Ahh mustard, a wonderful hot taste. I personally like the ham that comes with mustard around the outside. I like sharp strong tastes and mustard sure does give that. Here's some fun facts about it:
* The scientific name for black mustard is Brassica and for white mustard it's Brassica Alba
~ Mustard Day is the first Saturday of August each year
* It is one of the world's most ancient spices and oldest known condiments.
~ It's name comes from the Latin words "mustum ardens" which means "burning wine"
* It has been around for over 5000 years!
~ It's first use was as a cure for tooth ache, aid digestion and clear the sinuses
* In Denmark and India it is thought that one can ward off evil spirits by spreading mustard seed around the exterior of the home.
~ Mustard flour can be sprinkled in your socks to help prevent frostbite.
* Americans use more mustard than any other country in the world.
Mustard is great in a ham sandwich and is also really good to blow your taste bubs for a while!
I have always liked the taste of mustard, being quite keen on savoury food, and have tried many different types and flavours over the years. English mustard tends to have a sharp and strong flavour, and goes well with meats and cheese. French Dijon mustard has a slightly milder flavour, in my opinion. I have also tried mustards from Germany and Holland, and these have tended to be quite mild in flavour. The best mustards that I have found, however, are from the Scandinavian region, particularly Finland and Sweden. They have a really mild flavour, and go well with all sorts of foods - we are fond of them with hot dogs and ham. Even my young daughter loves it. Finnish for mustard is 'sinappi' and I have found it difficult to get hold of in Britain. Luckily, we can get it from in-laws is Finland. More widely available is Swedish mustard, which is very similar, and can be bought in the Swedish food store in IKEA in large yellow plastic bottles for a decent price.
The art of Mustard making has largely gone to our granny's graves. At first mustard just didnt keep so everyone knew how to mix their own up ready for Sunday dinner. But once manufacturers discovered a way for it to keep its flavour we all got lazy and found it easier to buy a jar of (usually) Colemans.
This has had a wider impact. Cruets used to always have a musatard pot. Now they usually just have salt and pepper - and often are now salt and pepper grinders (but that's another story). The mustard pot has disappeared from our tables to be replaced with the jar itself.
The other impact was that we all came to think in terms of English, French, American or wholegrain mustard. All of these carry an expectation of a standard flavour. This was not so in Granny's day and now people are starting to rediscover the fact that mustard can have many extra flavours.
The lazy persons way to being part of the mustard revival is to seek out the individually made artisan mustards that are now available. For instance doesnt Cider and Horseradish Mustard sound exciting? You can get that at www.nothingbutthebest.co.uk. It's made by the wonderfully named Suffolk Mud company.
But the big advantage of mixing your own mustard from powder is that you can create your own distinctive blend.
This is how you make basic mustard:
Use 1 part mustard powder to 2 parts water. Leave to stand for 10 minutes and then add 1-2 parts of distilled malt vinegar and 1/4 part of salt. Mix thoroughly.
Variations to try:
Use balsamic, cider or malt vinegar and add herbs such as tarragon or thyme. Peppercorns, soy sauce, lime or lemon juice can all be experimented with. Wholegrain mustard contains cracked or crushed whole mustard seeds - no reason why you cant do that too.
Serve your mustard immediately. You can store it in the fridge but over a couple of weeks it loses its strength. Take it out of the fridge to warm to room temperature before serving (also applies to commercial mustards) If it has gone thick add extra liquid.
You can find lots of mustard and herba nd spices to put in it at www.thebestpossibletaste.co.uk.
Have fun experimenting. Colemans? In a Jar? So last century. Everyone who is anyone is making their own.
