WHAT IS BROWN MUSTARD SEED?
Unlike their cousins black and yellow, brown mustard seed is a fiery cousin that adds a kick to any recipe. Brown and black are very similar with strength, with the former being a bit stronger but the latter being much easier to find in stores. Humans have been grinding these seeds for thousands of years into a pungent paste both for eating and medicinal purposes. The plants themselves can grow up to 6 feet tall (1.8 meters) in height, though their seeds are a fraction of an inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. Because of its savory and hot nature, brown mustard is most often used in spicy recipes. For a fun twist on boring old coleslaw check out this recipe with a tangy mustard-based dressing!
WHY IS BROWN MUSTARD SEED GOOD FOR YOU?
Despite it’s pungent flavor, mustard seeds in general are full of health benefits. They’re rich in fiber and minerals (fiber, selenium, magnesium, and manganese). It’s also a popular ingredient in homeopathic recipes for treating congestion, headaches, asthma or even as a soothing face mask.
WHEN IS BROWN MUSTARD SEED IN SEASON?
This depends greatly on the geographic location of your crop. Canada for example (despite its short growing season) is able to harvest their fast growing mustard crops around September.
HOW SHOULD BROWN MUSTARD SEED BE STORED?
In Europe up until the early 1700s mustard was often sold in a compact, dry ball mixed with a bit of honey. Then when taken home they’d be mixed with more vinegar to create fresh mustard! Today while the mustard paste is stored in glass jars, the seeds can be stored in a cool, dry kitchen cupboard or frozen (sealed in a ziplock bag) until needed.
WHERE IS BROWN MUSTARD SEED FROM?
Evidence of mustard seed has been found in human settlements dating back over 7,000 years! Throughout history it has been a much beloved way to make boring food more delicious. In 1,000 AD for example the Pope created the position of “grand moutardier du pape” (official mustard maker to the Pope) to make sure of a constant supply. Today mustard is thought to be a product of the more temperate regions of Europe. However the majority of mustard seed today comes from Canada. To find out more about the differences between these two harvests, click here to see our Food Fight!!!