Mustard or Mayo? The Controversy, Explained

Mustard or mayo? The controversy, explained

Heads or tails? Paper or plastic? Debit or credit? Small but consequential life-decisions like these arise all the time, and if you pick the wrong option, it can saddle you with regret. A similar dichotomy exists in the wide, mouthwatering world of hamburger condiments: Mustard or mayonnaise? If you’re unsure about what to spread on your Ball Park bun, worry not. We’re here to help.

First, let’s establish something: Each can be great in its own way, bringing zest and functionality to your burger and stopping any potential dryness or lack of flavor dead in its tracks. But like any decision of this magnitude, it’s important to consider all of the variables in order to maximize your burger-eating experience.

Such variables include:

  1. Your burger’s toppings. Maybe the most sensible approach, choosing your condiment based on what you put on the patty is usually the best way to bring out the flavor. Put some pickles on that bad boy? You definitely want mustard. Fried egg like a champ? Mayo all the way. Too much contrast can screw up the whole thing, and nobody wants that. Complementary is the name of the game here.
  2. What mood you’re in. Mustard has a certain zip to it that can really embolden a meal. So when in need of a tangy pick-me-up, you’ll want to reach for the yellow bottle. But there are other times when you just want to crawl into your own little corner to enjoy your burger free of distractions. In that case, the tender neutrality of mayonnaise might be the best fit.
  3. What you’re wearing. If you’re wearing a white shirt, whatever you do, DO NOT USE MUSTARD. Sure, your stomach and tastebuds will walk away fully satisfied, but you’re almost certain to end up with a beaming yellow stain on your torso. It doesn’t matter if you cover yourself in napkins head to toe – it’s gonna happen no matter what. Play it safe and go with mayo this time.

These are just a few of literally thousands of determining factors, and with so many forces at work, there will never be a single definitive answer. For as long as there are hamburgers (forever, hopefully), there will be this controversy. Thankfully, with a Ball Park bun, it’ll be delicious either way.


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