As I've written before, with the notable exception of hot sauce, I'm just not a condiment kinda guy. I don't know why that is. I mean, I like the idea of adding different kinds of sauces and whatnot to a sandwich or pile of fries or whatever, or the idea of salad dressing to spruce up an otherwise dull plate of greens and veggies, but when push comes to shove, more often than not I'll just pass. Maybe I just like my food to taste like however it's going to taste without too much outside interference. Don't like ketchup. Don't like pretty much any salad dressing. And don't get me started on mayonnaise. And most importantly, if it's in a squeeze bottle that makes farty sounds, no way on earth I'm trying it. Them's the rules for me. Blecch.
One very occasional exception to this would be mustard. And I must say, very, very, occasional. I'll put some on a pretzel or, back when it was a viable lunch option, let my Subway sandwich artist put some on every once in a great while. It's no great loss when they don't. So, when someone (I think my brother, not sure) told me that Trader Joe's Hot & Sweet Mustard was more or less the best thing ever, I felt good about trying it out despite my usual prejudices (keep those in mind as you read the rest of this).
black bean dip) for their "hot" and loads up on sugar for the "sweet" part (see first ingredient). So imagine very sweet, vinegary mustard. Maybe that's tantalizing for you. For me, not so much. To be fair, after dunking a few pretzel sticks in it, the back of my throat began to sense something a little spicy, or perhaps overly bitter, in a kinda horseradish-y sense. There's no horseradish in this mustard, of course, but that's the closest thing I can equate it to. Overall, the mustard seemed okay, not bad enough to keep me from snacking, but not good enough for me to keep on craving it. For whatever reason, it tasted a little better the one night we dipped our chickenless tenders in it instead.
My wife's admiration more than makes up for my ambivalence. "Oooooooh, this is so good, I could drink it right out of the jar!!!" Sandy exclaimed. I offered to snap a picture of her doing so and can't believe she said no. That would've been a much more interesting visual addition than our usual product shots. She agrees that it's closer to sweet and sour than hot and sweet, so good to know I'm not just making that up. It's not a terrible pickup for the measly $1.49 it costs, but if solely up to me, it's not one we'll make often. Sandy gives it a four. For me, about the fairest I can be is to call it right down the middle with a 2.5.
Bottom line: Trader Joes Hot & Sweet Mustard: 6.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons