The whole, ground, cracked, or bruised mustard seeds are mixed with water, salt, lemon juice, or other liquids, and sometimes other flavorings and spices, to create a paste or sauce ranging in color from bright yellow to dark brown. The tastes range from sweet to spicy.
Commonly paired with meats and cheeses, mustard is a popular addition to sandwiches, salads, hamburgers, corn dogs, and hot dogs. It is also used as an ingredient in many dressings, glazes, sauces, soups, and marinades; as a cream or a seed, mustard is used as a condiment and in the cuisine of India and Bangladesh, the Mediterranean, northern and southeastern Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Africa, making it one of the most popular and widely used spices and condiments in the world.
Mustard is most often used at the table as a condiment on cold meats. It is also used as an ingredient in mayonnaise, vinaigrette, marinades, and barbecue sauce. Mustard is also a popular accompaniment to hot dogs, pretzels, and bratwurst. In the Netherlands and northern Belgium it is commonly used to make mustard soup; which includes mustard, cream, parsley, garlic and pieces of salted bacon. Mustard as an emulsifier can stabilize a mixture of two or more immiscible liquids, such as oil and water. Added to Hollandaise sauce, mustard can inhibit curdling.
The amounts of various nutrients in mustard seed are to be found in the USDA National Nutrient Database. As a condiment, mustard averages approximately 5 calories per teaspoon. Some of the many vitamins and nutrients found in mustard seeds are selenium and omega 3 fatty acid.
The many varieties of prepared mustards have a wide range of strengths and flavors, depending on the variety of mustard seed and the preparation method. The basic taste and "heat" of the mustard is determined largely by seed type, preparation and ingredients. Preparations from the white mustard plant (Sinapis alba) have a less pungent flavor than preparations of black mustard (Brassica nigra) or brown Indian mustard (Brassica juncea). The temperature of the water and concentration of acids such as vinegar also determine the strength of a prepared mustard; hotter liquids and stronger acids denature the enzymes that make the strength-producing compounds. Thus, "hot" mustard is made with cold water, whereas using hot water produces a milder condiment, all else being equal.
Mustard oil can be extracted from the chaff and meal of the seed.
The mustard plant ingredient itself has a sharp, hot, pungent flavor.
Mixing ground mustard seeds with water causes a chemical reaction between two compounds in the seed: the enzyme myrosinase and various glucosinolates such as sinigrin, myrosin, and sinalbin. The myrosinase enzyme turns the glucosinolates into various isothiocyanate compounds known generally as mustard oil. The concentrations of different glucosinolates in mustard plant varieties, and the different isothiocyanates that are produced, make different flavors and intensities.
* allyl isothiocyanate and 4-hydroxybenzyl isothiocyanate are responsible for the sharp hot pungent sensation in mustards and in horseradish, wasabi, and garlic. This is because it stimulates the heat and acidity sensing TRPV ion channel TRPV1 on nociceptors (pain sensing nerve cells) in the mouth and nasal passages. The heat of prepared mustard can dissipate with time. This is due to gradual chemical break-up of 4-hydroxybenzyl isothiocyanate.
* Sulforaphane, phenethyl isothiocyanate, benzyl isothiocyanate create milder and less pungent intensities and flavors as when found in broccoli, brussels sprouts, watercress, and cabbages.
* The sulfoxide unit in sulforaphane is structurally similar to a thiol which yields onion or garlic-like odors.
Prepared mustard condiment may also have ingredients giving salt, sour (vinegar), and sweet flavors. Turmeric is often added to commercially prepared mustards, mainly to give them a yellow color.
Prepared mustard is sold at retail in glass jars, plastic bottles, or metal squeeze tubes. Because of its
|French's Yellow Mustard|
When whole mustard seeds are wetted and crushed, an enzyme is activated that releases pungent sulphurous compounds; but they quickly evaporate. An acidic liquid, such as wine or vinegar, produces a longer-lasting paste. However, even then prepared mustard loses its pungency over time; the loss can be slowed by keeping a sealed container (opaque, or in the dark) in a cool place, or refrigerator. Mustard can last indefinitely without becoming inedible or harmful, though it may dry out, lose flavor, or brown from oxidation. Mixing in a small amount of wine or vinegar may improve dried-out mustard. Some types of prepared mustard stored for a long time may separate, which can be corrected by stirring or shaking. If stored unrefrigerated for a long time, mustard can acquire a bitter taste.
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. They vary 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. The Tecuci mustard from Romania is a sweet variety very popular in Eastern Europe and is suitable for barbecued meats such as mititei. Sometimes, prepared mustard is simmered to moderate its bite; sometimes, it is aged. Irish mustard is a whole-grain type blended with whiskey, stout (commonly Guinness), or honey.
Hot table mustard may very easily be home-prepared by mixing powdered mustard (ground mustard seed, turmeric and wheat flour) to the desired consistency with water or an acidic liquid such as wine, vinegar, or beer, and leaving to stand for ten minutes. It is usually prepared immediately before a meal; mustard prepared with water, in particular, is more pungent but deteriorates rapidly.
American yellow mustard
The most commonly used mustard in the United States, and tied with Dijon in Canada, is American mustard sold as "yellow mustard" (although most prepared mustards are yellow) and commonly referred to as just "mustard". A very mild prepared mustard colored bright-yellow by turmeric, it was allegedly introduced in 1904 by George J. French as "cream salad mustard". American mustard is regularly used to top hot dogs, sandwiches, pretzels and hamburgers. It is also an ingredient of many potato salads, barbecue sauces, and salad dressings.
Spicy brown/deli-style mustard
Spicy brown mustard is also commonly used in the United States. The seeds are coarsely ground, giving it a speckled brownish-yellow appearance. In general, it is spicier than American mustard. "Deli style" mustard incorporates horseradish which actually makes it a little spicier than spicy brown. A variety popular in Louisiana is called Creole mustard.
Dijon mustard originated in 1856, when Jean Naigeon of Dijon substituted verjuice, the acidic
"Dijon mustard" is not a protected food name. While mustard factories still operate in Dijon and adjoining towns, most mustard described as "Dijon" is manufactured elsewhere. Even that produced in France is made almost exclusively from Canadian mustard seed.
In whole-grain mustard, also known as granary mustard, the seeds are mixed whole with other ingredients. Different flavors and strengths can be achieved through different blends of mustard seed species. Groningen mustard is an example of a mustard with partially ground grains.