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White mustard seeds
Mustard powder made from white mustard
Table mustard colored with turmeric
Bavarian sweet mustard
Dijon mustard
Brown mustard
Coarse French mustard, mainly made from black mustard seeds

Mustard ( listening ? / I ) is a hot spice made from the seeds of white , brown and black mustard . Both pure mustard seeds (whole seeds), mustard powder (ground seeds) and, above all, the seasoning paste made from the more or less finely ground seeds and other ingredients , called "table mustard" or "mustard", are common. Audio file / audio sample

The word mustard (from Middle High German sënef "mustard, mustard seeds") is a loan word from the Latin sināpi , which comes from the ancient Greek σίναπι , whose further word origin is unknown.


Mustard seeds contain around 20 to 36% nutty, mild mustard oil , 28% protein and the glycosides sinalbin ( white mustard - forms bisphenol F ) and sinigrin ( brown and black mustard ), which are responsible for the pungent taste and thus also for the appetizing and digestive effects are responsible. However, these mustard oil glycosides are not spicy themselves. The enzyme myrosinase , which is also contained in the mustard seeds, becomes active only when the seeds are crushed or ground and come into contact with liquid, converting the glycosides into glucose , hydrogen sulfate (HSO 4 - ) and sharp, tear-irritating isothiocyanates (RN = C = S), which are also often as the " fatty mustard oil" are also called " essential mustard oil". That is why mustard seeds first have a mild, nutty taste that only gains a bit more spiciness after prolonged chewing, and dry mustard powder also initially has a bland, slightly bitter, but not pungent taste. In the case of table mustard, on the other hand, isothiocyanate has already been formed through grinding and the addition of water and other ingredients, so that the sharp aroma can develop from the outset.

In addition to the different colors of the seeds, white, brown and black mustard are also characterized by different levels of heat: white mustard with the glycoside sinalbin is milder, brown and black mustard with the glycoside sinigrin are significantly hotter. The spiciness of a mustard paste can therefore be determined as desired by the mixing ratio of white and brown or black mustard. Since black mustard ( Brassica nigra ) is more difficult to harvest mechanically, only white mustard ( Sinapis alba ) and brown mustard ( Brassica juncea ) are used today.


Archaeological excavations in the Indus Valley (Indian subcontinent) have shown that mustard was grown there. This civilization existed until around 1800 BC. The first traditional recipe for mustard preparation was written by the Roman Columella in the 1st century AD. In the 8th century, mustard was first mentioned in Central Europe in a writing by Charlemagne and - spread from Arab plantations in Spain - to European countries Bars will soon become an important spice. So appointed Pope John XXII. Who exclusively in Avignon , and not in Rome resided, one of his nephews to the Grand Moutardier du Pape - the "Great papal mustard keepers".

For centuries, mustard and horseradish were the only hot spices available to European chefs and were accordingly widespread. They were later supplemented with pepper (13th century) and chili (15th century).

In medieval medicine, black mustard was mainly used for external application, with its strong circulation-promoting, pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects being the foreground.

The Düsseldorf ABB mustard has been produced in Germany since 1726 , making ABB mustard the oldest German mustard brand still in existence. This is produced industrially today by the Düsseldorf company Löwensenf . Traditional production can still be seen in facilities such as the mustard mill in Kleinhettstedt .

Mustard seeds

Whole white and black mustard seeds are used in cooking, frying, and marinating. The mild, nutty-tasting seeds gradually develop their sharp aroma only during cooking or pickling.

Mustard seeds from white mustard are used, for example, for pickling mustard gherkins and mixed pickles and for making sausages.

Economical meaning

In 2018, according to the food and agriculture organization FAO, 710,349 t of mustard seeds were harvested worldwide. The largest producing countries were Nepal , Canada and Russia . The largest European producers were Russia and Ukraine .

Mustard leaves

In India , the leaves and stems of the mustard plant are cooked with onions and garlic and eaten with naan bread.

Mustard powder

Mustard powder consists of at least 80% ground, mostly white, mustard seeds with peel (mustard flour) as well as spices, herbs and flour. It is particularly common in English cuisine . If it is not cooked, it is mixed with water to form a paste that is used in a similar way to table mustard.

Mustard powder can also be part of curry powder .

