Many food combos sound downright disgusting but end up being surprisingly tasty. Peanut butter on a burger? Fries dipped in ice cream? Even the biggest burger or fries purist can't deny that these are strangely delicious! Another weird food combination that took the internet by storm that past year is mustard on watermelon.
It all started with TikTok, as many a food trend does these days. TikTok user @yayayayummy has an entire account dedicated to strange food combos, from mustard on watermelon to banana with mayo and Vienna sausage with hot Cheetos. Then, singer-songwriter Lizzo posted about the trend, which caused it to go viral, and bored TikTok users across the country were suddenly all pouring this gluten free, yellow condiment onto their watermelon!
Mostarda di Frutta
After doing some research about this wacky combo, I discovered that the Italians are way ahead of us when it comes to fruit-mustard combos. The fruit-mustard dish in Italy is called Mostarda di frutta, and along with the typical ingredients of yellow mustard seeds and vinegar, it includes sweet fresh fruits like figs, cranberries, apricots, and cherries bathed in caster sugar and honey.
After coating the fruit in sugar until it becomes syrup, you simmer the mixture with lemon juice, white wine, mustard powder on medium heat. Then, you pour the thickens syrup into a sterilized jar that has fruit in it. Then, the syrup and fruits are placed in a sterilised jar, until you have a delicious jar of dried fruit preserves that's also used as a savory, spicy Italian condiment! Here's a recipe from Lombardy, Italy.
Mustard on Fruit
Although I don't feel fully qualified to make a traditional Italian condiment, I decided to see how this strange (but genius?) food combo tasted for myself, along with taking it a step further. If mustard and watermelon are so darn delicious together, why not apple, or mango, or pineapple even?
After trying mustard on no less than seven different fruits, I have all of your fruit-and-mustard related questions answered! Here's my definitive ranking of mustard on fruit.
7. Mustard on Mango
No disrespect to Lizzo or Mostarda di frutta, but mustard on mango was a terrible experience that I would never repeat. The flavors clashed so badly that I had to spit it out. Maybe my mango wasn't ripe, or I should've gone for dijon mustard? Or maybe mango is simply too strong of a flavor to have with spicy, vinegary mustard? Either way, I don't recommend this flavor combination to anyone.
6. Mustard on Banana
My feelings on mustard and banana are pretty similar. This was another one that I had to spit out. Although I love bananas, they have a very strong and distinct flavor, that only goes well with specific other tastes. Banana and peanut butter or banana splits are delicious, but I wouldn't wish mustard on banana on my worst enemies.
5. Mustard on Strawberry
This was the first combination that was semi-tolerable. While I definitely won't be squirting mustard over my fruit salad anytime soon, mustard on strawberry wasn't the worst thing I've tasted. The flavors don't mix well, but the strawberry tastes mild enough that it wasn't too bad. However, the juicy texture of the strawberry was definitely off-putting in combination with the creamy mustard.
4. Mustard on Peach
Mustard on peach is slightly better than mustard on strawberry, but it doesn't deserve its own TikTok trend or yummy European version. I would still never choose to eat mustard on my peach, but if push came to shove, I wouldn't mind a few slices. The sweetness of the peach helped to cut the strong taste of the mustard, which wasn't a bad thing. However, peaches are one of my favorite fruits, so I wonder if this skewed my opinion of the combo.
3. Mustard on Pineapple
Mustard on pineapple is a food that I never thought I'd eat, but after a few bites I decided that I'm not fully opposed. The sweetness of the pineapple seems to cut the vinegary, spiciness of the mustard, and it was weirdly good. This is definitely better than mustard on peach and strawberry, and it's worlds away from the appalling combos of mustard on banana and mustard on mango.
2. Mustard on Apple
The second best mustard-on-fruit combo was mustard on apple. This one surprised me by being a decent mix of flavors. The apple I chose was slightly sweet, and mild tasting, so the mustard only added a spicy flavor without being too overwhelming. I'll probably stick to peanut butter as the condiment on my apple, but mustard was surprisingly good and I definitely didn't mind it.
1. Mustard on Watermelon
The original mustard-fruit combo, mustard on watermelon, was surprisingly yummy and was a strong favorite! I went into it with no expectations, and came out pleasantly surprised. The spiciness of the mustard perfectly balanced the mild sweetness of the watermelon, making for a tasty flavor profile. The best recipes are simple and to the point, with a low total time, and this snack definitely fits into that category. While I probably won't always put mustard on my watermelon from now on, I would definitely eat this again!