It is said that mustard is the second most used spice in the United States today, brought here by immigrants from all over the world and sold in tins and glass jars. For National Mustard Day on August 1st, we are staying close to home by honoring the old and the new companies that operate here in New York City, as well as around the country.
It is said that the Romans were probably the first to experiment with the preparation of mustard as a condiment. They likely exported the mustard seed to Gaul, and by the 10th Century, monks of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris were using this knowledge to create their own interpretation. Mustard makers appeared in Paris as early as 1292, and Dijon, France became a center for Mustard making by the 13th Century.
In 1777, one of the most famous, Dijon mustard’s Grey-Poupon (now owned by Kraft) was formed between Maurice Grey, a mustard maker, and Auguste Poupon, his financial backer. The English developed their own style, believed to have originated in Tewksbury in the mid 1600s. Shakespeare, a Mustard lover himself, wrote (in Henry IV, part II), “His wit is as thick as Tewksbury Mustard!” The Germans’ first mustard factory was founded in Düsseldorf in 1726, which is still their center of mustard production today.
9. A. Bauer’s Mustard, Queens
Image Courtesy of A. Bauer Mustard
August Bauer began making mustard in 1888 in a shop on Metropolitan Avenue in Queens. He concentrated on two products – pure prepared mustard and mustard with horseradish, while his two sons delivered the condiments to local shops during the Great Depression. In 1931, this much-loved brand earned the Gold Medal at the International Fancy Food Exposition in Paris. Now, four generations later, A. Bauer is still family owned and sold through retail shops.
8. Ba-Tampte Mustard, Lower East Side
Meyer Silberstein learned the pickle business from his father and grandfather, who ran pickle stands and pushcarts on the Lower East Side. Opening his doors in 1955, selling pickles and condiments, Mr. Silberstein’s business grew. Now operating out of the Brooklyn Terminal Market Cooperative, Ba-Tampte is managed by his two sons and two grandsons. They carry but one Mustard labeled Kosher Delicatessen Style Mustard, sold in retail shops.
7. “Anarchy in a Jar” Born in Brooklyn in 2009
Photo courtesy of Anarchy in a Jar. Photograph by Leana McCarthy
Laena McCarthy was raised in the Hudson Valley by a family who made traditional jams. And so, it was no surprise to them when, after a career in science and academia, Laena decided to pursue a career in fresh, local and creative foods. She founded Anarchy in a Jar in 2009, with her home base being in Brooklyn. The company makes a variety of shelf-stable jam’s, jelly’s, and mustards. The small-batch, artisanal mustards are handmade, and there are three different kinds to choose from. Her slogan is “The revolution starts in your mouth” and it is sold in retail shops.
6. Tin Mustard
Tin Mustard is based in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and the founded by Tin Dizdarevic and the late Jan Dizdarevic in 2011. Their first outlet was Smorgasburg and the mustard can now be found in many specialty stores in New York City and around the country. Here, you can find it at Eataly, Bedford Cheese Shop, Union Market, The Brooklyn Kitchen, Bklyn Larder, Whole Foods and more. The mustards are available in wholegrain, smooth, and a dry mustard blend.
5. Maille Luxury Mustard, Upper West Side and Flatiron
Maille is New York City’s newest and only retail shop devoted to the selling of mustard. Founded in 1747 in Paris, this luxury French mustard maker has been around longer than the United States has been a country, and has served as the official mustard supplier to King Louis XV of France, Queen Victoria, Catherine II of Russia and King William IV of England.
Its first New York shop, located at 185 Columbus Avenue, near 68th Street has hundreds of bottles and dozens of mustards to choose from. A new shop at 927 Broadway in the Flatiron area opened in 2016. Overseen by Mustard Sommelier, Pierette Huttner, you can also purchase mustard on tap from $25 for a 4.4 oz jar to $99 for an 18.6 oz jar.
In addition to their specialty Mustard shop, they had a Maille Mustard Mobile here in New York City for Bastille Day last summer.
4. Woeber’s Mustard Still Family Owned Since 1905
Image via Woeber’s Facebook Page
Carol Woeber arrived in Springfield, Ohio from Germany in 1905, bringing with him his family Mustard recipes and his knowledge of the art of mustard making. His business began from home, making the Mustard in his kitchen and selling it door-to-door by horse and buggy. As Woeber’s popularity increased, his son joined the business, introducing additional products. They now have a lengthy list of Mustard products, including the popular Mister Mustard brand. Still family owned and operated today, they are now in their third generation.
3. Plochman’s Mustard Originated in Chicago in 1852
Photograph Courtesy of Plochman’s
Moritz Plochman emigrated to Chicago from Germany in 1852. As a trained chemist, he set his sights on mustard, and a local company by the name of Premium Mustard Mills, which he bought in two years. As the company began to grow, as did Moritz’s family, he moved the company near Lake Michigan. By the 1930s, his son Carl took the helm and, expanding again, moving to Cicero, a town just west of Chicago.
In 1957, they began selling their Mustard in a distinctive yellow squeeze barrel, which they received a Trademark for in 1971 under the leadership of the next generation, Carl Jr. In 1985, Kosciusko brand Mustard joined their family, as Carl Plochman III became CEO. Today they are owned by HACO, a food manufacturer headquartered in Gumligen, Switzerland.
2. Annie’s Homegrown Organics Founded in 1989
In 1989, Annie Withey and Andrew Martin set out to make a healthy and delicious macaroni & cheese. Their concept turned into an organic farm located in Hampton, Connecticut, producing vegetables, flowers and condiments for local co-op’s and farmer’s markets. Their slogan – totally natural, and the popularity of their products grew. Especially Annie’s Naturals Organic Mustard, which was purchased by Solera Capital in 2005. As of last September, 2014, Annie’s Naturals was again acquired, this time by General Mills.
1. Beaverton Foods, Inc. Family Owned Since 1929
In 1929, Rose Biggi started Beaverton Foods in the cellar of her farmhouse to help ends meet during the Great Depression. She started by grinding horseradish, bottling it and selling to local shops. Naming a mustard line after her son, Gene, it became one of her most popular items, receiving over one hundred Certificates of Excellence and Awards for quality. Now in their fourth generation, they are still family owned and operating in Beaverton, Oregon.
Bonus: The National Mustard Museum
Yes, there is a National Mustard Museum. Located in Middleton, Wisconsin, the museum has exotic mustards most have never heard of with names like Fruit Mustard and Spirit Mustard. The World of Mustard goes on way past the eight we bring you today. But if Wisconsin is too far to travel, you can become a “Friend of the Mustard Museum” or join the conversation on their Mustard Blog.
There are many Mustard Brands worthy of discussion, but there are only so many hours in National Mustard Day, and so we will leave mention of the others to the Fine Food Purveyors throughout our City whose shelves are stocked with Colman’s, Edmond Fallot, Pommery, Briards and others. You will even find your favorite stores with their very own Brands like Trader Joe’s Whole Grain Dijon, Whole Foods 365, Herlocher’s Dipping, and then there is Grey Poupon, Guidens, Frenches and on and on. We also want to leave you with the knowledge that there are beneficial properties of Mustard as well. At the end of the day, we think you will find that each of our Eight will “cut the mustard” on National Mustard Day.
Next, check out the top 10 hidden restaurants in New York City. Get in touch with the author at AFineLyne.