Yellow Mustard Seeds
Yellow Mustard Seeds, Brassica alba , are frequently referred to as White Mustard Seeds, mustard seeds or just mustard seed. The mustard plant is related to cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. There are more than 40 varieties of mustard plants, but culinary mustard seeds come from only three of these varieties.
Yellow mustard seeds have a high fat and protein concentration. They have a volatile oil concentration of less than 0.2% overall.
What Are Mustard Seeds
There are three main types of mustard seed. White Mustard Seeds (in the United States these are referred to as Yellow Mustard Seeds), Brassica Sinapis alba or Brassica hirta, are the most popular and widely used. White mustard is indigenous to western Asia and southern Europe. In terms of size, they are slightly larger than the other types of mustard, but they have no noticeable aroma or flavor. When they are roasted they become more fragrant.
Brown Mustard Seed, Brassica juncea, is more pungent and is slightly more aromatic than the yellow seeds. Brown mustard is indigenous to northern India, China, Iran, Afghanistan, and Africa. The scent of these brown mustard seeds will become more intense with age. They are popular in African and Indian cuisine and are used in Germany and Russia to make condiments.
Black Mustard Seed, Brassica nigra, and they too have a little bit of a kick to them. Black mustard is indigenous to the South Mediterranean. They are the most intense of the mustard seeds and are super hard to come by as they cannot be harvested like other mustard seeds. They are the only type that must be handpicked, so machine harvesting must be replaced by labor intensive man power. Black mustard seeds are popular in Indian cooking and are typically fried in oil to make them sweeter and nuttier. Be wary of suppliers trying to pass off brown mustard seeds as black.
History of Mustard Seeds
Mustard seeds were first mentioned in ancient Sanskrit writings from 3,000 BC. The Romans introduced mustard making to northern and central Europe. These first mustards were made from ground mustard mixed with grape must which they called mustum ardens which translated to “hot or burning must”. Pope John XXII (the Pope from 1316-1334) was so much a fan of mustard that he created the position of "Grand Mustard Maker to the Pope." In the late 1700s Maurice Grey and Antoine Poupon, both from France, established a company using Grey's mustard recipe with Poupon being the financial backer. Their company sold prepared mustards, and the original store is still standing today in downtown Dijon, France.
During WWII, mustard seed was scarce across the US. Since the end of that war, mustard seed has become a major specialty crop in North America. In the 1950s, California and Montana were the major producers of mustard seeds in the US, and then in the 1960s that expanded up into the Midwest. Today, North Dakota produces the most domestic mustard seed.
Mustard Seed Cultivation
Mustard plants are annuals and have seedlings that come up out of the ground very quickly but then take a while to mature. With ideal moisture and temperature conditions, the mustard plant can cover the ground in as little as four to five weeks. Under drier conditions, the roots may burrow deeper into the ground in search of stored soil waters before the seedlings will appear. Once fully mature, the plant will stand anywhere from 30 inches to 45 inches tall, depending on the type and variety of the plant. White Mustard Seed takes about 80 to 85 days to mature. It grows best in temperate climates.
Where is Our Yellow Mustard Seed From
This is cultivated in India.
What does Yellow Mustard Seed Taste Like
Whole Yellow Mustard seeds don't have much taste or aroma until they are bitten into or ground. Once opened or bitten into, mustard seeds are pungent, sharp, and earthy.
Tips from Our Kitchen
We love using homemade mustard in deviled eggs, ham, cheese, pork and bean dishes, in cocktail and barbeque sauces, and in soups or chowders.
Ground and whole mustard seed is popular in sauces like Hollandaise, in dressings, and works well with mayonnaise. Strong flavors like grilled and roasted beef, cabbage, strong cheeses, chicken, curries, dals, fish, and seafood, cold meats, rabbit, sausages and barbecue rubs all compliment mustard seeds nicely.
In England, cooks use mustard with ham and roast beef, in the Caribbean it is an ingredient in sauces for fruit. White Mustard seeds are also popular in pickling spice blends.
Mustard Seed pairs well with bay, chili, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, fenugreek, garlic, honey, nigella, parsley, pepper, tarragon and turmeric.
Some of our favorite recipes using Yellow Mustard Seeds are German Style Mustard and Red Lentil Soup.
Making Homemade Mustard
If you are making mustard for the first time, you need to be aware that the temperature of the liquid you use when mixing is critical. You should also have a plan for how intense you want the heat level to be.
If you want a high heat level, then use a very cold liquid when mixing with the ground mustard. Using a hotter liquid will result in a milder mustard flavor. Dry roasting the whole mustard seeds will enhance the aroma, as well as heightening the flavor.
The flavor of your mustard depends not only on the temperature of the liquid used but also on the type of liquid that you mix your mustard with. Water provides a sharp and hot taste, but does not halt the enzyme's activity (this means that it isn’t very stable and has a short shelf life); vinegar results in a milder flavor with a little bit of tanginess; milk produces a milder, spicier and more pungent flavor; and beer results in spicier 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 and how thick you wish the final product to be.
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.
What is Whole Grain Mustard?
A whole grain mustard is mixed with spices, herbs, and then a liquid such as beer, water, wine, or vinegar. The mustard seeds are only partially blended, leaving some of the whole mustard seeds visible, the result is a thicker, coarse texture. Whole grain mustards are typically made with some combination of yellow and brown mustard seeds. Black mustard seeds have a different chemical makeup and are not used to make whole grain mustard.
Mustard Seed Substitution
Mustard seeds can be substituted for one another, so you can use the brown mustard seeds in place of the yellow quite easily at a 1:1 ratio. Just keep in mind that the darker the mustard seed, the more spice it will have, so be sure to taste as you are seasoning.
|Ingredients||Yellow Mustard Seeds|
|Also Called||White Mustard, Mustard Seeds or Mustard Seed|
|Recommended Uses||Use in dressings, Hollandaise sauce, mayonnaise, and with roast beef, cabbage, potent cheeses and curries|
|Flavor Profile||By itself has little to no flavor until it is added to water|
|Botanical Name||Brassica alba|
|Cuisine||American, Western Asia, and Southern Europe|
|How To Store||Airtight container in a cool, dark place|
|Shelf Life||1-2 years|
|Country of Origin||India|
|Dietary Preferences||Gluten Free, Kosher, Non-GMO|
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Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*