Updated August 2021
I’ve never met a strange, niche museum I didn’t like and the National Mustard Museum just outside of Madison is no exception. With more than 5,500 varieties of mustard and a fantastic sense of humor, the museum is the world’s largest collection of prepared mustards.
During our trip to Madison, we made a quick afternoon stop at the museum before heading back to Iowa. We were delighted by the large collection of mustards to admire (and to sample). But also loved the interactive, hilarious nature of the space. Find your perfect mustard. Or pick out some apparel from the museum’s fictional university—Poupon U—to send home to your, well, less mature friends.
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About the National Mustard Museum
The museum’s founder and “mustard curator” Barry Levenso began collecting mustards on October 27, 1986. Distraught over the Boston Red Sox World Series loss to the Mets, Barry found himself wandering the aisles of a grocery store late at night. There, according to the museum’s website, “Barry heard a deep, resonant voice as he passed the mustards: ‘If you collect us, they will come.'” (How could I resist a story with a Field of Dreams reference?)
So he grabbed a dozen bottles of mustard off the shelf. Then decided what would distract him from his baseball heartbreak. He would attempt to amass the world’s largest collection of prepared mustards. In 1991, Barry left his job as the Assistant Attorney General of Wisconsin to pursue his love of mustard full-time. On April 5, 1992 the original Mustard Museum opened in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin.
After outgrowing its space, the museum moved to its current location in Middleton, Wisconsin in 2009. Today the museum’s ever-growing collection consists of 5,624 mustards and hundreds of items of other mustard-themed items.
Visit The National Mustard Museum
The National Mustard Museum is free to visit and a great stop, whether you consider yourself a mustard enthusiast or not. After wandering around the lower level of the museum, head upstairs. Taste some mustards to take home for a collection of your own.
I opted for the Slimm & Nunne Sweet Hot Mustard—one of the museum’s best-sellers—(which I made amazing breaded chicken with) and the Delicae Gourmet Mango Cilantro Mustard (which I can’t wait to try). Plus, when you make a purchase, you get to honk the mustard horn and who doesn’t want to do that?
The museum is open seven days a week, 10 am to 5 pm, excluding a handful of holidays and special events.
National Mustard Museum, 7477 Hubbard Avenue in Middleton, Wisconsin
Share Your Thoughts
I would love to hear from you! Are you a mustard fan? Have you visited the National Mustard Museum?