What is Stadium Mustard?

••• Stadium Mustard. (&copy kga245/cc license)

Ask any Clevelander about his or her favorite regional foods and Stadium Mustard is sure to be near the top of the list. We North Coast residents love our mustard, that spicy brown concoction sure to keep you warm during a cold autumn football or baseball game.

Stadium mustard is actually manufactured in Illinois, where it has been made using the same recipe since 1890. Food purists will appreciate that it's made using no artificial preservatives, sugar, fat or fillers.

The manufacturer supplied various sports venues in Cleveland from the late 19th century until 1982, including League Park (the first home of the Cleveland Indians) and Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Until 1969, Stadium Mustard could only be found in sports venues, not in grocery or specialty stores.

Two Kinds of Mustard

Today, there are actually two different brands of Cleveland mustard. The first is Bertman's Ballpark Mustard, the trademarked name of the original recipe, and the newer and more common one is Authentic Stadium Mustard. The former is the official mustard of Progressive Field and is featured at 150 stadiums and arenas throughout the United States, including FirstEnergy Stadium. The latter, Authentic Stadium Mustard, is available now in grocery stores throughout the Midwest and beyond.

The Taste

For out-of-towners, Stadium Mustard has a rich brown color and a spicy, semi-hot taste.

It's perfect on the hot dogs at Progressive Field or on bratwurst cooked out of the grill. It's reminiscent of a German mustard, but not quite as complex and not as grainy.

Which One do Clevelanders Prefer?

It's one of those questions that leaves little middle ground. North Coast residents have very decided opinions about whether Ball Park or Stadium mustard is best.

According to a 2015 readers' poll by Cleveland.com, Clevelanders preferred Stadium mustard to Ballpark mustard by a margin of around two to one. One thing was certain from the poll. Either type of mustard far outshines either yellow mustard or ketchup. Only two percent of the voters chose either of those two options. Which one do you prefer?

Buying Stadium Mustard

Authentic Stadium Mustard is available at most Northeast Ohio groceries and, increasingly, food stores around the United States. For those out of the selling area, Stadium mustard may be ordered by the case from the manufacturer's website.