Ground Yellow Mustard
Ground Yellow Mustard, Brassica alba , is sometimes called dry mustard, ground mustard or mustard powder. Mustard seeds are harvested from three different plants: white mustard (better known in this country as yellow mustard), brown mustard and the very hard to find black mustard.
What is Ground Yellow Mustard
Straw-colored Ground Yellow Mustard is from the mildest and most common mustard seed in the US. This dry Mustard has little flavor and no discernable aroma. But when it is mixed with water, mustard develops its signature zing and sharp smell. This is thanks to the presence of isothiocyanates, sulfuric chemical compounds that activate with hydrolysis, the introduction of water. The isothiocyanates lay in a state of dormancy and only release when the enzymatic reaction is triggered. The heat from isothiocyanates can come on quickly and can be quite strong, but it is water-soluble so it will wash away easily and does not linger.
History of Mustard Seeds
Like many spices, mustard has a colorful history. Food historians believe that mustard seeds were first cultivated around 3,000 BC in ancient Egypt. Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) who authored "Natural History", one of the first encyclopedias, is credited with writing a recipe describing one of the earliest condiments that mixed crushed mustard seeds with vinegar.
Between the 5th and 8th centuries Romans introduced mustard seeds into what is modern day Europe. Mustard sauces are among the most mentioned sauces in cookbooks from both medieval (400-1400 AD) and Renaissance (1300-1600 AD) times. Mustard sauce was used on meat or on fish, and people of this period consumed a lot of cold roasted meat.
By the 9th century Monks, in what is modern day France, were producing "must", which was a mixture of ground mustard seeds and unfermented wine that were ground on the Monastery’s grounds. Monasteries would have a monk called the "mustardarius" whose primary responsibility was mixing and selling mustard sauce for the local community. Pope John XXII (Pope from 1316-1334) was such a lover of mustard that he created the position of "Grand Moutardier du Pape", which means "Grand Mustard Maker to the Pope".
Mustard has been a major specialty crop in North America since mustard seed imports from Europe were halted during World War II (1939-1945). This shortage of mustard led resourceful American farmers to begin cultivating mustard in our country and by the 1950s, California and Montana had become the major production areas. By the 1960s, the Upper Midwest also began harvesting various types of mustard and today North Dakota is the leading producer of domestic mustard.
Mustard Seed Cultivation
The Mustard plant is considered an annual with seedlings that emerge rapidly but then mature slowly. Under optimal growing conditions, mustard plants will cover the ground in about 4-5 weeks. During times with less rain, the tap roots will grow down as far as 5' into the soil to efficiently find stored soil moisture. Fully grown, the plant will be 30" to 45" tall (depending on the type, variety and environmental conditions). White Mustard matures in approximately 80 to 85 days, while Brown and Black Mustard takes a bit longer at 90 to 95 days. During harvest, the stems of the plant are cut once the seeds are fully developed, but not quite ripe. This helps to prevent the pods from splitting open and releasing their seeds. Each mustard plant produces between 20-40 pods each, and each small pod holds approximately 6 seeds.
Where is Our Ground Yellow Mustard From?
We grind this in house from seeds that are cultivated in the upper Midwest of the United States.
What does Dry Mustard Taste Like
Dry mustard by itself has little to no flavor. Dry roasting the seeds before use releases an earthy aroma and a nuttier taste.
What is the Purpose of Dry Mustard
In the Caribbean, dry mustard is added to sauces for fruit.
Use ground mustard in bean, cheese, ham and pork dishes, chowders, cocktail sauce, deviled eggs, barbecue sauces and in soups.
Ground and whole mustard seeds add flavor to barbecue rubs, dressings, and mayonnaise as well as grilled and roasted beef, cabbage, strong cheeses, chicken, curries, dals, fish, and seafood, cold meats, rabbit, sauces (hollandaise sauce in particular) and sausages.
Mustard works well when paired with bay, chili, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, fenugreek, garlic, honey, nigella, parsley, pepper, tarragon and turmeric.
Some of our favorite recipes using dry mustard are German Style Mustard and Gourmet Ketchup.
Making Your Own Mustard
If you are making your own mustard for the first time, it is important to know that the temperature of the liquid you use when mixing is critical. You also need to keep in mind the intensity of heat level you desire before you start mixing the mustard powder.
If you're looking to maximize the heat level, then mix the dry mustard with a very cold liquid. If you want a milder mustard flavor, mix with a hotter liquid. If you do decide to use some whole seeds, dry roasting these will enhance both the aroma, as well as intensifying the flavor.
The end flavor of your mustard will ultimately depend on the type of liquid that you mix your mustard with. Water provides a sharp and hot taste, but will not stop the enzyme's activity, and therefore does not make a stable mustard (meaning water only produced mustard has a shorter shelf life). Vinegar will give you a small tang but milder flavor; milk produces a milder, spicier and more pungent flavor; and beer the most extreme heat.
Making your own prepared mustard is easy. Grind your mustard seeds in a spice dedicated coffee grinder (if grinding at home) and then pour the mustard powder into a bowl. Add enough water, vinegar, milk or beer to completely cover the powder (our rule of thumb is about ¼ cup of ground mustard to 3 tablespoons of liquid). Let sit for about 20 minutes and then add in other spices and herbs and mix into a smooth paste. You may need to add a bit more liquid depending on how much additional seasoning you add.
Some of our favorite spices and herbs to use in making homemade mustard are garlic, ginger, mint, smoked paprika, pepper, tarragon and turmeric. Experiment and develop your own unique flavor.
Dry Mustard Substitution
If you have a recipe calling for dry mustard or ground yellow mustard, you can use Dijon Mustard as a substitute. 1 tablespoon of Dijon Mustard is equal to 1 teaspoon of dry mustard. Some people will use Turmeric as a substitute. The color is close and the flavor of small amounts of turmeric are not overpowering. Use measure to measure. Pure Wasabi Powder is from the same family as mustard, Brassicaceae, but tends to be a bit spicier. Use ½ as much Pure Wasabi Powder as called for ground mustard. Horseradish Root Powder is also from the same family and like Wasabi is spicier so also use half as much called for mustard.
|Ingredients||Yellow Mustard Seeds|
|Also Called||Dry mustard, ground mustard or mustard powder|
|Recommended Uses||Use in bean, cheese, ham and pork dishes, chowders, cocktail sauce, deviled eggs, barbecue sauces and soups|
|Flavor Profile||By itself has little to no flavor until it is added to water or another liquid|
|Botanical Name||Brassica alba|
|Cuisine||Cajun and Creole|
|How To Store||Airtight container in a cool, dark place|
|Shelf Life||1-2 years|
|Country of Origin||United States|
|Dietary Preferences||Gluten Free, Kosher, Non-GMO|
Hungry for More Information
Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*