"I hope the people of the Quad-Cities realize there's a national treasure in the mustard world in their backyard," says Barry Levenson, curator of the National Mustard Museum.
Little did Fred Boetje know when he began selling his Stone Ground Dutch Mustard door-to-door in 1889 how popular the condiment would become.
Boetje, a German immigrant, thought American foods were too bland. So he began mixing up the spicy concoction in his garage in Rock Island not far from where Boetje's is manufactured today.
And a thumbs up to that.
The mustard became so popular that Boetje started a business to manufacture and distribute the product. Today, it is sold in 30 states.
Boetje's is a mixture of vinegar, water, salt and ground mustard seed, which gives the condiment its bite.
The mustard won a gold medal in 2008 at the World Wide Mustard Competition and has been in the top three ever since, according to Andy Burnham, director of sales and marketing at Boetje's Foods.
The condiment is a favorite on steaks, sandwiches, hamburgers and in marinating.