Table mustard

Mustard mill with granite stones

Mustard has always been made into a paste, as this is the best way to develop its spiciness. Traditionally, the mustard is mixed with grape must , which led from the Latin mustum ardens (burning must) via the old French mustard to the German name Mostrich or Mostert , which is now only used in landscapes, and the English mustard . Common basic ingredients today are mustard, water, vinegar and salt . Depending on the variety, different spices and other ingredients can also be added.

For production, the cleaned mustard seeds are first crushed between rollers and then usually de-oiled. Then the meal is mixed with the other ingredients and the resulting mash is given time to ferment - this creates the typical aroma. The pulp is then ground to a more or less smooth paste, depending on the variety. The temperature must not exceed 50 ° C in order to preserve the essential oils. In a second, historical process, the mash is ground between heavy stones, usually granite or basalt . In this so-called cold milling process, the temperature of the mass does not rise above 27 ° C. In industrial production, the mass is ground by closed, water-cooled grinders, so that no essential oils can escape and the mass is not heated above 20 ° C. After that, the mustard has to be stored for a few more hours because it is still too thin for industrial filling. It then reaches its final maturity in a glass or in a tube. Freshly bottled medium-hot mustard is still too hot and must therefore be stored for a few weeks until it has broken down and can be sold.

Table mustard is served with sausage , cured and cold meat or as a seasoning ingredient for sauces , salads , fish and vegetable dishes . Because of its flavoring and emulsifying properties , it is also used in mayonnaises and vinaigrettes .


The selection and the ratio of white to black mustard, the degree of grinding of the grains and the must or vinegar used create very different flavors and consistencies. Additional ingredients such as sugar , caramel or honey , horseradish or cayenne pepper , herbs and spices such as tarragon or cinnamon , lemon juice , wine or beer , garlic , tomatoes or paprika create additional taste nuances between sweet, mild, spicy and very hot.

American mustard

In the USA , mustard is available nationwide in a uniform, rather sweet and mild flavor. Vinegar is used in the production. American mustard has a typically bright yellow color, which is achieved by adding a higher amount of turmeric than is common in Europe. However, other types of mustard, especially those traditional in Europe, can be found as imported products in most large supermarkets.

Medium hot mustard

The most popular form of mustard in Germany is medium-spicy mustard , also known as delicacy mustard . It is mainly made from white and brown mustard seeds. In Austria and in parts of the eastern federal states, horseradish mustard is also popular as a variant , which also contains horseradish / horseradish or its flavor.

Hot mustard

It corresponds to the medium hot, but contains a higher proportion of brown mustard seeds. In Austria , “spicy mustard” means the darker tarragon mustard .

Sweet mustard

White sausage mustard (Germany)

Sweet mustard , Bavarian or veal sausage mustard consists of coarsely ground, partially roasted mustard seeds and is sweetened with sugar , sweetener or applesauce . Especially high-quality sweet mustard is instead sweetened with honey (honey mustard ). In Germany it is mainly eaten with white sausage and meat loaf. Sweet mustard has been in use since 1843. Viktorine Schiller's cookbook “Neustes Süddeutsches Kochbuch für alle Stände” already contains two recipes that make a sweet mustard. Bavarian mustard was first produced in 1854 by Johann Conrad Develey . Today, Händlmaier is considered the market leader for sweet mustard. Different types of sweet mustard are also known in Scandinavia , France , Austria and the Czech Republic .

Kremser Mustard (Austria)
Kremser mustard from Mautner Markhof

The Hietzgern brothers founded a trading company in Krems an der Donau in 1819 , and in 1851 the mustard production started there. Kremser mustard is made from coarsely ground yellow and brown mustard seeds, a little sugar, unfermented wine must and wine vinegar, originally from the Krems region. The Mautner Markhof Feinkost company is now the market leader for Kremser mustard.

In Austria it is also known colloquially as "Sweet Mustard", but is spicier than "Bavarian Mustard", which is also known in Germany. Along with tarragon mustard (colloquially “spicy mustard”), it is part of the standard selection of mustard in Austrian gastronomy.

Rotisseur mustard (grainy mustard)

Rotisseur mustard or grainy mustard is a general name for coarsely ground mustard, which is less sensitive to heat and is therefore suitable for seasoning grilled meat and the like.

