Mustard is a condiment made from the seeds of a mustard plant (white/yellow mustard, ''Sinapis alba''; brown mustard, ''Brassica juncea''; or black mustard, ''Brassica nigra''). The whole, ground, cracked, or bruised mustard seeds are mixed with water, vinegar, lemon juice, wine, or other liquids, salt, and often other flavourings and spices, to create a paste or sauce ranging in colour from bright yellow to dark brown. The seed itself has a strong, pungent, and somewhat bitter taste. The taste of mustard condiments ranges from sweet to spicy. Commonly paired with meats, vegetables and cheeses, mustard is also added to sandwiches, 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 as individual seeds, mustard is used as a condiment 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.


The English word "mustard" derives from the Anglo-Norman ''mustarde'' and Old French ''mostarde'' (Modern French is ''moutarde''). The first element is ultimately from Latin ''mustum'', ("must", unfermented grape juice)—the condiment was originally prepared by making the ground seeds into a paste with must or verjuice. The second element comes also from Latin ''ardens'', (hot, flaming). It was first attested in English in the late 13th century, though it was found as a surname a century earlier.


Archaeological excavations in the Indus Valley (Indian Subcontinent) have revealed that mustard was cultivated there. That civilization existed until about 1850 BC. The Romans were probably the first to experiment with the preparation of mustard as a condiment. They mixed unfermented grape juice (the must) with ground mustard seeds (called ''sinapis'') to make "burning must", ''mustum ardens'' — hence "". A recipe for mustard appears in ''De re coquinaria'', the anonymously compiled Roman cookbook from the late fourth or early fifth century; the recipe calls for a mixture of ground mustard, pepper, caraway, lovage, grilled coriander seeds, dill, celery, thyme, oregano, onion, honey, vinegar, fish sauce, and oil, and was intended as a glaze for spit-roasted boar. The Romans likely exported mustard seed to Gaul, and by the 10th century, monks of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris absorbed the mustard-making knowledge of Romans and began their own production.Hazen, p. 10 The first appearance of mustard makers on the royal registers in Paris dates back to 1292. Dijon, France, became a recognized center for mustard making by the 13th century.Hazen, p. 10. The popularity of mustard in Dijon is evidenced by written accounts of guests consuming of mustard creme in a single sitting at a gala held by the Duke of Burgundy in 1336. In 1877, one of the most famous Dijon mustard makers, Grey-Poupon, was established as a partnership between Maurice Grey, a mustard maker with a unique recipe containing white wine; and Auguste Poupon, his financial backer.Antol, p. 21. Their success was aided by the introduction of the first automatic mustard-making machine. In 1937, Dijon mustard was granted an ''Appellation d'origine contrôlée''. Due to its long tradition of mustard making, Dijon is regarded as the mustard capital of the world. The early use of mustard as a condiment in England is attested from the year 1390 in the book ''The Forme of Cury'' which was written by King Richard II's master cooks. It was prepared in the form of mustard balls—coarse-ground mustard seed combined with flour and cinnamon, moistened, rolled into balls, and dried—which were easily stored and combined with vinegar or wine to make mustard paste as needed. The town of Tewkesbury was well known for its high-quality mustard balls, originally made with ground mustard mixed with horseradish and dried for storage, which were then exported to London and other parts of the country, and are even mentioned in William Shakespeare's play ''King Henry the Fourth, Part II''. The use of mustard as a hot dog condiment is said to have been first seen in the US at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, when the bright-yellow French's mustard was introduced by the R.T. French Company.

Culinary uses

Mustard is most often used at the table as a condiment on cold and hot meats. It is also used as an ingredient in mayonnaise, vinaigrette, marinades, and barbecue sauce. It 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.Sawyer, p. 24.

Nutritional value

The amounts of various nutrients in mustard seed are to be found in the USDA National Nutrient Database. As a condiment, mustard averages about 5 kcal per teaspoon. Some of the many vitamins and nutrients found in mustard seeds are selenium and omega 3 fatty acid.Mustard seeds
WHFoods. Retrieved on 2011-05-27.