3000BC, India is where we begin today. No I was not around but according to the unofficial Colmans website, it was back then that mustard was first discovered. Introduced to Britain by the Romans, 3,800,000kg of this stuff is now sold every year. Anyway as Colmans mustard is by far my favourite, this my friends is what I have decided to write about today. Its at this time of year that the busy mustard makers at J & J Colman Ltd sow their seeds. Now behave will you, I am talking planting seeds their personal activites will have to wait until harvesting is finished in September. Packaging ********* Well beleive it or not this product comes in 13 different kinds of packaging with various weights. The one I have is the 170g glass jar but you can buy larger and smaller jars or tubes for easy squeeze use. Whatever size you choose the bright yellow packaging remains the same. The jar in front of me now is see through glass with the yellow label wrapped round, Colmans Mustard in red a picture of a cow (why?) and the fact that since 1814 you are still getting the original stuff. On the back you are invited to visit their mustard shop in Norwich where you can buy memorabilia and for those who live too far to visit they give an address that you can write to for one of their catalogues. Colmans Mustard Shop 15 The Royal Arcade Norwich Norfolk NR2 1NQ or check out their website, www.mustard shop.com. Also on the label are your nutritional information and your ingredients. Now great news for anyone with a nut allergy as this product is warning free but it does contain wheat flour for anyone reading with an intolerance. Bright, simple and definitely eye-catching. Prices ****** Now this is available at all supermarkets, some corner shops and garages but I got mine at Tesco. Why? because that where I shop. Priced at £1.08 for the 170g jar I think this is a bargain. Sainsburys se
ll this for £1.09 so not much difference there but Safeway a huge £1.19 so it pays to look around. The tubes I mentioned are priced at 0.55 for 50g. Look **** This may come as a bit of a shock but I can only describe this as mustard yellow!!! A slightly darker yellow than the label and not unlike the look of peanut butter or a dark honey. The thick consistency is enough to ensure the mustard does not to run out of the jar but it is not too thick that it hinders removal from the jar with ease. This product looks smooth, really smooth. Smell ***** Strong, no I mean really strong. So strong in fact that this could be used as a potion to clear the worst blocked sinus. Now I am sniffing but this really has to be one of the hardest smells to describe. Dry, earthy, salty and slighty sweet and to be honest not that appealing. A strange sort of smell that only mustard can have. One thing I did notice is that holding the jar close to my face irritates the eyes!! Taste ***** You really dont need very much of this to add flavour to your food and to be honest if your taste buds dont welcome hot food, this is not one for you. A spicy warm glow fills my mouth followed by a sharpness and suck in your cheeks sensation (behave!!). Now I did say this was really smooth, no grains lumps or bits. It is slightly sweet, not a chocolate kind of sweet but more of a herby taste but the heat and spicy flavour knocks this out along with any sensations as the powerful mixture hits the roof of your mouth, back of your throat and with speed, travels up your nose to hit your brain (wow what a feeling). With only 4 calories and 0.2g of fat per 2g serving, this is a winner on my plate. Overall ******* As I said not for those with a mild preference to food but a great accomplishment with most meats, cheeses, pastry etc, spreads and dollops with ease and in my opinion livens up bland meals. The taste is rea
lly strong and even though only a little is needed, I dont think my jar will see out its 2 year shelf life. They do invite you to contact them should you have and comments on a free phone number 0800 281 026. Thanks for reading Michelle ---X--
I've never been a fan of mustard. In fact, throughout my life, I've always shied away from tasting things with mustard in them, because I didn't like that characteristic taste. But that was before I tried French's American Mustard. It's nothing like English or French mustard. French's American mustard is a yellow, mild, creamy mustard that complements a burger just perfectly. It has a similar taste (only slightly stronger) as the yellow creamy stuff in a MacDonald's burger. It is smooth in nature and has a kind of vinegary, acidic smell, quality to it. No burger is complete without this mustard and a slice of pickled gherkin. Apparently it goes well with hotdogs, steaks and ribs as well, but I only ever use it on a burger. With barbecue season fast approaching, it's time to make sure you've got a bottle of this stuff stashed away in your refrigerator. You can also use it on salads and sandwiches. Don't forget to keep it refrigerated after opening. What, you may ask, gives French's American mustard this wonderful taste? Well, the ingredients are simple: Water, Spirit Vinegar, Mustard Seed, Salt, Turmeric, Paprika and Spices (they don't tell you which ones unfortunately!). Mustard has been used as far back as 3000 BC by ancient Chinese and Indian people to add flavour and character to their food. Jeremiah Colman was the first mustard merchant in the world, and in 1814 he began exporting his 'Colman's Mustard' across the British Empire. It was in 1904 that Robert and Francis French launched French's mustard at the World's Fair in St. Louis, USA. It was a success and more lines were introduced over the years. In 1926, the company was bought by Reckitt and Colman and it continued to prove to be an extremely popular product. It is now, undisputably, America's most popular mustard. The classic squeezy barrel-shaped bottle that you
will find it in, was introduced in 1974. But watch out for the new flip-top bottle which is soon to be introduced. It was only announced on 5 March 2002, that French's mustard is soon to be sold in these new bottles which even draws back any unused mustard into the bottle (http://askmerrill.ml.com/markets_news_story/0,2263,%7B654C3532-19B1-4043-856B-912 E7733FE0C%7D,00.html). In tests, 81% of people preferred this new bottle. 100g of French's American Mustard will provide you with: Energy - 180 kcals Protein - 6.0g Fat - 12.0g Carbohydrates - 16.0g I have only ever seen this product for sale in the 226g squeezy bottles, and these retail for £1.28 in Tesco and other supermarkets. A bargain, I'm sure you will agree.
