Thursday, October 29, 2009


Mustard is a condiment made from the seeds of a mustard plant. The whole, ground, cracked, or bruised mustard seeds are mixed with water, vinegar or other liquids, and sometimes other flavorings and spices, to created a thick paste ranging in colour from bright yellow to dark brown.

Mustard often has a sharp, pungent flavor, as mixing the ground seed with cold liquid causes the release of the enzyme myrosin, responsible for mustard's characteristic heat. Homemade mustards are often far hotter and more intensely flavored than commercial preparations. A strong mustard can cause the eyes to water, sting the palate and inflame the nasal passages.

Mustard can also cause allergic reactions: since 2005, products in the European Union must be labelled as potential allergens if they contain mustard. Commonly paired with meats and cheeses, mustard is also a popular addition to sandwiches, hamburgers, and hot dogs.

It is also used as an ingredient in many dressings, glazes, sauces, soups, and marinades; as a cream or a seed, mustard is used in the cuisine of India, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, northern Europe, the Balkan States, Asia, the United States, and Africa, making it one of the most popular and widely used spices and condiments in the world.

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