Mustard

By Katrin Koelle
Updated on 02. Jul. 2020

Until the last few hundred years, mustard was better known for its medicinal qualities than its culinary ones. Read up below on everything you need to know about this versatile, delicious and healthy condiment.

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Mustard...

  • ...can help prevent cancer. The mustard oils (glucosinate)s abundant in mustard protect the body’s cells against damage and, according to several studies, can help prevent cancer in the stomach, intestines and abdomen. Another study has shown that mustard might even inhibit tumour growth.
  • ...is high in nutrients. Mustard is high in B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.
  • ...has an antibiotic effect. The mustard oils in mustard have an antibacterial effect and support the body’s defenses against viruses, bacteria and fungi.
  • ...helps with skin diseases. Mustard and mustard seeds have a beneficial effect on the inflammatory effects of psoriasis as well as contact dermatitis.
  • ...supports digestion. Mustard oils help the stomach and intestines to digest, especially fattier foods.
  • ...helps protect the heart. In a recent study, scientists found out that the mustard oils contained in mustard can help protect against heart attacks, angina pectoris and cardiac arrhythmia.
  • ...helps prevent diabetes. A Japanese study found that a diet high in mustard can help protect the body against developing type 2 diabetes.

What You Should Know About Mustard

Mustard has been one of the most popular seasoning ingredients for more than 3000 years. At that time mustard was already a common seasoning in China, and eventually gained popularity in the 4th century. In ancient Greece and ancient Rome, the spice was used as a medicinal remedy. 

From the 8th century onwards, mustard began its culinary tour throughout Europe with increasing success. In France, the famous hot Dijon mustard was probably invented as early as the 13th century. It took the Germans a little longer, because the first Düsseldorf mustard, which was equal to French mustard in terms of hotness, was first produced in Germany in 1726 by a manufacturer called Esser, thus establishing a tradition. Even today, Düsseldorf is still considered the mustard capital and only manufacturers from this city on the Rhine are allowed to call and offer their mustard as "Düsseldorfer".

Origins

The original home of mustard is in Asia.

Season

Mustard is available in all seasons.

Flavor

Apart from the main flavors hot, medium hot and sweet, mustard can vary in taste significantly depending on the variety. 

Varieties

The main varieties are:

  • Medium hot mustard: Mainly made from white mustard seeds, which are mixed with brown ones.
  • Hot mustard: This mustard contains a significantly higher proportion of brown mustard seeds.
  • Dijon mustard: Made from brown and black mustard seeds.
  • Düsseldorf mustard: This variety is traditionally made from brown and yellow mustard seeds.
  • English mustard: For this variety a high percentage of black mustard seed and a smaller percentage of white mustard seed are used.

Our Favorite Recipes With Mustard

Find all our recipes with mustard here.

How Healthy is Mustard?

There are good reasons why mustard was more popular for its medicinal properties than its culinary ones until a few hundred years ago. Mustard's abundant mustard oils, also known as glucosinolates, have various health benefits. These oils help the stomach, bile and intestines to digest and make fatty or hard-to-digest food easier to digest. At the same time the mustard oils support our defenses against viruses, bacteria and fungi.

But that's not all: the glucosinates in mustard have a proven protective effect against cell damage and, according to several studies, can effectively help prevent cancer of the stomach, intestines and abdomen. Another study was able to show that mustard might even inhibit the growth of existing cancer cells.

In addition, the mustard oils contained in mustard can protect against myocardial infarction and alleviate angina pectoris and cardiac arrhythmia. Japanese researchers also found that mustard can most likely help prevent diabetes and reduce complications in diabetics.

At least in animal experiments, scientists have so far been able to prove that mustard has a beneficial effect on the inflammatory processes of psoriasis and contact dermatitis.

MUSTARD NUTRITIONAL INFO (100 g)  
Calories 88
Protein 6 g
Fat 4 g
Carbohydrates 6 g
Fiber 1 g

Shopping and Cooking Tips

Purchasing

Mustard is one of those foods where quality and price are not directly related. There are types of mustard for around 50 cents per jar that will inspire you and others that cost more than ten times whose flavor will fall flat. With mustard it is therefore purely a matter of taste testing. 

Storage

Mustard can be kept for a very long time in the refrigerator after opening. 

Preparation

No special preparation is needed when preparing mustard for eating or cooking. 

What to Make With Mustard

Every child knows that mustard is served with all kinds of hot dogs, sausages, grilled meat, meatballs and roasted meat. Mustard is also a classic base for vinaigrettes, and in marindes for poultry, red meat or fish.  

Feel free to experiment with different varieties: a mustard sauce with eggs, fish or steak also tastes great if you use sweet and spicy mustard, for example. 

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