- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 19, 2003

The company that makes French's mustard wants Americans to know the spicy condiment isn't French.
It's British, but that's beside the point.
Reckitt Benckiser PLC the British behemoth that manufactures Lysol, Spray 'n Wash and French's mustard issued a press release yesterday through a New Jersey subsidiary to remind reporters of the condiment's American seeds.
"For the record, French's would like to say, there is nothing more American than French's mustard," the statement said. R.T. French Co., a Reckitt Benckiser precursor, introduced its "cream salad mustard," alongside the hot dog, in 1904 at the St. Louis World's Fair.
It seems French's mustard wants to distance itself from the French people. France has refused to support the war in Iraq, which inspired two Republican members of Congress last week to call a press conference to announce that House cafeterias have dropped the word "french" before fries and toast on their menus and replaced it with "freedom."
Americans expect this sort of thing from politicians. But a press release, on the eve of war, to declare French's mustard isn't French? Isn't that laying it on a little thick?
What's next? Is Betty Crocker going to hit the talk-show circuit to remind us that German chocolate cake isn't really from Germany, another country that opposes the war?
If so, Americans probably will just roll with the punches. C'est la vie, non?


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