There are three main types of mustard, all in the Brassica (cabbage) family and all with small, rounded seeds. Relatively mild though still pungent, white mustard (Sinapis alba) originated in the Mediterranean and has pale yellow to gold seeds used mostly for prepared mustard and pickling spices. Pungent black mustard (Brassica nigra), which originated in Asia Minor, has smaller dark brown seeds; itís important in Indian cooking. Easier to cultivate and less pungent, brown mustard (B. juncea), which originated in the Himalayas, has larger seeds and is widely used in Europe for prepared mustard.
Mustard has been cultivated since ancient times and has been an important spice in Europe since Roman times because, unlike many spices, it could be grown locally. Medieval European courts often employed a mustardarius, an official in charge of growing and preparing mustard. The first mustard companies date back to the mid-fourteenth century around Dijon, France. In 1804 in England, Jeremiah Colman developed a way (still used today) to make surprisingly hot powdered mustard from the oily seeds. Mustard is second only to peppercorns as a spice in the United States, where most of it goes into mild, bright yellow ballpark mustard colored with turmeric.
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Most people would be surprised to learn that yellow mustard isn't yellow. The white herb powder is made yellow in the prepared condiment by the addition of turmeric. Dijon mustard is the condiment without the turmeric but with a relatively high concentration of mustard flour, Bordeaux mustard contains vinegar, sugar, and tarragon, and Meaux mustard is made with from mustard seeds that have been crushed rather than ground. The word mustard comes from the Latin "mustum ardems" meaning "burning must," or a spicy combination of mustard (burning) and freshly squeezed grape juice (must).
Yellow mustard is a flowering plant in the same family as brown or black mustard, wasabi, watercress, horseradish, and arugula, sharing a hot and pungent group of chemicals known as isothiocyanates. T
The whole seed, or ground.
Mustard is usually mixed with water, vinegar, wine, or with other juices.
May also be added to food, pickling spices, and is seldom found encapsulated.
Yellow mustard is a mild laxative if eaten in large quantities.
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