White mustard considered to be originated around the Mediterranean region is now available worldwide. Today it can be found in central, eastern and northern Europe and also in China. It belongs to the plant family of Brassicaceae. It is mostly grown as a green manure or as a fodder crop and it is available through out the year. Its seeds are between 1 to 2mm in diameter and round in shape. Though called white, the seeds color varies from light brown to yellow. It contains around 35% of fatty oil, 28% of proteins and 2.5 % of sinalbin. Sinalbin is the cause of the mustards pungent smell.
Vinegar and wine is must for mustard. Vinegar is used for controlling the pungency whereas wine is added to enhance the taste of the mustard. Its property of non-hydrolysis in acidic environment makes it ideal for using it as mustard pastes. The seed pod of the plant has large number of seeds. These seeds need to be plucked before they completely mature. It can be used either as whole or by crushing the seeds. If one wants to use it for pickling then one need to use it as whole otherwise the seeds need to be crushed. . Tarragon, honey, spices and other ingredients are quite frequently added to improve the flavor of the mustard. These varieties of mustard are used in meat and in sauces in Europe and America. The emulgators present in the mustard protects the sauces from getting spoiled. These emulgators does not only provide protection but it also increases the taste of the food.
The way of producing mustard differs form place to place. Some countries prefer the traditional approach whereas others have adopted the modern methods. In Britain the mustard is produced mostly by the traditional Colman method, a method devised by Jeremiah Colman 200 years ago. White mustard and wheat flour is mixed with black mustard and sold in the market as dry powder. Water is mixed before using the powder in order to get the mustard flavor. No other ingredient is mixed with the powder. So, the taste is completely original which is pungent in nature.
Germans prepare the mustard pastes in rather traditional manner. The white mustard seeds are mixed with herbs and honey to prepare sweet mustard in Bavaria. This variety is not only sweet but also very tasty. Germans use it extensively with white sausages.
Düsseldorf is called the mustard capital of Germany. Here black mustard is used, which has pungent taste. A variety of mustards are prepared using white mustard seeds which are very popular in the country.
The French uses traditional mustard pastes and also non-traditional mustard preparation. The white mustard’s seed coat’s are removed and is mixed with variety of ingredients like herbs, spices, sugar and vinegar. The mustard produced by this method is called Bordeaux. Nowadays wine and champagne are used to produce different varities of mustards. The french also produces Dijon mustard using black mustard seeds. It is used mostly in meats; it is sour, salty and pungent in nature.