Mustard: Good for food and faith

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, July 13, 2022

The classic Cuban sandwich is made with Cuban bread, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard. They are great sandwiches, in my opinion.

One day last year, I met some friends for lunch. As we walked to our agreed-upon restaurant, I commented that I loved the Cuban from this place.

Apparently, neither of these guys had enjoyed one before, and had no idea what a Cuban sandwich was.

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“What’s on it?” one asked.

“Well, mustard …” I replied. Then I stopped. Why had I started with that ingredient?

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I don’t know why I started with the condiments.”

We all laughed and it remained a joke with us for awhile.

I do like mustard, though. We have some “regular” yellow mustard in the fridge at home, along with a bottle of coarse-ground mustard, and — surprise — a bottle of Cuban mustard.

I remember as a kid seeing my mom working on a puzzle at the kitchen table — or reading, or whatever it was she was doing — while sipping a Tab soda and eating pretzels dipped in mustard. Maybe that’s when I started to check out the yellow goodness for myself.

The only things required to really enjoy corn dogs are mustard and black pepper, in my opinion. Interestingly, my wife likes this, too.

Mustard is not for everyone — but mayonnaise is not for me. So there’s that.

I’ve seen someone squirt a little yellow mustard under their tongue and it immediately got rid of their nausea. I’ve also seen someone do it and relieve a migraine.

And by the way, you can feel nauseated. But if you are “nauseous,” then you are causing someone else to feel nauseated. That’s a freebie. You’re welcome.

Did you know that mustard seeds can protect against oxidative stress and inflammation? It’s because they contain glucosinolates, antioxidants that convert to help accomplish good things in our bodies.

The significant amount of selenium in yellow mustard also offers antioxidant properties. A 2014 review in the journal “Radiation Oncology” found that selenium may help individuals lower risks for cancer, too.

Mustard is mentioned in three of the Bible’s Gospels — Matthew, Mark and Luke. They each recount Jesus talking to his followers about the size of their faith, and how the growth of the mustard plant compares to the growth of his Kingdom [Matthew 13, 17; Mark 4; Luke 13, 17].

“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you,” Jesus told them [Matthew 17:20].

So when you reach for the mustard to add it to your summer favorites of burgers, dogs (hot, sausage, or corn) or Cubans — or even to push it aside because you don’t like it — remember that mustard is good for you. And it can be a reminder to exercise our faith, no matter how little we have.

Wow. Now I really want a Cuban.

Brett Campbell can be reached at