5 Common Types of Mustard—and Every Delicious Way You Should Be Using Them
There are so many types of mustard—you probably have several in your fridge right now, some of which are getting a lot more attention than others. But what exactly is mustard and how do we know which types is best?
Mustard is one of the world's oldest condiments. Roman chefs used to grind mustard seeds with grape juice (known as must) into a spicy paste known as mustum ardens, which was shortened to "mustard" when the sauce arrived in the States.
In essence, mustard is a combination of ground mustard seeds and some form of liquid—it's the type of seeds and liquid that differentiates one variety of mustard from the next. Some are sweet, some are spicy, others are downright astringent. The level of heat in a given type of mustard is largely determined by the style of seed—yellow seeds are mild, while brown or black seeds have a lot more heat. But the liquid is what makes or breaks a mustard's potency: The natural enzymes found in mustard are only activated in the presence of water. The more acidic the liquid in mustard is, the longer-lasting the burn will be; less acidic mustards tend to be super pungent at first, but lose their punch shortly thereafter.