The World-Wide Mustard Competition features 17 categories. Click the list of categories below for information about each. Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals are awarded for each category. The Gold Medal-winning mustards advance to a final judging where the winner is crowned “Grand Champion” of the World-Wide Mustard Competition.
The entry fee is $50 per mustard entered in a category. In addition to the entry fees and completed entry form, your valid entry will consist of twelve (12) jars, each containing a minimum weight of 3.5 ounces (100 grams), and a maximum weight of 17.6 ounces (500 grams). Jars must be designed to be available for retail sale to consumers; pouches or food service packs not available for sale to consumers are not eligible for the competition.
The classic American yellow mustard is smooth and gets its bright yellow color from a natural coloring agent, typically turmeric. The typical flavor is not too hot, with more spice on the tongue than in the nose.
The classic Dijon-style mustard should be smooth in texture and made entirely from the brown or black mustard seed, containing no additional flavors (such as honey, herbs, fruits) except as the maker deems necessary to achieve the essential Dijon character. The mustard should be pungent on the nose with a full, clean finish. Because these mustards are often used in cooking, a certain degree of saltiness is acceptable. NOTE: Coarse-grained Dijon mustards should be entered in the Whole Grain / Coarse Grained category, and a Honey Dijon should be entered in the Honey Mustard category.
The heat or strength of this mustard comes only from the mustard seed (or mustard flour) and not from any other source, such as peppers or horseradish. Examples of this style would be the classic Chinese or English mustard.
This mustard is usually tightly-grained or coarse and is the crowning touch to a corned beef sandwich. Horseradish, garlic, or other ingredients may be present but the mustard should be what any typical delicatessen would use for its traditional deli sandwich. Judges will taste these mustards with deli meat.
Anything goes in this wide-open category. These mustards prove that mustard is indeed an artist’s canvas on which all things may be drawn. Creativity and imagination are what drives this category. Dare to be different!
Any fruit may give flavor to mustard. Examples include raspberry, cranberry, cherry, currant, orange, lemon, lime, pineapple, passion fruit, apricot, grape, pomegranate, guava. Additional ingredients, such as horseradish, honey, or peppers, may be present so long as some fruit or combination of fruits provides the defining character and taste of the mustard.
The “stinking rose” is the star in this category of mustards. Smooth or grainy, these mustards feature the pungent, unmistakable taste and aroma of garlic.
These mustards — smooth or coarse — are defined by the herbs or vegetables to flavor them. Examples of herbs and vegetables that fit within this category are dill, tarragon, basil, herb blends, black and green peppercorns, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, and olives. Garlic, being such a strong and dominant flavor, has its own Garlic category.
Honey can provide both sweetness and its own distinctive flavor to mustards. Mustards entered in this category MUST contain honey, although there is no minimum percentage of honey required. Other ingredients, such as herbs, fruit, peppers, and horseradish, may be present but the honey character of the mustard is the critical factor in judging these mustards. Mustards containing honey may also be entered in other categories, including the Sweet-Hot and Sweet-Mild category.
Closely related to mustard are the horseradish root and wasabi, both containing the naturally occurring substance that brings tears to the eyes and stimulates the nose. They accentuate the mustard but give their distinctive flavor to the mustard as well.
These cooking sauces enhance the taste of meats, poultry, fish and vegetables. Judges should be able to detect the flavor of mustard in the product.
The flavor and heat of any of the various peppers – from jalapeno to habanero and beyond – is the predominant profile of this category. The product must be a mustard and not just a pepper sauce in mustard clothing. Sweet-hot mustards in which some or all of the heat is from peppers belong in this category (not in the Sweet-Hot Mustard category). Hotter is not necessarily better; the flavor of the pepper and its appropriate heat must be satisfying. Because there are so many pepper mustards, there are two separate categories: Mild-Medium and Very Hot.
See the description for the Mild-Medium category for the basic idea of pepper hot mustards. These very hot mutards will take the heat up a notch from mild or medium heat. We will taste all pepper hot mustards before arranging them for the judges to ensure these hot mustards are entered in the correct category.
Any fermented or distilled beverage is what gives this category its defining character and taste. Examples include beer, wine, fortified wine, liqueur or cocktail.
These popular mustards have classic mustard heat countered by sweetness in the form of honey, sugar, brown sugar, molasses, or other sweetening agents. The heat should come primarily from the mustard and NOT from other sources (e.g., horseradish or peppers). Mustards in this category should present a pleasing balance of sweetness and heat. Also see the Honey Mustard category.
Not all mustards have to be hot. Mustards in this category are rich and flavorful without a lot of heat. A little spiciness is acceptable but these are neither tongue burners nor sinus busters. German Bavarian mustards would be entered in this category.
Coarse-grained mustards should contain either cracked or whole mustard seeds. Texture is the key. Additional flavors and ingredients (e.g., honey, herbs, peppers, horseradish, etc.) may be present. Mustards may be mild or strong.