Mustard Seeds – Black or White

There are many differences between black and white mustard seeds. White mustard seeds are in fact yellow in colour, have a smooth surface and are hot and spicy, similar to radishes. Black mustard seeds on the other hand, are a brown-black colour, have a rough surface and have a strong, pungent and slightly bitter flavour. A large selection of mustards can be found in the supermarket and they all vary according to the ingredients used and the method of preparation. The most popular varieties include medium spicy, sweet, or extra spicy mustard. It is also possible to make your own mustard to suit your taste.

Food Facts Food Facts

Mustard Seeds (white)

Class

mustard (brassica)

Appearance

approx. 2mm big, round, with a smooth surface

Contents

mustard oil, proteins and the glycoside sinalbin

Storage

store in a cool, dark and dry place

Shelf life

a few years



Mustard Seeds – Origin and History

Mustard seeds come from the mustard plant, which is native to the Mediterranean region. Today it is cultivated worldwide in areas such as North and Central America, Central Europe, North Africa and Asia. In China, mustard seeds have been used as a spice for more than 3,000 years, and during the antiquity the plant was already popular for medicinal purposes in Greece and Italy. 

Mustard Seeds – Make Your Own Mustard

Making your own mustard is not difficult and you can add many interesting flavours. Honey adds a delicious sweet taste, figs add fruitiness and almost all herbs and spices provide an interesting twist on the traditional mustard flavour.

Mustard is made by grinding up mustard seeds with white wine, water, sugar and salt. The grains can be ground in a coffee grinder, or for an easier option simply use mustard flour. This basic mixture can then be adapted to your taste. For an unusual flavour, perhaps try mixing mustard with beer or grape juice. In a sealed container, the mustard can keep for approximately five weeks in the refrigerator. 

Mustard Seeds – Cooking with the Seeds

The spicy seeds can be used for more than just making mustard. Lightly crushed or finely ground mustard seeds add a spicy flavour to stews, stir-fry dishes, sauerkraut or other cabbage dishes. When it comes to pickling cucumbers, or other vegetables, mustard seeds are essential. They are also an excellent addition to meat marinades – whole or ground. 

Mustard Seeds – Bitter and Pungent

The mustard oil in the seeds contains glucosinolates, which are responsible for the pungent flavour – more precisely, the sinalbin in the white seeds and the sinigrin in the black seeds. The seeds must first be mixed with water to get rid of this pungent, bitter taste.

Whether you prefer the black or the white seeds, they both have a positive effect on the digestive system. Due to a common mustard seed allergy, all foods with a trace of mustard must list it as an ingredient on the label.

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