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  • I just had to sprout this story from Kristiina's.

    It was in 1989. I remember because that year I got to go to another country for the first time and this country was Sweden. But we (I was with my mother) went through Finland because I had some very good friends there.

    I have no idea why we took mustard with us. Maybe because it was one of the very few things you could actually buy. But we did and though Finnish and Estonian food is somewhat similar our mustard is absolutely different.

    One other thing we have in common is that we like to grill. And the first night we sat outside, had sausages, salad and beer, lots of beer. Everything was quite exotic to us because in 1989 the shops in Estonia were practically empty. Then my mother took out the mustard and said we would prefer that because Finnish mustard is a little sweet for our liking.

    One of our Finnish friends said he would like to taste it too and took the tube. Before we could say anything he squeezed quite a thick layer onto the sausage. We tried to warn him and my mother even wanted to snatch the sausage out of this hand but he was quicker and took a big bite... Imagine if you coated your sandwich with a thick layer of fresh wasabi paste?!

    We watched, horrified and ready to call the ambulance. Tears started streaming from his eyes as soon as he swallowed. Then all hell broke loose. We tried to tell him he should drink some milk but he reached for the water, which really makes the whole sensation much worse. Everybody was shouting, wanting to help but actually making all much more chaotic. Eventually we got the situation under control and it took quite some time before the man could utter a word. It came out very coarse and I won't tell you what it was or I would be banned from Cowbird.

    But all's well that ends well and the next few days we all laughed at the whole experience and each time we went to a restaurant someone asked this guy: "Any mustard?"

    (Photo: mustard plant and Estonian mustard)
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