The many varieties of prepared mustards have a wide range of strengths and flavours, depending on the variety of mustard seed and the preparation method. The basic taste and "heat" of the mustard are 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 flavour. 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 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 flavours and intensities. * Allyl isothiocyanate and 4-hydroxybenzyl isothiocyanate are responsible for the sharp, hot, pungent sensation in mustards and in horseradish, wasabi, and garlic, because they stimulate the heat- and acidity-sensing TRPV ion channel TRPV1 on nociceptors (pain sensing nerve cell) 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, and benzyl isothiocyanate create milder and less pungent intensities and flavours 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 odours. Prepared mustard condiment may also have ingredients giving salty, sour (vinegar), and sweet flavours. Turmeric is often added to commercially prepared mustards, mainly to give them a yellow colour.

Storage and shelf life

Prepared mustard is sold in glass jars, plastic bottles, or metal squeeze tubes. Because of its antibacterial properties and acidity, mustard does not require refrigeration for safety; it will not grow mould, mildew, or harmful bacteria.Sawyer, p. 11. 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. 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.


Locations renowned for their mustard include Dijon (medium-strength) and Meaux in France; Norwich (very hot) and Tewkesbury's mustard, in England; and Düsseldorf (hot), Bautzen (medium-strength) and Bavaria in Germany. They vary in the subsidiary spices and in the preparation of the mustard seeds. The mustard 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 South-Eastern Europe and is suitable for grilled meats such as ''mititei''. Sometimes, prepared mustard is simmered to moderate its bite, and sometimes it is aged. Irish mustard is a whole-grain mustard blended with whiskey, stout (commonly Guinness), or honey. ''Karashi'' is a spicy Japanese mustard.

Home preparation

A method of preparing hot table mustard by the home cook is by mixing "English mustard powder" (ground mustard seed, turmeric, and wheat flour) to the desired consistency with water or an acidic liquid such as wine, vinegar, milk or beer, and letting it stand for 10 minutes. It is usually prepared immediately before a meal; mustard prepared with water, in particular, is more pungent, but deteriorates rapidly.

Dijon mustard

Dijon mustard originated in 1856, when Jean Naigeon of Dijon replaced the usual ingredient of vinegar with verjuice, the acidic "green" juice of unripe grapes. Most mustards from Dijon today contain white wine rather than verjuice. "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.

English mustard

It is bright yellow in colour with a relatively thick consistency. It is notably stronger than many other mustards and is particularly suited to flavouring as a cooking ingredient but is also used as a table condiment for cold and hot meats. The most famous brand of English mustard is Colman's of Norwich, which first produced their variety in 1814 as a powder in their yellow tin; it is also available as a paste. A woman based in Durham by the name of Mrs Clements, was the first person to sell English mustard in a prepared format in 1720.

French mustard

This dark brown, mild, and tangy/sweet mustard, despite its name, is not French in origin. "French" mustard is particular to the UK and was invented by Colman's in 1936. It became a popular accompaniment to steak in particular. Colman's ceased production of French mustard in 2001 after Unilever, which now own Colman's, were ordered to stop selling it by the EU, following its takeover of rival mustard-maker Amora Maille in 2000. Many British supermarkets still offer their own version of French mustard.

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 coloured bright yellow from turmeric powder, it was supposedly introduced in 1904 by George J. French as "cream salad mustard". Yellow 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. It is commonly referred to as "hot dog", "ball park", "American yellow", "sunshine", or "prepared" mustard for these applications. In Austria, it is called ''Amerikanischer Senf'' (American mustard), and is regarded as much milder than local varieties.

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. Some "deli-style" mustard incorporates horseradish, which actually makes it a little spicier than spicy brown. A variety popular in Louisiana is called Creole mustard. Typically, Creole mustard is much coarser than spicy brown.

Beer mustard

Beer mustard, which uses beer instead of vinegar, allegedly originated in the 20th century somewhere in the United States Midwest and has remained a popular local condiment.

Whole-grain mustard

In whole-grain mustard, also known as granary mustard, the seeds are mixed whole with other ingredients. Different flavours and strengths can be achieved through different blends of mustard seed species. Groningen mustard is an example of a mustard with partially ground grains.

