Mike the Mad Biologist

The ‘Elitism’ of Dijon Mustard

Having been at Genome Camp (a.k.a. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories Biology of Genomes meeting) last week, I didn’t have time to blog about the latest movement conservative idiocy of getting all het up about Obama asking for Dijon mustard at a restaurant. It’s clearly another instance of attempting to place Democrats in cultural opposition to ‘real’ Americans, as Jesse Taylor notes:

But perhaps the strangest part of all this is that when Democrats get hit for elitism (Kerry’s cheesesteak, Obama’s mustard), they’re asking for things that the places in question had in stock to sell to customers. I could understand some hearty mockery if Obama had walked up to a Burger King and asked for lasagna; that would just be clueless. But the idea that you have established your elite bonafides by walking up to an otherwise perfectly acceptable place of business and asking for a thing that they sell makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

It also makes going to dinner with these people a potentially legendary exercise in clueless neuroses, with fifteen minutes spent determining whether or not it’s okay to get a mushroom swiss burger without seeming too liberal or elitist or willing to spend 50 cents extra to eat the food that’s on the menu. Laura Ingraham is probably still boycotting her neighborhood Chinese restaurant until they put fried chicken wings and potato chips on the menu, refusing to bow to the Chi-Coms’ insistence that we eat noodles other than spaghetti and sauces that aren’t tomato-based. Bravery in action? The answer must be yes.

What’s sad is that there are probably many Fox ‘News’ viewers who are now vowing to stop buying Dijon mustard. It reminds me of Taibbi’s experiment where he convinced evangelicals that fortune cookies were Satanic. Once an authority figure or those who claim to speak on behalf of an authority figure-in the case of Dijon mustard, a mythical ‘real’ American-decrees that something is evil, the authoritarian followers march in lockstep.

Mustard bagging, anyone?

Comments

  1. #1 Aaron Golas
    May 11, 2009

    Clearly, it’s the Barenaked Ladies’ fault that dijon is stigmatized.

    If I had a million dollars
    We wouldn’t have to eat Kraft Dinner
    But we would eat Kraft Dinner
    Of course we would, we’d just eat more
    And buy really expensive ketchups with it
    That’s right, all the fanciest… dijon ketchups!

  2. #2 Pineyman
    May 11, 2009

    Mike –

    Here’s an idea reminiscent of GHWB’s broccoli moment:

    Get the word out to all your fellow bloggers that the readership (us) should send one jar of Dijon mustard to each one of these asswipe mother f*ckers. Set a date, set a target amount of jars and let’s show these neuronally challenged twits some support for our elected prez.

    Seriously. I am so frigging there.

  3. #3 Pineyman
    May 11, 2009

    Oh – forgot the full disclaimer:

    I use mustard on my burgers too.

  4. #4 The Science Pundit
    May 11, 2009

    The Grey Poupon dijon mustard in my fridge is in a plastic squeeze bottle. Yeah, I sure feel like an elitist.

  5. #5 JThompson
    May 11, 2009

    On first reading this I was really hoping it was a joke.
    Every time I see something like this I think “This is a joke. Has to be. People can’t really be that stupid. It’s not possible.”.
    Then it never is a joke.

    I wonder if we can use this kind of stuff to our advantage. “Satanists profit from coal based energy and hate solar panels!” or “Using petroleum products is elitist!” Even though we might have to dumb petroleum down to gasoline.

    @Pineyman: That sounds like a waste of a lot of money that could be put to better use. I’d rather donate the money to a worthy cause and ignore the morons. They’d only enjoy the attention anyway.

  6. #6 Immunologist
    May 11, 2009

    My mother was raised in OK, and she, her sister, and all my relatives lived there put mustard on hamburgers and ketchup on hot dogs. Apparently that’s they way they did in in Tulsa back in the day. Amazingly, in all this time I had no idea she was an elitist…

  7. #7 rb
    May 11, 2009

    you want mustard? go to the mustard museum in Mt. Horeb Wisconsin….mmmmmm yum.

    amazing varieties exist all over the world.

  8. #8 chezjake
    May 11, 2009

    Idiots! Grey Poupon is a Dijon-style mustard, made and sold in the US by Kraft Foods.

    Is it un-American to appreciate real flavor?

  9. #9 addie
    May 11, 2009

    Um, who has the heiress wife and 10 houses? whose father was also president?
    aristocratic elitism over mustard is so sad.

  10. #10 Silent Bob
    May 11, 2009

    Elitism? The president was ordering a HAMBURGER, for christ’s sake.

  11. #11 SimonG
    May 11, 2009

    The idea that Dijon mustard is elitist is, itself elitist. Why shouldn’t everybody enjoy nice things?

  12. #12 Grumpy Old Man
    May 11, 2009

    My sister-in-law keeps going to that darned mustard museum and sending us ‘stuff’ – now we like hot sauce and mustard like everyone else but who needs 23 tiny jars of “sinus searing Hit & Run”-type mustards or “ball bustin’ hot sauce” (er, actually I bought that one on my way past Clinton, MT’s Testicle Festival). We finally had to throw a lot of them out. I gave one to a friend at work who liked hot sauce – it was something like “you can’t make it too hot for me” sauce and came with an eye-dropper. He put a drop on his tongue, turned bright red, fell to his knees, and began sweating profusely. He did not move for 10 minutes then got up and said “Gawd that was good”

    Sigh! Now that is elitist.

  13. #13 blf
    May 11, 2009

    Aw dogs! I must really be an elitist! I live in France, and just last week purchased from the shop that makes it Moutarde aux herbes de provence. Haven’t tried it yet, so nothing to report, albeit I’ve purchased other mustards from that shop and they’re quite good. The currently open jar is an organic Moutard de forte à l’ortie. And I thought I had a real Dijon mustard someplace, but can’t seem to find it now; albeit I do have some organic mustard seed (bought in Ireland).

  14. #14 Trin Tragula
    May 11, 2009

    Has Hannity scheduled that waterboarding he volunteered for yet? I say keep boarding him until he admits that he likes Dijon mustard.

  15. #15 Oran
    May 11, 2009

    I am a little offended that anyone would confuse “spicy mustard” with Dijon mustard. They are not the same! But I guess they both have their place depending on your tastes.

    I wonder what’s on the menu at the Fox Sports Grill… nothing too elitist like mustard, but probably some more down-to-earth condiments like “a squeeze of fresh lemon and garlic aioli” and “remoulade”.

  16. #16 Neuroskeptic
    May 12, 2009

    I don’t even know what Dijon mustard is but now I want some.

  17. #17 Neuroskeptic
    May 15, 2009

    I bought some. I’ll let you all know how it is.

  18. #18 Brian X
    May 17, 2009

    neuroskeptic:

    It’s just mustard, made in France, using verjus or wine as a moistening ingredient. It’s good stuff — zingy with a tiny hint of tartness in the background — but it’s pretty pedestrian these days. I get it for about $2.70 a jar at Trader Joe’s.

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