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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of

This week, facts about....mustard.


CURWOOD: A mustard seed isn't much, but if you add water it makes a marvelous pungent spice. Its flavor can be preserved with lemon juice or vinegar or just about any kind of alcohol. For thousands of years, mustard has not only been used for food, it's also been used for medicine and ritual. Here in North America, Benjamin Jackson, Philadelphia entrepreneur, started selling a Dijon type of mustard spread some 230 years ago this month. Dijon, France was and still is the mustard-making capital of the world. Most mustard seed, though, comes from Canada. Like many spices, mustard has traditionally been used to mask the smell of rancid meat. Today, mustard makers cater to a more discerning palate. And if the supermarket selection isn't enough for you, there's the mustard museum in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin, where nearly 3,000 kinds of mustard are on display. Among them are mustards made with truffles, whiskey, blueberries, even Guinness Stout. And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.



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