Honey mustard

Honey mustard is a blend of mustard and honey, typically mixed in a 1:1 ratio. It is commonly used both on sandwiches and as a dip for finger foods such as chicken strips. It can also be combined with vinegar or olive oil to make a salad dressing. Combinations of English mustard with honey or Demerara sugar are used in British cuisine to coat grilled lamb cutlets or pork chops.

Hot pepper mustard

Chilli peppers of various strengths are used to make a variety of mustards more piquant than plain mustard. Peppers or hot sauce made from peppers are added to mustards of different base styles such as yellow mustard, brown mustard, or spirited mustards.

Fruit mustards

Fruit and mustard have been combined since the Lombard creation of ''mostarda di frutta'' in the 14th century.Antol, p. 19. Large chunks of fruit preserved in a sweet, hot mustard syrup were served with meat and game, and were said to be a favourite of the Dukes of Milan. Traditional variations of fruit mustards include apple mustard (traditional in Mantua and very hot), quince'' mostarda'' (or ''mostarda vicentina'', mild and with a jam-like appearance), and cherry mustard. In various areas of Italy, the term ''mostarda'' refers to sweet condiments made with fruit, vegetables, and ''mosto'', grape juice that gets simmered until syrupy.

Hot mustard

The term "hot mustard" is used for mustards prepared to bring out the natural piquancy of the mustard seeds. This is enhanced by using pungent black or brown mustard seeds rather than the white mustard seeds used to make mild mustards.

Spirited mustards

Spirited mustards are made with alcoholic spirits. Variations include Arran mustards with whisky, brandied peach mustard, cognac mustard, Irish "pub" mustard with whiskey, and Jack Daniel's mustard.

Sweet mustard

Sweet mustard is from Bavaria, made from kibbled mustard seed sweetened with sugar, apple sauce, or honey. It is typically served with ''Weißwurst'' or ''Leberkäse''. ''Weisswurstsenf'', mustard for ''Weisswürste'', is the most frequent name for this sweet mustard. Regional differences exist within Bavaria toward the combination of sweet mustard and ''Leberkäse''. Other types of sweet mustards are known in Austria and Switzerland. Sweet mustard was first created in 1854 by Johann Conrad Develey in Munich.

Notable brands and manufacturers


* Hemmer


* Kozlik's * Gravelbourg


* Kotisinappi * Turun sinappi


* Marne


* Põltsamaa Felix


* Amora (Unilever) * Maille (Unilever)


* Born Feinkost * Bautz'ner * Düsseldorfer Löwensenf * Händlmaier * Hengstenberg * Kühne


* Thomy *Migros

United Kingdom

* Colman's

United States

* French's * Grey Poupon (Kraft Heinz) * Gulden's * Plochman's (also owns the Kosciusko brand) * Stadium Mustard *Woeber

Indian subcontinent

Brown mustard is a spice that was cultivated in the Indus Valley Civilization and is one of the important spices used in the Indian subcontinent today. ''Kasundi'' is a popular Bengali spicy relish of mustard. Many different kinds of ''kasundi'' are available. It is used during regular meals and with a variety of fruits and street food.


A strong mustard can make the eyes water, and sting the tongue, palate, and throat. Home-made mustards may be hotter and more intensely flavoured than most commercial preparations. Any part of the mustard plant can also, rarely, cause allergic reactions in some people, including anaphylaxis. In the European Union labeling the presence of mustard in packaged food is compulsory, either as an ingredient or even as unintended contamination in trace amounts. The Regulation (EC) 1169/2011 on food-labelling lists 14 allergens, including mustard, which presence in packaged food has to be clearly indicated on the label as part of the list of ingredients, using a distinctive typography (i.e. bold, capitals).

See also

* National Mustard Museum



* Hazen, Janet. ''Making Your Own Gourmet Mustards''. Chronicle Books, 1993 * Sawyer, Helene. ''Gourmet Mustards: How to Make and Cook with Them''. Culinary Arts Ltd., 1990

External links

Common Varieties of Mustard
{{Use dmy dates|date=March 2017 Category:Condiments Category:Food ingredients Category:Spices ta:கடுகு