On the Nationwide Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wisconsin, there’s solely love for one condiment.
And in the event you dare say the “Ok-word,” founder and curator Barry Levenson will loudly toot his “honk of disgrace.”
The 74-year-old Levenson began accumulating mustards in 1986 after his beloved Crimson Sox misplaced the World Sequence. “I used to be so depressed I could not sleep. So I went to an all-night grocery store and once I handed the mustards, I heard a voice that mentioned, ‘in the event you gather us, they may come.’ I did. They’ve,” he mentioned.
On the time, Levenson was an assistant legal professional normal for the state of Wisconsin. A number of years later, he improbably give up his job to open a museum to mustard. In the present day the free nonprofit attracts 30,000 to 35,000 guests annually. His assortment has grown to six,600 mustards from all 50 states and over 80 nations.
From the mustard merchandising machine to the mustard-piece theater, the museum is delightfully wacky, historic and academic.
It additionally doubles as a higher-ed establishment referred to as Poupon U, with combat songs that Levenson made as much as the tunes of actual school songs.
On a current afternoon, Levenson delighted a visiting couple with these lyrics:
“Bratwurst and scorching canine; hamburgers too.
All with the mustard unfold on thick.
We by no means eat ketchup as a result of it makes you sick.
We slather it on our bagels and fries.
Licorice and corn flakes; blueberry pies.
Even with our Irish stew.
As a result of we’re true to Poupon U.”
In fact, there is a tasting bar the place you’ll be able to pattern some 60 mustards, together with current winners of the worldwide mustard competitors held on the museum.
Additionally held yearly proper exterior the museum is a big yellow celebration for Nationwide Mustard Day, which falls on the primary Saturday of August. Levenson would not inform Scripps Information which mustard he prefers as a result of “that is like who’s your favourite little one.”
However one factor is obvious: his ardour for mustard and spreading pleasure is aware of no bounds.
“I feel individuals extra laughs and extra lighthearted issues to refill their lives,” he mentioned.
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