Food historians date mustard as a seasoning in Central Asian (Indus)
cultures as early as 2300 BC. At that time, the Greeks and the Romans,
who carried the seeds everywhere, including England, called it sinapis.
It was not called mustard until the French began mixing the seeds with
must, which is unfermented wine. In eighteenth century France, chefs
experimented with caper, rose water, anchovy and truffle mustards. Today,
in addition to mustards flavored with herbs, spices or green peppercorns,
new combinations with flavorings such as bourbon, honey, and even varietal
wines are popular.
Whole and cracked seed mustard is used in boiled beets, pickles, relishes,
marinades and chutneys, and in Indian cooking. Ground mustard is
used in meats, fish, poultry, sauces, salad dressings and egg dishes.
Prepared mustard is used as a condiment to enhance steak, hot and cold
meats, poultry and stews. It is important to note that mustards turn
bitter if boiled. Therefore, they should be added at the end of preparation.
Mustard is the distinguishing ingredient in Sauce Robert, which comprises
sweated minced onions deglazed with white wine and simmered in brown sauce,
to which a Dijon mustard mixture (butter, sugar and parsley) is mixed in—off
heat—just before serving. It also serves as the emulsion in vinaigrette
dressing (see article on this page). The U.S., Canada, United Kingdom
and Denmark are the major mustard producers and exporters. Dijon
mustard should be selected over “Dijon-styled” mustards.
The table below provides a selected summary of available mustards —
their origin, description and uses.
||Dijon: black ground seeds, salt, spices, virjuice, and wine.
Another Dijon variety of note, is moutarde de meaux, which contains
whole mustard seeds.
Bordeaux: dark, mottled color and milder than Dijon. Made from unskinned
|Steaks, hot/cold meats, poultry, stews, vinaigrette dressing
and sauces such as Robert, Moutarde, Rémoulade, Dijonnaise and Russian.
Cold meats, spicy sausages, dressings.
|Light meats and veal.
Baked beans, sausage, sauerkraut, smoked meats.
||Chinese: Very strong & sharp. Ground form of dark brown or black
seeds with water or flat beer added.
||Spring and egg rolls, roast beef, cheese.
||Ballpark: bright & mild. White seed-based, flavored with
vinegar & colored with turmeric.
Deli-type: dark and stronger (German style).
|Hot dogs, hamburgers, warm pretzels.
||Strong and sharp. A mix of dark brown, white seeds and other spices
usually in ground form.
||Boiled or roasted meats, chops, meat pies, grilled herring, toasted
cheese dishes, Welch Rarebit.
||Fishesennep "fish mustard"
||Flavoring in white sauces for fish.
Of course there is a Web site for mustard nuts: mustardweb.com.