Mustard is a thick yellowish-brown paste with a sharp taste made from the ground seeds of a mustard plant (white or yellow mustard, Sinapis hirta; brown or Indian mustard, Brassica juncea; or black mustard, Brassica nigra). The ground mustard seeds are mixed with water, vinegar or other liquids, and sometimes other flavorings and spices. A strong mustard can cause the eyes to water, sting the palate and inflame the nasal passages. It can also cause allergic reactions and since 2005 products in the E.U. must be labelled as such if they contain mustard.
History and etymology
probably developed the prepared mustards we know today. They mixed unfermented grape
juice, known as "must
," with ground mustard seeds (called sinapis
) to make "burning must", mustum ardens
—hence "must ard".
There are many varieties of mustard which come in a wide range of strengths and flavors. The basic taste
and "heat" of the mustard is largely determined by seed type, preparation and ingredients. Black seeded mustard is generally regarded as the hottest type. Preparation also plays a key role in the final outcome of the mustard. Mustard, in its powdered form, lacks any potency and needs to be fixed; it is the production of allyl isothiocyanate
from the reaction of myrosinase
during soaking that causes gustatory heat to emerge. One of the factors that determines the strength of a prepared mustard is the temperature of the water, vinegar, or other liquid mixed with the ground seeds: hotter liquids are more hostile to the strength-producing compounds. Thus, hot mustard is made with cold water, while using hot water results in milder mustard (other factors remaining the same).
The pungency of mustard is always reduced by heating, not just at the time of preparation; if added to a dish during cooking much of the effect of the mustard is lost.
Locations renowned for their mustard include Dijon (medium strength) and Meaux in France; Norwich (very hot) and Tewkesbury, famed for its variety, in the United Kingdom; and Düsseldorf (hot) and Bavaria in Germany. There are variations in the subsidiary spices and in the preparation of the mustard seeds. The husks may be ground with the seeds, or winnowed away after the initial crushing; "whole-grain mustard" retains some unground or partially ground mustard seeds. Bavarian "sweet mustard" contains very little acid, substituting copious amounts of sugar for preservation. Sometimes prepared mustard is simmered to moderate its bite, sometimes it is aged. Irish mustard is a wholegrain type blended with whiskey and/or honey.
Mustard can very easily be prepared at home by mixing powdered mustard seeds with enough vinegar or other liquid to achieve the right consistency and leaving it for 10 minutes or so. It does not keep well, so no more should be prepared than is needed.
is not covered by a Protected Designation of Origin
(PDO) or a Protected Geographical Indication
(PGI) under the auspices of the European Union
; thus, while there are major mustard plants in Dijon and suburbs, most Dijon mustard is manufactured outside of Dijon.
Dijon mustard originated in 1856, when Jean Naigeon of Dijon substituted verjuice, the acidic "green" juice of not-quite-ripe grapes, for vinegar in the traditional mustard recipe.
Mustards from Dijon today generally contain both white wine and burgundy wine, and most mustards marketed as Dijon style today contain one or both of these ingredients.
Yellow mustard is the most commonly used mustard in the United States and Canada, where it is sometimes referred to simply as "mustard"; in the rest of the world, it is often called American mustard. This is a very mild mustard colored bright yellow by the inclusion of turmeric. It was introduced in 1904 by George T. French as "cream salad mustard". This mustard is closely associated with hot dogs, deli sandwiches, and hamburgers. Yellow mustard is the United States' third most popular condiment, after salsa and ketchup. Along with its use on various sandwiches, yellow mustard is a key ingredient in many potato salads, barbecue sauces, and salad dressings. Yellow mustard is often rubbed on barbecue meat prior to applying a dry rub, to form a crust, called bark, on the meat.
In wholegrain mustard, the seeds are not ground, but mixed whole with other ingredients. Different flavors and strengths can be achieved by using different blends of mustard seed species. Some variations have additives such as sun-dried tomato
mustard and chili
Honey mustard, as the name suggests, is a blend of Dijon mustard and honey
, usually 1:1. It is most often used as a topping for sandwiches and as a dip for chicken strips, french fries, onion rings, and other finger foods. It can also be used combined with vinegar and/or olive oil to make a salad dressing. The most basic honey mustard is a mixture of equal amounts of honey and mustard; however, most varieties include other ingredients to modify the flavor and texture.
is a commonly served condiment in Chinese cuisine
, and in Chinese American cuisine
it is available (along with soy sauce
and duck sauce
) in small clear plastic packages when ordering Chinese take-out
food. A similar form of mustard is also served in Korean cuisine
, particularly with the buckwheat noodle dish called naengmyeon
. In Japanese cuisine
, a similar type of mustard is called karashi
, and is served with oden
and other dishes. Chinese mustard is basically mustard powder and water. It is very strong compared to other types of mustard. In Bangladeshi cuisine, a similar type of mustard is used, although it is mostly consumed in Chittagong province.
English and French mustards
Two common varieties of mustard in some parts of the world are English and French mustard. The English variety is typically bright yellow in appearance, but much hotter than American mustard, and is used sparingly. The French variety is typically darker in color and contains more vinegar, giving a milder taste.
Mustard is often used at the table as a condiment on meat. It is also used as an ingredient in mayonnaise
and barbecue sauce
. It can also be used as a base for salad dressing
when combined with vinegar
and/or olive oil
. Mustard is a popular accompaniment to hot dogs
, and Bratwurst
Dry mustard, typically sold in tins, is used in cooking and can be mixed with water to become prepared mustard.
Prepared mustard is generally sold at retail in glass jars or plastic bottles although in Europe it is often marketed in metal, squeezable tubes. Some types of prepared mustard stored for a long time may separate, causing mustard water, which can be corrected by stirring or shaking. If stored for a long time unrefrigerated mustard acquires a bitter taste. Refrigeration greatly prolongs shelf life.
The amounts of various nutrients in mustard seed are to be found in the USDA National Nutrient Database
"To cut the mustard" means to achieve the desired standard. It also a casual way to refer to passing gas.
If someone is "as keen as mustard" it means they are very enthusiastic .
"Put some mustard on it" - referring to a hard slapshot in ice hockey.