I was walking through the aisles of Zabar's on the Upper West Side of Manhattan the other day, and my eye was distracted by a bottle of mustard. I didn't recognize the shape of the bottle, and hadn't seen the label yet, but the color and texture were unmistakable. I thought--is that Stadium Mustard?
Stadium Mustard was the famous brown mustard served on hot dogs at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, where the Family of Food grew up before we were all dispersed to the four winds. Everyone in Cleveland loved Stadium Mustard. Father of Food still orders it by the case and has it shipped to Las Vegas. How long does it take to consume a case of mustard?
I picked up the bottle, and the label said "Cleveland's Famous Original Bertman Ball Park Mustard," made in Cleveland, Ohio. So was it Stadium Mustard? Bertman was a familiar name, but why not call it "Stadium Mustard"?
Well, it seems there are two companies making this mustard now, and both of them claim to be the original. Here's a link to another blog that offers a plausible story about how Stadium Mustard got shut out of the Stadium and chaos ensued--
Poster "Buckeye1" gives a similar version on this discussion forum thread--
Bertman adherents claim that Stadium Mustard got the name, but Bertman got the recipe. Stadium Mustard claims to be the mustard served in Cleveland Stadium for more than 50 years. I don't know which account is true, but Bertman Ball Park Mustard tastes like the real deal--a spicy tangy smooth brown mustard with a good mustard flavor that's not overshadowed by turmeric or hot pepper. When we last visited Father of Food, though, the Stadium Mustard also tasted like Stadium Mustard, so next trip I'll have to bring a bottle of Bertman Ball Park Mustard with me for a real side-by-side taste test.
Until then, you can get Stadium Mustard from
and you can purchase Bertman Ball Park Mustard from
or in more sizes from
if you don't happen to be browsing the aisles in Zabar's (where it's cheaper, by the way--notice the price tag in the picture of the 9 oz. bottle) or watching an Indians game at Jacobs Field (where they serve Bertman's).