Once you leave the cities, there's not much in the Midwest
that can really attract tourists
. We don't have lizards
or big pretty rocks
or raging rivers
like some of our neighbors to the West
do, and unlike the eastern states
, there's not much of historical interest
. So people need to create their own attractions
to pull tourists off the road
and into their stores. The Mount Horeb Mustard Museum is an excellent example of this.
Founded in 1986, and located in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, about 20 miles west of Madison, the museum is home to the world's largest collectoin of prepared mustard, at almost 3500 specimens and rising. Of course, no one's going to pull over just to look at mustard, so they sell it, too. A bag of small plastic spoons sits next to a cooler in the back, and visitors can sample any of the hundreds of domestic and imported mustard varieties that are on sale. The last time I was there with my Mom, she bought some cranberry mustard, some cheese mustard, and some spicy poupon. If you don't want mustard, then you can also select from the somewhat smaller array of horseradish sauces, chutneys, and salsas that they also sell. You can also commemorate your trip by buying a recipe book, or a tacky shirt that has "POUPON U" silk-screened, university-style, across the front.
As you might have guessed, they are on the web, at www.mustardweb.com, with an online order form so that you can get that Vermont Roasted Garlic Mustard that you've always wanted, but could never find.