Posted by: thewoobdog | April 13, 2007

Mustard, Part Deux

Okay, so whilst blogging about mustard my curiosity was aroused even further as regards this wonderful animal… er, mineral… no, vegetable…

So I did a general search on mustard and who knew it was such a versatile little critter!  Check this out:


a. The name of several cruciferous plants of the genus Brassica (formerly Sinapis), as white mustard (B. alba), black mustard (B. Nigra), wild mustard or charlock (B. Sinapistrum).

b. A powder or a paste made from the seeds of black or white mustard, used as a condiment and a rubefacient. Taken internally it is stimulant and diuretic, and in large doses is emetic.

“the drowsy forgetful evil,  to use it both inwardly and outwardly, to rub the nostrils, forehead, and temples, to warm and quicken the spirits… the decoction of the seeds… resists the malignity of mushrooms… Being chewed in the mouth it oftentimes helps the tooth-ache.  It is also used to help the falling off the hair.  The seed bruised, mixed with honey, and applied, or made up with wax, takes away the marks and black and blue spots of bruises or the like… it helps also the crick in the neck…”

– Nicholas Culpepper (on black mustard) (1649)

See, I told you mustard rocks.  If only mustard had an ad campaign as good as pork or Mac, I think it could really take off mainstream and make a great impact for the good on our society as a whole.  I mean, it’s first-aid in a jar, people.  Cheap drug alternative.  Think of all the people who could be weaned off Medicare and crappy prescription drugs… No, wait.  It would never happen.  The minute mustard took off as a healthful remedy for various ailments, you’d have drug companies putting it in superconcentrated pill form and charging $15 a bottle for it… then all the capitalist health-nut companies would jump on it and sell superconcentrated organic mustard for $25 a bottle…  Maybe it’s just better if we keep this mustard thing to ourselves, mmmkay?  Yeah.

On an entirely separate note (well, not entirely separate – I mean, we’re still talking about mustard here, but in a more literary sense, if you see what I mean), who knew mustard was in so many great quotes?  If books had an iMDB, these would definitely be in the ‘memorable quotes’ sections.  I may have to incorporate them into my repertoire of wondrous quotes that I can never seem to quite remember right…:

“A tale without love is like beef without mustard, an insipid dish.”
Anatole France, French author

“…..the seede of Mustard pounded with vinegar is an excellent sauce, good to be eaten with any grosse meates, either fish or flesh, because it doth help digestion, warmeth the stomache and provoketh appetite.”
John Gerard (1623)

“….try the mustard, — a man can’t know what turnips are in perfection without mustard.”
Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens)
(1835-1910) The Gilded Age (1873)

I think they really speak for themselves, so I’ll leave them without further comment for your cogitative pleasure.  Please, feel free to comment on the greatness of mustard (or simply the oddness of the phrase ‘grosse meates’) in the handy-dandy section provided below for your feedback.


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