14 Facts about Mustard

1. Mustard is made from the ground seeds of a mustard plant, water, vinegar, and optionally some flavorings and spices.

2. The Romans mixed unfermented grape juice, known as must, with ground mustard seeds (called sinapis) to make “burning must”, mustum ardens. That’s the source of the name “must ard”.

3. Cooking food with mustard dramatically decreases the condiment’s pungency.

4. Yellow mustard (a.k.a. regular mustard) is the most commonly used mustard in the US. The rest of the world calls it American mustard. It is a very mild mustard colored bright yellow due to the use of turmeric. It was introduced over 100 years ago in 1904 by George T. French who bet that Americans would prefer milder tasting mustard than what was available at the time.

5. Dijon mustard uses white wine in addition to vinegar. Although Dijon mustard originated in Dijon, France, there is no limitation on the use of “Dijon” for mustard manufactured in the US as well.

6. Honey mustard is simply a blend of mustard and honey, used as a sandwich topping, dip, marinade, or in salad dressings.

7. The Mustard Museum of Middleton Mount Horeb, Wisconsin features a collection of over 5,000 jars of mustard from all 50 states and 60 countries. National Mustard Day is celebrated annually at the Mount Horeb Mustard Museum on the first Saturday in August.

8. Per capita consumption of mustard in the US is about 12 oz. annually.

9. Mustard sales are $300 million annually. French’s is the top brand with a third of the market. Private labels are second with around 20%. Kraft’s Grey Poupon has 15% for third place.

10. French’s website aggressively encourages people to opt for mustard as the condiment of choice because mayonaisse is full of fat, and ketchup is full of sugar.

11. Grey Poupon became a popular mustard in the late 1970s and 1980s as American tastes broadened from the conventional American yellow mustards.

12. The ingredients of French’s Yellow Mustard, Classic -
Distilled Vinegar, Water, No. 1 Grade Mustard Seed, Salt, Contains Less than 2% of Turmeric, Paprika, Spice, Natural Flavor, Garlic Power.
We wonder what “Spice” and “Natural Flavors” are.

13. Nutrition-wise, a serving of mustard (1 teaspoon) has less than 20 calories, no sugar, no fat, and only 55mg of sodium.

14. Mustard may cause allergic reactions in some people. Since November 2005, products in the European Union must be labeled as such if they contain mustard.

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  • http://www.nu4you.net Dennis Allio

    What a fun article. In my high school days I worked at a restaurant where I spilled a 2 gallon container of yellow “American” mustard by accident all over a freshly cleaned kitchen. I couldn’t eat mustard for years. Finally I discovered how wonderful some of the spicy mustards are as a condiment and that’s why this article caught my eye.

  • http://fooducate.com staff

    that’s a lot of mustard to clean up…

  • Edward Venery

    I prefer french mustard – the dark brown sweet and tangy stuff – not the mild yellow American mustard brought out by French’s. Although I do enjoy the yellow stuff. I don’t know about the US but in the UK McDonald’s used to serve little pod of ‘mild mustard’ that were delicious however these are a thing of the past.
    Fun fact: so-called ‘french’ mustard doesn’t originate in France, it was invented by the Colman’s company who, today, are most famous for their strong English mustard.