Get Stuffed - Mayo and mustard 

The big ‘Mmmms’ of summer fare

Summer time and the livin’ is easy – so shut down the stove, fire up the grill and throw on some smokies or wienies or burgers. Grab the mustard, the mayo and the relish – or pesto these days – and chop up a few sweet onions. And start building your best meal on a bun.

So what kind of an M&M person are you? A mayo on the bun only with mustard on the meat type? Or do you slather both all over anything that doesn’t move? Check it out the next time you’re at a group picnic or bar-b, you’ll see that just about everybody has their own unique ritual when it comes to mayo and mustard.

Whatever your personal style is, you have to admit that life wouldn’t be the same without the sassy touch of these two condiments. This is doubly true in summer when simplicity and ease are the bywords, and sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs take over the dining department.

Before we carry on, though, I should go on record that Sriracha chili sauce and tamarind chutney are also big sellers around our house when it comes to spicing up bun-food. It’s only due to space limitations that we’re sticking to a pretty Euro-centric view of summer condiments here – the two big Ms.

And we’re doing it with a man who definitely knows his spices – Chef Bernard Casavant, co-owner (with his wife Bonnie) of Chef Bernard’s Café, BBK’s Pub, Blackcomb Liquor Store, and creator of his own line of condiments called Ciao Thyme. Chef Bernard has a list of culinary credentials as long as a ribbon of pasta but, more importantly, he relishes the twin dynamos, mayo and mustard.

The many faces of mustard

Mustard: either you love it or hate it. When I was a kid, I cried for half an hour when a well-intentioned babysitter slathered it all over my bologna sandwich. Chef Bernard, on the other hand, happens to love mustard, especially Dijon-style.

But no matter how much anyone loves mustard, it would be hard to beat the mustard fanatic in Wisconsin who opened a mustard museum. At last count it featured nearly 2,000 varieties. Unbelievable. With honey mustard, Dijon-style, a Russian one that knocks your teeth out, and a jar of bright yellow French’s, which finds its tangy way into the occasional hot dog, I thought we had a fair assortment on our shelves.

Mustard is no new kid on the condiment shelf. Mustard plants have been cultivated for more than 2,000 years. It was particularly popular during medieval times because of its ability to disguise the taste of rancid meat. Yummy. One historical account describes a banquet of 50 guests who spooned their way through a half gallon of the stuff.

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