Dijon mustard

The French city ​​of Dijon received a monopoly on mustard production in the 13th century . Dijon mustard must be made from brown or black mustard seeds according to the European Code of Practice . The mustard seeds are scraped through a centrifugal sieve with fine holes, whereby the peel remains inside and only the mustard seed is processed further. Traditionally, the mustard seeds in Dijon mustard are not de-oiled, which gives it a particularly full flavor.

Classic Dijon mustard is finely ground and hot. One of the best-known variants is tarragon mustard . The Düsseldorf Löwensenf is also made using the Dijon process .

English mustard

Traditional English mustard is a particularly hot mustard made from the flour of white and black mustard seeds. Variants contain different additional spices, but with the original, the special spiciness comes from the mustard flour and not from the additives.


Even if Mostrich is used as a synonym for all types of mustard in some regions, it is originally mustard, in which unfermented grape juice (“must”) is used instead of vinegar.

Düsseldorf Mostert

This hot, malty-brown mustard is made in Düsseldorf from brown and yellow mustard seeds and brandy vinegar according to a recipe from the 18th century.

Purple mustard

A French variant of sweet mustard is purple mustard , which is mainly used for its color.

Mustard energy

As a trigger for mustard energy , mustard as an ingredient in food is subject to labeling according to the European Food Information Regulation .


  • In the New Testament , the kingdom of God is compared with a mustard seed in a parable ( Mt 13.31–32  EU and Mk 4.30–32  EU ).
  • In Buddhism there is also a parable that deals with a mustard seed and addresses the finiteness of earthly life. In the Ka-Nying-Shedrub-Ling monastery in Kathmandu , mustard seeds are sacrificed or ritually used at every Buddhist ceremony , as they are said to have an effect against spiritual obstacles and the negative influence of demons .
  • In Greek mythology is Kronos by Zeus by a mustard potion for spitting brought his brothers eaten.
  • The widespread use of mustard as a condiment led to the phrase "add your mustard", which is used to describe continuous and mostly superfluous expressions of opinion.

Web links

Wiktionary: Mustard  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Mustard  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Mustard. In: Digital dictionary of the German language .
  2. ^ Indus civilization | History, Location, Map, Art, & Facts. Accessed May 17, 2019 .
  3. Eva Shenia Shemyakova: 'Des Juden buch von kreuczenach'. Investigation and edition of the recipe part of the Heidelberg Cpg 786. In: Fachproseforschung - Grenzüberreitungen. Volume 8/9, 2012/13, pp. 207–265, here: p. 234.
  4. ^ Friedrich-Wilhelm Henning: Düsseldorf and its economy: for the history of a region. Volume 1. Droste, Düsseldorf 1981, ISBN 3-7700-0595-3 , p. 153.
  5. ^ Karl Bone: Düsseldorf and its surroundings. 1880, p. 28.
  6. Crops> Mustard seed. In: Official FAO production statistics for 2018., accessed on April 23, 2020 .
  7. Meera Sodha: Fresh India: 130 Quick, Easy and Delicious Recipes for Every Day. London, 2016. ISBN 978-0-241-20042-1 .
  8. a b Wolfgang Luck: Mustard - The little agitator. Arte documentation, 2012.
  9. ^ A b Association of the German Mustard Industry eV: European assessment criteria for food mustard - Code of Practice. In: Deutsche Lebensmittel-Rundschau. No. 2, 1994, pp. 59-61.
  10. Eberhard Teuscher / Ulrike Bauermann: Gewürzdrogen: Handbook of the spices, aromatic herbs, their essential oils and the spice mixtures. Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft, 2002. Page 490. ISBN 978-3-8047-1867-8 .
  11. Viktorine Schiller: The latest South German cookbook for all stands A collection of more than eight hundred recipes of fine and middle-class culinary art that have been tried and tested over forty years of experience . August 22, 2016 ( [accessed May 21, 2019]).
  12. Wolfgang Wittl: mustard from Bavaria. Medium hot versus sweet. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . December 21, 2013.
  13. “Kremser Senf” comes to the museum
  14. ^ Charles Hallisey: Therigatha: Poems of the First Buddhist Women [Therigatha, the "Verses of the early nuns", 9th book of the Khuddaka Nikaya in the Pali Canon]. Harvard University Press, 2015. ISBN 978-0-674-42773-0 .
  15. Ursel Scheffler: Heroes and Gods: The exciting world of Greek legends. ISBN 978-3-451-71323-1 .
  16. Wiktionary to add your mustard