France wants us to know things are serious. The mustard can’t be cut. The Colonel is gone; there’s not even a lowly private. Yes, friends, the mustard is, well, missing. The “New York Times” reports the extreme shortage of France’s most beloved condiment has resulted in nationwide despondency and desperation. If you can forgive the pun, Eiffel for them. So devastated are the French by the abrupt demise of mustard, they can scarcely find the strength to think they’re better than us.
I get it. It hasn’t been that long ago the hateful pandemic spawned harrowing supply chain issues that resulted in empty shelves where my beloved Duke’s mayonnaise used to reliably be found. The shelves were completely bare where Duke’s always sat beside those other mayos, the ones better suited for someone whose palate was made of cardboard.
So, from across the pond, I honor your pain, France.
When your most beloved condiment is simply not there, you literally stop in your tracks and stare at the shelf as though you can make it reappear simply by willing it to be so. Oui you do.
It almost doesn’t matter the reason for the sudden disappearance of mustard, so great is the disappointment. Sausages and sandwiches just aren’t the same without a proper slathering of simple yellow or its snootier cousin who goes to private school, Dijon.
Some of you remember the clever “Grey Poupon” meet cute in which two chauffeured gents recognized their own kind. “Pardon me, do you have some Grey Poupon?” managed to make an advertising campaign built entirely on elitism and snobbery seem downright charming. Yellow mustard? Do I look like a peasant?
The “Times” explains the “mustard crisis” is the result of global warming, Covid supply problems and the rising cost of those lil seeds that I bet French folks don’t even know were always used in Vacation Bible School throughout the American South to illustrate the smallest amount of faith required to be a proper child o’ God.
The biggest blow may be the realization that most of the mustard seeds were harvested in, er, Canada, which they told us in sixth grade World Geography was absolutely not all that close to France. I don’t think.
Frightfully high temperatures killed off most of the mustard seeds being grown in Alberta, Canada, leaving real-life French chefs begging via all their social media for someone, anyone, to please share “any spare mustard,” the “Times” reported, adding “Sausage without mustard is as inconceivable as cheese starved of wine.”
Drama much? Come on. This isn’t the worst thing in the world. The French are a resourceful people who, among other attributes, are scary good at eating nothing but bread and cheese and still appearing utterly untouched by the fat and carbs that cling to the American thighs so stubbornly.
They’re down but not out, already casting about for alternative condiments including horseradish, wasabi and, ahem, Worcestershire sauce. Cause y’all know they’d rather eat Wonder Bread than try ketchup on anything.
They’re looking for love in all the wrong places, if you ask me. France, you should look to the American South for the absolute best condiments. Not just our beloved Duke’s with its trademark tang and unmatched fluffy creaminess but also barbecue sauce. I’m not talking about that tomato slop they serve in wrongheaded sections of the South but the real deal: Vinegar, crushed red peppers and more black pepper than the law allows…
If France could get some of that magic elixir lovingly basted on a wood-smoked wonder of a pig, they’d forget all about Dijon and go with Dijon-boy.
You heard it here first. You can merci me later.