Learn About Mustard

Author: Chef Toby

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What is mustard?

Mustard is a condiment primarily made of ground mustard seeds. The seeds themselves range in color from black to white, and yellow, which range in flavor. The ground seeds are then combined with a variety of liquids, such as oil, water, or vinegar. There are different varieties of mustard, such as classic yellow mustard, dijon mustard, honey mustard, and whole grain.

Yellow Mustard Seen On A Bowl Among Other Spices
Yellow mustard seeds in a bowl among other spices like star-anise and peppercorns.

What does it taste like?

Depending on the variety, the taste of mustard can range from sour, spicy, and sweet. Most mustard had a strong, and pungent taste with notes of bitterness.

Yellow Mustard

American mustard is used on foods like hamburgers and hot dogs. This condiment is sour and bright, with no spice. It’s made of yellow mustard seeds and contains turmeric to give it a bright yellow color.

Dijon Mustard

Dijon mustard is European mustard that hails from the region of Dijon, France. Compared to American yellow mustard, Dijon mustard is much paler with a light amount of spice and complex flavor. This mustard is commonly used in recipes like salad dressings, marinades, and sauces.

Honey Mustard

A combination of honey and mustard, this sauce has a very balanced, complex flavor of sweet and sour. Its mild flavor makes it great for dipping things like chicken tenders, carrots, or even apples!

Whole Grain Mustard

As its name suggests whole-grain mustard contains whole seeds inside, giving the mustard a grainy texture and somewhat of a crunch. The seeds give the mustard an even stronger and more pungent flavor than some of the other varieties.

There are many more kinds of mustards available, like spicy Chinese mustard and English mustards, learn more about what they look and taste like here.

Dijon Mustard - Kids Are Great Cooks
Dijon mustard is smooth in consistency and pale in color compared to yellow mustard, but has a stronger flavor.

How can you cook with mustard?

Mustard is a condiment that you can add to a variety of things. Mustard adds tang to different things like salad dressings, marinades, sauces. Other condiments like barbecue sauce, Thousand Island, and cheese sauce for pretzels. You can also brush it onto chicken or other protein before grilling, baking, or searing for flavor.

Where can you buy mustard?

Mustard can be found at most grocery stores near the other condiments. Some other varieties of mustard, like whole-grain or spicy Chinese mustard, might be harder to find, so look for those at specialty grocery stores

How should you store mustard?

Unopened bottles or jars of mustard should be stored in a cool dark place, like your pantry or cupboard. Opened mustard is best kept in the refrigerator for freshness, and will last in there for a year.

Fun Fact

There is a National Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wisconsin, which is home to “more than 5566 jars, bottles, and tubes from all 50 states and more than 70 countries.”

Did You Know?

An old wives tale suggests, applying yellow mustard on a small burn will help “draw out the heat” from the burn and speed up the healing process. Science has debunked this life-hack in the past saying that it does not work, but many people swear by it.

Our Recipes Using Mustard

Roasted Chicken

In this recipe, we use a tablespoon of mustard to add some tang to our spice rub, which results in flavorful, juicy chicken!

Roasted Chicken Savory Delicious
Roasted Chicken Recipe

Other Recipes Using Mustard

Homemade Honey Mustard Sauce

This sauce is perfect to along with breaded chicken tenders or fried chicken. To make it, start by whisking mayonnaise, dijon mustard, yellow mustard, honey, and lemon juice. Combine until smooth and chill in the refrigerator overnight so that the flavors can develop

Secret Burger Sauce

Many chains add a “secret sauce” to their burgers to add flavor, and you can make your own variety at home! Start by combining mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, sweet relish, and white vinegar until smooth. Spread the sauce on both hamburger buns next time you make homemade burger patties (we have a delicious recipe for those, too!)


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