I was never the yellow-mustard-sort-of-girl growing up. It was ketchup on most meals for me: burgers, hot dogs, fish sticks. My mother cringed with horror as I slathered mayonnaise on my roast beef sandwiches. But luckily for me (and my mother), my taste buds have evolved and I have discovered a multitude of mustards. Most of you are familiar with the regular yellow mustard which is made up of crushed yellow mustard seeds, vinegar, water, seasoning and turmeric which gives it the bright yellow colour. As you can see in the photo below the seeds are not that bright yellow, nor is the ground powder.
Dijon mustard is another popular mustard which is actually manufactured outside of the French city of Dijon; it is lighter in colour than regular prepared yellow mustard, there is no turmeric and the vinegar is typically replaced with some wine, plus other seasoning From the jars in my fridge, prepared yellow mustard has 0 calories per teaspoon and 55 mg. of sodium whereas the Dijon has 5 calories per teaspoon and 130 of sodium. The other mustard which is a constant here is a Dijon whole grain mustard which is a grainy version of Dijon and a mix of yellow and brown mustard seeds. It has an interesting texture and is nice for cooking. Mine has 10 calories per teaspoon and 100 mg. of sodium.
The variety of mustards in the supermarkets and speciality stores are almost limitless. There are sweet mustards, hot mustards, tarragon mustards, horseradish mustards to name a few. Check out your supermarket shelves…attend your local farmers’ markets; there are always stands of home-made mustards abound. Did you know that Canada is the largest producer of mustard seeds, with Saskatchewan producing 80% of it? But the United States is the world’s largest consumer of mustard. And now you know!
I prepared my own home-made mustard just to show you how. There are many different recipes to be found searching the Internet. The recipe by David Lebovitz intrigued me but I mustered (sorry, I could not resist) up the courage to do my own version:
1/3 cup mustard seeds
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. salt
big pinch of cayenne if you like the heat, optional
1. Mix all the ingredients together in a ceramic bowl. Cover and let stand for 3 days. This waiting time will give the seeds a chance to absorb the liquids and will make it easier to grind into a paste.
2. Place the mixture in a blender and grind until it is as smooth as possible. Add up to 5 tablespoons of water to get your desired consistency. And there you have it. Home-made yellow mustard. Similar colour. Similar taste. A little grainier but that just gives it character. Excuse me while I go make a roast beef sandwich.
Please try these recipes that I have posted using mustard or mustard seeds: