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As Keen as Mustard for Whataburger’s Condiments

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whataburger mustardThis past week, two different national media outlets complained about the fact that San Antonio’s Whataburger hasn’t gone national.

A writer for the Daily Meal listed it as one of five burger chains that she wished were nationwide: “With more than 700 locations over 10 states, it’s a shame that Whataburger hasn’t made its way up north. A Texas favorite and number six on the Daily Meal’s list of 10 Best Chain Burgers, Whataburger has classic fast-food options in addition to seasonal favorites like avocado and specialty burgers with jalapeños and cheese.” The others on her list were Milo’s Hamburgers, Burgerville, Dick’s Drive-In and, of course, In-N-Out, the Southwestern burger chain known for taking a slow food approach to fast food.

Meanwhile, a writer for the Huffington Post included it on a list of “Food Chains We Can’t Believe Aren’t National … Yet.” His list includes Shake Shack, Wawa, Cracker Barrel, Waffle House and In-N-Out.

So, folks here in San Antonio can rest content knowing that they can find a Whataburger nearby, no matter what corner of the city they live in.

Now they can also have what the company is calling “The true taste of a Whataburger” in their own homes: Bottles of its mustard and two types of ketchup have been placed in supermarkets everywhere in the area.

I picked up a bottle of Whataburger Original Mustard at H-E-B recently for $2.55 for a 16-ounce squeezebottle and was taken with its plain, old-fashioned mustard richness. There was a pleasant tang from the vinegar, a little lift from spices that include turmeric, garlic powder and, yes, mustard seed. There was also a touch of something sweet that cut through the acid and sent me back to the label to reassure myself that no sugar had been added. (Nope, no sugar in there.)

Water is listed as the main ingredient, so you are warned on the label to shake it before using. I didn’t remember that the second time I used the bottle and the tiniest amount of water did spurt out at first, but a second and third squirt showed that the water had largely stayed incorporated with the rest of the ingredients.

It’s classic ballpark mustard, perfect for hot dogs and burgers, but also deviled eggs, potato salad and even sauces. It’s not as complex as some fancier mustards out there, such as the jar with ground walnuts that I also keep in the refrigerator next to the stone ground and the Dijon mustards. But that simplicity is part of its appeal: It won’t overpower the rest of your ingredients. Instead, it will blend in, adding to the whole.

In case you hadn’t guessed, I can get fanatical about mustard of any sort. I even made jars of the stuff as Christmas presents one year.

Whataburger has also introduced Fancy Ketchup and Spicy Ketchup, both of which seem to come in the similar sizes and are sold at the same price. I’m sure there are people as devoted to ketchup as I am to mustard, so I’ll leave it to them to report on those offerings.

 

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