Mustard is a condiment we like to recommend. Compared to high-calorie mayonnaise, it has zero fat. Compared to ketchup, it has zero sugars and carbs. In fact, at 5 calories per teaspoon, this is one of the best ways to add flavor without adding calories.
Mustard is made from the ground seeds of a mustard plant, water, vinegar, and a few added flavorings and spices. Our favorite mustard is Dijon, which originated in France about 160 year ago. A native of the Dijon area substituted vinegar with verjuice (the acidic juice of pressed, unripe grapes) and liked the result. Today, Dijon mustard is made with vinegar and white wine.
This is the ingredient list of a store-brand Dijon Mustard:
Water, mustard seed, vinegar, salt, white wine, citric acid, turmeric, tartaric acid, spices.
Citric acid is responsible for the tart and sour taste of lemons, and to a lesser extent other citrus fruits and some berries. Although it is a natural compound, citric acid is manufactured through the use of Aspergillus Niger, a mold that feeds on cheap corn syrup glucose.
Tartaric acid is also naturally occurring, in grapes and bananas for example. It is also found in wine. Besides being an antioxidant, it adds a tart flavor to foods. Tartaric acid may be derived from wine-making, but it is mostly synthesized as well.
Turmeric is a spice that adds a strong yellow color to foods.
The only thing to watch for in mustard is its sodium content – 120mg per teaspoon. That’s about 5% of the recommended daily maximum, so for one or two teaspoons you should be OK.
What’s your favorite use for mustard?