Organic Brown Mustard Seeds
An underutilized and underappreciated spice in the United States, Organic Brown Mustard Seeds get much higher regard in Chinese, French, and Indian cuisine. Americans think of mustard as the bright yellow drawn down the center of a ballpark hot dog, or a scoop of "fancy" Dijon every once in a while, and give little thought to the actual mustard seeds themselves.
Brown mustard seeds can contain up to 2.9% essential oils. They have a volatile oil content of 0.5%-1.2%, which is mostly made up of allyl isothiocyanate.
Organic Brown Mustard Seeds come from the Brassica juneca plant. They are also called "Indian mustard seeds" in some places. In Arabic you will hear "kardhal asuja" in Mandarin they are called "zongse jie cai zi," in French "moutarde noir" German they are "schwarzer senf," "rai kala" in Hindi, in Japanese you will hear "chairo no masutado shushi," Portuguese speakers say "mostarda preta," in Russian they are called "gorchitsa chyornaya" and finally in Spanish "mostaza negra" is the name for these seeds.
One of the earliest stories we have about mustard seeds comes from Alexander the Great, who received a sack of mustard seeds from his rival Persian King Darius III to signify the size and feistiness of his army. This was done in response to Alexander's gift to King Darius III- a bag full of sesame seeds meant to show the great size of his own army. Needless to say, King Darius III was great at serving attitude to his rivals, all the way back in the 300s BCE.
Next came Pliny the Elder, a man who lived from 23-79 ACE. An author who was also a commander for the Roman Empire's army and navy, he created a prepared mustard recipe of crushed mustard seeds and vinegar, essentially providing us with some of the first written records of mustard as a condiment. Romans were also known to crush mustard seeds on their plates and use it to spice up food in the same way Americans use black pepper today.
During the years between 400 and 700 ACE, the Romans introduced the people of modern day France, Belgium, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Germany to mustard seeds. Monks in what is now France planted mustard seeds with their grapes in vineyards. Mixing their crushed mustard seeds with unfermented wine, called "must" was quickly adopted and the condiment was called "mustum ardens" which is a Latin phrase that translates to "burning wine." By the 9th century, French monasteries were making huge amounts of mustard that was mostly consumed by the locals. Pope John XXII was a huge fan of mustard and was the Pope to create the position of "Grand Mustard Maker to the Pope." He was the Pope from 1316 until he died in 1334.
lso helping mustard gain popularity in the 1300s, city dwellers would likely be familiar with "criers" who went door to door shouting about their mustard for sale, calling is "saulces et espices d'enfer" or "sauces and spices from hell." Despite this phrase being the absolute antithesis of the Pope's divine love of mustard, if that phrase didn't excite you enough to buy mustard, nothing would.
In the late 1700s, Grey Poupon mustard was established by two men in Dijon, France by the names of Maurice Grey and Antoine Poupon. Grey had a mustard recipe that Poupon believed in enough that he paid for the startup of the company. Their original storefront can still be visited today in Dijon. Benjamin Franklin was believed to have brought mustard back to the US when he returned from a trip to Paris in 1758.
During WWII, mustard seeds' availability in the United States was scarce. After the war ended, mustard seed became a specialty crop in North America, with major production of the seed taking place in California and Montana in the 1950s. Today, North Dakota grows most of the domestic mustard seeds available.
Wild mustard is believed by food historians to have been originally cultivated in India around 3,000 BC. The mustard plant is an annual plant. The seedlings emerge rapidly but mature much more slowly. In an ideal growing scenario, the mustard plant will cover the ground in four to five weeks. If the conditions are less ideal, say the soil is dry, the plant will allow itself more time to grow roots deeper into the ground before it spreads out. The plant can grow as tall as four feet, but the bushes are usually smaller than that. Brown mustard seed pods need 90 to 95 days to mature and produce seeds.
Our Organic Brown Mustard Seeds come from Canada.
There are three types of mustard seeds. The most common of the three is yellow, with black and brown being much harder to come by. The darker the seed, the more bite the mustard will have. Brown mustard seeds are consumed more frequently than black, but yellow is by far the most familiar in cuisines across the globe, especially American cuisine.
The different colored mustard seeds come from different plants. The yellow mustard seed, also sometimes called white mustard, comes from Brassica alba. Brown mustard seeds come from Brassica juneca. Black mustard seeds come from Brassica nigra.
Brown mustard seeds are slightly hotter than the yellow seeds you may be used to using. You will find that these are called for more frequently in Asian and African recipes. In India, these seeds are fried in oil or ghee until they begin to pop to enhance their flavor. When exposed to heat, any bitterness in the seed will become more pungent and more pleasant, which adds complexity to a variety of curries, roasted meats, and roasted vegetables. Whole seeds are also excellent for adding to pickling recipes, for a little bit of a kick!
Grind your own organic brown mustard seeds to use in spice rubs or to add to meat marinades. Mustard is great for recipes that you cook on the grill.
Brown mustard seeds taste great with another very strongly flavored spice, asafetida powder. Use it with coriander, cumin, or fennel. They pair well with cabbage, smelly cheeses, chicken, fish, or sausages. Any strongly flavored food will taste good with this seed as an added spice. Try grinding them into a powder and sprinkling over scrambled eggs with cheese for an interesting twist on a breakfast classic.
Brown mustard seeds are slightly bitter and have a slight heat to them.
In many recipes, black and brown mustard seeds can be used interchangeably at a 1 to 1 ratio. Some people do think that black mustard seeds are slightly more pungent than brown, but in some cases that's a good thing!
Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*