few minutes because even when my wife put a little on wheat thins the taste didn't agree with me. 

So I though about what fine dining dish would best allow me to analyze and break down the flavors and subtle undertones of the two mustards. Would it be prosciutto, roast beef, braised pork belly? No, I knew I would need something more substantial. I would need something that hands down would be the true measure of mustard. 

I knew there could only be one food I could use....
Hot dogs with Caraway Mustard (left) and Sweet Bavarian Mustard (right)

That's right. For me, regular ole' hot dogs are the true measure of any mustard. Again, I make no pretensions about having a super refined palate. In this case I just used Ball Park beef franks. Over the last couple of months I've tried to steer more away from processed foods but when we got the mustard I knew I needed regular processed hot dogs. 

I could have gotten frankfurters from Kocurek also ( I hear they are really good) but I was concerned having both new hot dogs and new mustard wouldn't let me sample the mustard. I wouldn't know how much of the taste came from the franks and how much from the mustard. 

Looking at the pictures above it looks like I caked on the mustard and you might have expected the mustard to completely overwhelm the hot dogs. Surprisingly not. The taste of both was remarkably restrained considered how much I put on. I liked both. You might also suspect (based on the pictures above) that both would be "seedy" to the point of ruining the texture of whatever was eaten with mustard. Also, surprisingly not. Neither was seedy to the point of being distracting though the Caraway mustard was slightly more seedy than the Bavarian. 

Both have that slightly bitter taste with the Bavarian having a stronger bitterness than the Caraway. Probably (or maybe) because the Bavarian has both beer and vinegar. In many cases the beer substitutes the vinegar instead of both being used. 

The Caraway taste in the Caraway mustard really comes out when eating it and sifting through the mustard with your tongue. That sounds kind of gross and what I really mean is rolling the seeds aside while swallowing then really tasting the Caraway. 

Both were good and I would recommended both but if I was on desert island with only one mustard (and hot dogs) I would probably go with the Sweet Bavarian. The great thing about the Bavarian was it was only slightly sweet and not the overwhelming sweetness you find in store bought brands. 

Overall I would give both mustards a big spoon up. 

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