Paradise On Your Plate

Mustard is a plant with yellow flowers that have small round seeds. It belongs to the Brassicaceae family and is closely related to cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and other crucifers.

At Grainy Mustard Culinary Workshop, everyone cooks their own mustard to take home.
After an exciting day cooking, at about 5.00pm, we all enjoy a delicious two-course dinner prepared by our chef. Over dinner, we can discuss what you’ve learned and answer any questions you have.

Most of the world’s mustard is grown throughout North-West India, the North American prairies, Pakistan and Nepal.

Black mustard seeds are a common ingredient in Indian cooking. They are often kept whole and fried (or toasted), before adding to a dish or including in a stir-fry, along with other aromatic ingredients. White mustard seeds can be toasted to add to dishes or used for pickling. There are some dishes, particularly in Indian cuisine, that use the black mustard seeds for spice and texture. The seeds are sauteed in oil until they pop and are cooked along with the other ingredients.

Brown mustard seeds are used in Europe to produce Dijon mustard and other specialty mustards, and the usual table mustard in Russia is made from brown mustard seeds. In Asian countries, brown mustard seeds are used to produce condiments and mustard oil.

Yellow mustard seeds are responsible for most of our favourite brands of mustard. You may also see them in the store labelled as "white mustard seeds." These are the mildest of the mustard seeds, making them the most common for traditional mustard spreads.

Honey Mustard

Honey mustard is exactly what its name implies—a mixture of honey and mustard. This is usually done in a one-to-one ratio but can be adjusted, based on personal taste. Since the goal of honey mustard it to bring sweetness to a sauce it's known for its heat and bitterness, yellow is the most common mustard used, because it starts with an already mild flavour that's easy to tame further with honey.

Whole Grain Mustard

Whole grain mustard is simply mustard that has been ground just enough to form a paste, but not so much that it fully breaks down all the mustard seeds. It has a thick, coarse texture. Whole grain mustard is not beholden to any formula per se, but most of what you pull off the shelf is of Dijon influence. I personally love the extra texture and bite of whole grain mustard, and it's my go-to choice for cheese plates or ham sandwiches.

Hot Mustard

To temper a mustard seed's natural heat, one can add it to hot water and/or acid. This is exactly how hot mustard is made—start with ground brown or black mustard seeds and whisk in a proportionate amount of cold water. The mustard then gradually gains heat, peaking around fifteen minutes, before beginning to mellow out. Adding in vinegar or storing hot mustard in the refrigerator once it's at its hottest will slow down this decline of heat, but won't stop it, which is why store-bought hot mustard won't be as potent as ones made at home.

Useful Mustard

01. Storing Mustard

Mustard seed – Keeps well tightly sealed in a cool, dry place for up to one year.Dry mustard powder – Keeps well tightly sealed in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.Prepared mustards – Once opened, prepared mustard will keep well stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.Like other spices, mustards lose some of their zip as they age.

02. Toasting Mustard

Toasting mustard seed will often round out its flavour and aroma. After toasting, the seed develops a nutty essence and crunch. The toasted mustard seed makes a nice garnish for appetizers, salads and main dishes.

03. Cracking & Grinding Mustard

Cracked or ground mustard can be added to cucumbers (fresh or pickled), vegetables like beets or beans, sauerkraut, homemade sausage and coleslaws. Crack Mustard Seed: place seed (no more than 1/2 cup / 125 ml) in a heavy freezer bag. Crush with a rolling pin, heavy skillet or the flat side of the meat mallet.

Dominic Ryan
Instructor at Grainy Mustard Culinary Workshop