Fair warning: this will seem like the most product placement-y post I've ever done. In order to tell the story accurately though, its just gotta be done. Nor did I get paid. Unless someone wants to pay me.
Sure, you can read a multitude of my blog posts and assume that my palate has matured over the years. As a kid, I certainly demoed the expected pickiness and did my damnedest to fight off the produce in favor of the processed. The usual suspects included Kraft macaroni and cheese, sugary cereals and Miracle Whip. No judgments here, much of this stuff was cheap and easy and Lord knows my folks wielded every trick in the book to get me to eat healthy fresh fruits and vegetables and remembering my family's bountiful vegetable gardens, I could kick myself for the homegrown goodness I denied myself in the younger days. Luckily, I was not a lost cause in these respects and by middle and high school, the budding taste buds starting to embrace the homegrown cucumbers, peppers and greens. Some, like tomatoes, took me all the way to the college years to appreciate. Looking back, its hard to believe I was ever that particular, but live and learn, right?
Some favored tastes for my childhood never go away, though. Chief among these is my unbridled adoration for French's yellow mustard. The first time I had it was on a ham and cheese sandwich and it was a taste of mustardy magic for me. My friend Kaki calls it kid mustard and I actually ate mustard sandwiches as a kid. Picture it, St. Marys, West Virginia, in my Dad's dusty garage aka My Childhood Clubhouse, with the back garage doors wide open to the summer breezes; the small wooden Magnavox radio tuned to WXIL 95.1 playing some Top 40 hit of the time like Shannon or Undercover Angel or Disco Duck; my Mom making my bestie Kristy and I mustard sandwiches with a side of kosher dill pickles. And yes...it had to be French's. French's is a taste of childhood as are many things, but unlike some childhood food loves, the gripping passion I have for French's mustard has never waned. To this day, my go-to burger toppings are yellow mustard and dill pickles. I know that I am also a part of a not-so-secret society.....there are many folks I know who swear by it, whether they admit it or not. In fact, I know of one well-to-do KC native who insists its available just about wherever he goes.
Mustard is indeed my favorite condiment and there are many that I love. I typically have creole and Dijon mustard in the fridge and have occasional flirtations with beer and hot mustard. None have or probably will ever have the exalted position that French's yellow mustard holds for me. Just about everything is better with French's.
Check out the video for some other vintage French's goodness...a classic French's commercial from the 80's.