Cutting the Mustard


We had some wonderful and witty feedback recently via email, from one of our many mustard lovers – “You really do cut the mustard with your products!”.

Being a little-used phrase, I dug deeper into its origin. It seems rather strange as mustard simply cannot be cut! Naturally there is a point of interest here for us, as we make some of Tasmania’s finest mustards.

Cutting mustard? Doesn’t really make sense…

The general definition for cut the mustard is ‘to reach or surpass the desired standard or performance or to succeed in an endeavour’. So where did the phrase originate? It seems that the author, O. Henry used it in a Galveston newspaper in 1891 saying, “I looked around and found a proposition that exactly cut the mustard”. Why he used this term denoting excellence is not clear, but a few suggestions have emerged over the years. One of the most popular is that the highly skilled and difficult job of cutting the mustard plants (harvesting) resulted in the beloved mustard giving a little spice to the life of mustard farmers as their favourite condiment. Many others exist, if one cares to delve but our favourite is ‘to be of high quality’.

We proudly export our mustards to a number of places around the world and they are revered for their quality. In Japan for example, much of our mustard is enjoyed with sushi and sashimi and in Singapore, we bring a little piece of Tassie to a host of grill restaurants that showcase our products.

Tasmanian mustard being bottled in Evandale, Tasmania

Making Hot Chilli Mustard here in Evandale

We hope you enjoy ‘cutting the mustard’!