[image-1] When it comes to condiments, mustard enthusiasts might be the most obsessed (don’t @ me ketchup fiends). I base this statement entirely off of witnessing City Paper‘s own Mary Scott Hardaway’s mustard love, an appreciation that’s so deep, we’ve come to call her Mary Mustard. The woman is never without a bottle of the yellow goo and there’s nary a food she doesn’t feel could benefit from adding a dollop — crackers, grapes, and walnuts…
That may sound wack, but Mary Mustard’s ilk are legion. In fact, there’s an entire museum dedicated to mustard appreciation — the National Mustard Museum.
Housed in Middleton, Wisconsin, the museum reports to be the largest repository for all things mustard along with 5,992 mustards from all 50 states and more than 70 countries.
And, not surprisingly, the museum holds an annual world-wide mustard competition each year, or, as the museum calls it “the Grand Poobah of Moutarde.” The battle includes 16 categories where a panel judges everything from American Yellow to Herb/Wasabi mustards. (Incidentally, Charleston native and former professional baseball player Gorman Thomas a.k.a. Stormin Sauce by Gorman Thomas, took the gold medal in the competition’s mustard-based barbecue sauce.)
For this year’s competition, Charleston’s Burnt & Salty, owned by Cris Miller and Edmund’s Oast Chef Bob Cook, took home a bronze medal in the Exotic Mustard category for their original Korean Mustard recipe.
Made from sesame oil, soy sauce, fermented pepper paste, Korean pepper powder, and fish sauce, Burnt & Salty was one of 24 entries in the Exotic category.
“As a small business in the daily grind of making our product and distribution, and testing a fifth product, to get this award was very validating,” says Miller.
Miller and Cook launched Burnt & Salty three years ago and Miller says they’ve seen 20 percent growth within that time. Currently they make all of their products themselves in a commercial kitchen in Walterboro and handle all the distribution as well.
That could become more challenging with their growing popularity, however. Burnt & Salty is predominately sold in retailers around the Southeast, but Miller has been fielding calls as far away as Maine in the last week.
Locally, you can get your hands on a bottle at Veggie Bin, Ted’s Butcherblock, Mercantile, Boone Hall Market, and Blackbird Market on Johns Island. For more information, visit burntandsalty.com.