Lately, the warm weather has us talking grilling. Specifically, we’ve been discussing hot dogs.

Us Americans seem find a plain hot dog boring. In our last post, we discovered that Americans were likely the ones who found the need to put hot dogs in a bun, though this may have been more practical than simply being a way to dress up the little sausage. The bun made the wiener into a convenience food, allowing people to dine sans silverware or greasy fingers.

Beyond the bun, Americans seem to have a couple of staple hot dog condiments and one of them – mustard – is the topic of this post. There seems to be a trade group for anything you can make money by selling, and mustard is no exception. We looked to the Association for Dressings and Sauces which defines mustard as “an unfermented grape wine made potent and fiery with the addition of ground mustard seed.”

The often yellow sauce that modern Americans squeeze onto their hot dogs and other sausages has evolved little. The unfermented grape wine has been replaced with distilled vinegar and other spices are often added. A notable addition is turmeric which gives the sauce its yellow color.

Ninety-Five percent of mustard is a blend of yellow and brown (or oriental) mustard. Yellow mustard is mild, while brown mustard can be very hot. When mixed in water, mustard seeds become hot through an enzymatic reaction. Yellow mustard loses the heat after about a day, while brown mustard stays fiery.

The other big thing to know about mustard, as a sauce, is that it is a relatively healthy option to add flavor to your Frankfurter. It is low in calories and cholesterol, while providing a healthy does of protein and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and niacin.

Do you like your hot dogs with spicy mustard, mild mustard, or no mustard? Please share in the comments.