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Mustard

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. 
 
Origin  Description Uses
French 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 seeds. 
Steaks, hot/cold meats, poultry, stews, vinaigrette dressing and sauces such as Robert, Moutarde, Rémoulade, Dijonnaise and Russian.


Cold meats, spicy sausages, dressings.
German Bavarian: Mild. 


Dusseldorf: Spicy.
Light meats and veal.


Baked beans, sausage, sauerkraut, smoked meats.
Asian 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.
American  Ballpark:  bright & mild. White seed-based, flavored with vinegar & colored with turmeric.


Deli-type: dark and stronger (German style).
Hot dogs, hamburgers, warm pretzels.
English 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.
Denmark Fishesennep "fish mustard" Flavoring in white sauces for fish.

Of course there is a Web site for mustard nuts:  mustardweb.com. 



 

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