Mustard has been around since 2,000 BC. (give or take) Who’d have thought that such a little seed could still bring so much happiness to so many faces and be popular enough to support so many brands at the store. All so I can have mustard on my hot dog!! :-))))
Spending time on the back patio, and especially over the grill, is a relaxing treat for me. With the weather being amazing these past few weeks, I’m finding Jackie and me visiting the local grocery store and talking about “what we’re gonna have on the grill tonight.” With my love of food, I’m good with just about anything – chicken, chops, steaks, ribs, fish … even the simplest meals, like dogs and burgers, get me going. And of course, I just can’t have them without tasty mustard. Just the word mustard starts the debate – traditional yellow, brown, “stadium”, wine, grey poupon(pinkies up please) and more. Being a Clevelander, we’re a bit partial to Bertman Original Ballpark Mustard – a brown mustard made by Bertman Foods Company, a Cleveland, Ohio, food manufacturer and distributor which has produced several varieties of mustards since 1925 – AND the tasty version sold by The Davis Food Company called Stadium Authentic Mustard. Being Cleveland and sports related, of course a controversy as to the “best”. A little history:
Bertman’s spicy brown mustard, has been used at sports stadiums in and around Cleveland for over 90 years, including League Park, Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Jacobs Field, and Progressive Field. Joe Bertman, who was known for coming up with food solutions for his commercial customers, created the mustard for League Park, one of his top accounts, in the garage of his home in Cleveland’s Kinsman neighborhood. Bertman’s is well known to sports fans and was declared the “signature concession item” by ESPN.com writer Jim Caple. In 1966, Cleveland had one local brown stadium mustard until David Dwoskin, one of Bertman’s sales reps, decided to step in. In 1971, Dwoskin registered the name “The Authentic Stadium Mustard” for his new company Davis Food Company. In 1982 he obtained exclusive rights to sell to both wholesale and retail markets as well as stadiums, arenas and other venues. In the early 1980s there was a disagreement between Bertman and Dwoskin because Dwoskin was producing his own mustard under the Stadium brand through his own company. A spicy standoff. Today, both mustards are sold in grocery stores, specialty food shops, and online. The trademarked “Bertman Original Ball Park Mustard” is sold at Cleveland sports venues, and as a competing brand to David’s Stadium Mustard. We’ll leave it up to you to choose your favorite. While you are deciding, here’s a bit of trivia to make you the smart one around the grill next time you are rolling the franks and flippin’ the burgers. Thanks to Wikipedia, and thespruceeats.com for the info and recipes. Enjoy!
– Mustard has been one of the most widely grown and used spices in the world for many centuries. It is believed to have originated in Ancient Egypt. The Greeks used mustard as a medicine and a spice. The Romans emulated the Greeks using it as both food and medicine as well, ascribing it as a cure for anything from hysteria to snakebite to bubonic plague.
– Mustard is one of the earliest spices on record, appearing in Sanskrit manuscripts around 3000 BC. It is thought to be one of the first crops to be domesticated, and mustard was used throughout ancient Egypt, India, and China.
– The Romans brought mustard to Northern France where it was eventually cultivated by Monks. By the 9th century Monasteries were producing considerable amounts of income from mustard sales.
– The origin of the word mustard is believed to have come from the word Mosto or grape muss, a young unfermented wine which was mixed with ground Mustard seeds by the French Monks.
– Prepared mustard as we know it, began in Dijon, France in the 13th century encouraged by the Mustard loving Pope John XXII of Avignon who created the position of “Grand Moustardier du Pape” or the Grand Mustard-Maker to the Pope for his idle Nephew who lived near Dijon. (I think of myself as “Grand Heatoure of de Metale”).
– In the early 19th century, the British became the world’s first mustard millers – milling the heart of the mustard seed to a fine powder and they established mustard as an industrial food ingredient. The yellow Mustard that we know today was introduced in Rochester New York in 1904 where its pairing with the American hotdog gave rise to its popularity.
– Mustard, the condiment, is made from the tiny round seeds of the mustard plant, a member of the Brassicaceae family. In order to release their flavor, the seeds must be broken—coarsely cracked, crushed, or finely ground—then mixed with enough liquid to make a spreadable paste, which can then be used as a condiment or as an ingredient in many culinary preparations.
– Mustard has a long shelf life of one to two years and comes in many varieties: yellow, brown, coarse, extra spicy, flavored. The name comes from mustard in English, moutarde in French, mostarda in Italian—is thought to come from a contraction of the Latin mustum ardens meaning “burning must.” This is a reference to the spicy heat of mustard seeds and the ancient practice of mixing the ground seeds with must, the fresh, unfermented juice of wine grapes.
– Mustard was originally used as a medicinal plant rather than a culinary one. Pythagoras employed mustard as a remedy for scorpion stings, and Hippocrates made mustard plasters to treat toothaches and chest colds. While some people say mustard contains beneficial minerals such as selenium and magnesium, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, most of the nutritional value of the condiment comes from the food it is served with.
– While there are about 40 species of mustard plants, only three of them are used to make mustard: black (Brassica nigra), brown (B. juncea), and white or yellow (Sinapis alba). Mustard, however, takes many different forms depending on how the seeds are ground, what liquid is used (vinegar, wine, juice, or water), and what other flavoring ingredients are added.
– White mustard, which originated in the Mediterranean, is the antecedent of the bright yellow hot dog mustard we are all familiar with. Brown mustard from the Himalayas is familiar to many as Chinese restaurant mustard, and it serves as the base for most European and American mustards as well. Black mustard originated in the Middle East and in Asia Minor, where it is still popular, primarily as a spice in seed and powder form. Different types of mustard seeds can be—and often are—blended to combine their different characteristics and make a kind of hybrid mustard.
– Seeds can be cracked and used as a seasoning before or after cooking, as they are in many Middle Eastern cuisines. Seeds are also often used as a pickling spice. Oil extracted from mustard seeds can be used for cooking. High-quality mustard oils can be drizzled over finished food like olive oil to add spice and flavor.
– Mustard powder, either on its own or in a blend of powdered spices, can be used as a dry rub or sprinkled on food as a seasoning agent before grilling, roasting, or sautéing. Ground mustard can also be used to make your own prepared mustard.
– Prepared mustard is used widely as a condiment and goes especially well with charcuterie, classic dishes like choucroute garnie, baked ham, and, of course, hot dogs. Other flavorings—honey or garlic, for example—can be added to prepared mustard, and it is also frequently used as a cooking ingredient.
– While we usually think of mustard as a condiment to slather on hot dogs or just about anything else, it can also be used as a key ingredient in cooking. Prepared mustard is used in sauces, dressings, and marinades, where spicy flavor and creamy viscosity is desired. And mustard seeds, powder, and oil can be used too.
– The green or red leaves of mustard plants are edible, delicious, and widely used in many cuisines, but they come from other species in the Brassicaceae family. Mustard greens, on the are high in vitamins A and C.
– While there is great variation in taste from one kind of mustard to another, there are some basic flavor characteristics that you will find in just about every type and manifestation of mustard. There is always an element of spiciness, from very mild to burning hot. Hot or not, there is also an underlying sweetness from the plant itself, and there is usually a subtle but persistent aroma of yellow mustard flowers.
For me, mustard goes with hot dogs and hamburgers, a splash in potato salad, corned beef and ham sandwiches (or pretty much any sandwich) and in sauces on the grill. What are your favorites – shoot me an email, and any great recipe too. email@example.com
Q: What do you call mustard you think you may have had before?
A: Dijon Vu. HA! Happy Friday
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