The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

11:55 PM

Food of the Day - Mustard Seed

Posted by Truffle Shuffle

Mustard Seed
These tiny little seeds come in a few different colors, each representing a different type of mustard plant.  The seeds from the plants are harvested and used in a variety of ways, most often ground into coarse seed or powder.  There are three types of seeds.
Mustard Plant

Types of Mustard
Sinapis Alba - also known as white mustard, these seeds can vary from an off-white color, to a yellow or light brown shade.  These are probably the most commonly used mustard seeds in use today, and are used (with the inclusion of tumeric for color) to create the well-know yellow mustard seen all over America today.  In the U.S., the word "mustard" often is used synonymously with this type of yellow mustard.
White Mustard Seeds

Brassica Juncea - also know as Indian mustard, these seeds are dark yellow to brownish in color, often used in Indian cuisine.
Brown Mustard Seeds

Brassica Nigra - these seeds are brown to almost black in color, and are very hard.  Of the different types, these are probably the least popular, as they are most difficult to harvest than the other types.
Black Mustard Seeds

Of all the uses for mustard seed, the most obvious is undoubtedly to make mustard.  The seeds of the mustard plants can be ground in varying textures, and mixed with liquids and other spices to create a wet condiment popular across the world.  Depending on the seeds used and the additives used, the seeds of this amazing plant can be used to make yellow mustard, brown mustard, dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, flavored mustards, honey mustard, and many other types of this super-popular condiment.

The next time you go to the store to pick up a bottle of "mustard" for a sandwich or a hot dog, keep in mind that there exists a world of spectacular mustards beyond the standard yellow variety (which really does the name "mustard" a disservice.)
Whole-grain Mustard

Mustard seeds can also be used as a spice in their own right, used whole, cracked, ground, or used as a powder, to flavor many dishes, from barbequed meat dishes, to salads.  Try adding mustard seed into your favorite spice mix, and add a tangy kick to your every day meals!
 Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning

Note: try using Trader Joe's awesome Everyday Seasoning, a plastic grinder filled with mustard seeds and other spices.  It is great to grind right onto a variety of foods, from meats and fishes, to pasta, to salads, to soups and more!
Mustard Oil

Mustard seeds are also used to make mustard oil, which is used in cooking, or in various medical treatments, including massage.

Try out this recipe to make your own English pub mustard:

2 c Dry mustard
1 c Brown sugar; firmly packed
2 ts Salt
1/2 ts Turmeric
12 oz Beer or ale; flat

Combine mustard, brown sugar, salt and turmeric in blender and mix well. With the machine running, add beer in a slow, steady stream and blend until mixture is smooth and creamy, stopping frequently to scrape down the sides of the work bowl. Transfer to jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store in cool, dark place.
(Mustard recipe taken from Just Recipes).

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