Phew! I like it hot. You must know the feeling, surely, when the warmth gradually builds and your brow starts to become quite damp. The cheeks seem to take on an independent glow and your neck tingles as droplets of moisture form. Heaven! Now French and Greek are all very well, and even American and German for that matter, but nothing compares to the English. I know we're probably supposed to be European, or maybe British, but at times it's good to be English. No wonder Sven and Michael Owen chose England. Let's be proud, we have the best mustard in the world. The others are hardly in the picture with their insignificant, khaki coloured, vinegar based nonsense. Come on now, beef with German mustard? You just wouldn't, would you? It's not right. Yes, I know I'm a veggie, but if people must eat cow they should, at the very least, do it properly and with style. I gave up meat when I was about fifteen but the appeal of mustard was already burned within my soul. I still must have my regular English mustard fix on my Linda Mac sausages, nut roasts and veggie burgers. You've got to admit, burgers without English mustard is sacrilege. A thin layer spread over the entire top surface is essential. It brings out the flavour and turns the whole taste into an oral delight of warmth and leaping taste buds. Proper mustard can transport junk food to a higher level. Now before you go rushing to the kitchen to dip your finger in the mustard pot, it must be the right sort. In effect it's got to be Colman's English Mustard, but not the ready made stuff. That's OK for a substitute but it's the 'Double Superfine Compound' that you really want. This is the powder that you mix up yourself and can therefore turn into perfect mustard. I've been mixing mustard since I was knee high to a grasshopper and it's got to be done properly. Take equal amounts of
powder and cold water and mix together in an appropriate pot until there is a smooth paste. Take one step backwards, look at the clock, and retreat for ten minutes. The cold water and the lapse of time are essential. The water acts as a catalyst that helps yield the essential oil of mustard which in turn produces that perfect, unmistakable taste. If you always get the ready made variety please, please try the powder, there is a very distinct difference. It's a nicer yellow, brighter and alive looking. The flavour of fresh mixed Colman's mustard cannot be equalled and, as for the smell, mmmmm! If that doesn't send the power of St.George shooting through your veins then nothing will. There is one draw back to mixing your own, the strength of the flavour does diminish as the hours tick by. I like to mix just enough for my requirements at a time. I usually buy the 113g tin of the powder. Mind you fresh mustard can be lethal - well almost. I've seen the inexperienced insert their finger for a taster only to turn red in the face and nearly choke. It sorts out the softies from the toughies. It also clears the nasal passages. Spread some on a cracker and, as you munch away, your head will soon become as clear as a bell - or, there again, your eyes may water and your face turn an unusual shade of beetroot. Mustard had been around for ages. It was believed to have first been cultivated in India back in 3000 BC. The Romans are said to have brought it to our Isles but only for medicinal purposes - rheumatism and internal inflammations. It wasn't until the 18th Century that it started being used as a condiment. There are three main mustard plants used to make up mustard flour: white (Sinapis alba), brown (Brassica juncea) and black (Brassica nigra). The flour also usually contains turmeric which gives it the strong yellow colour. Oh yes, if your drop some on your blouse, shirt, underwear or what
ever scrape it off quickly and rinse in hot water. If the mustard stain remains try making a paste of baking powder and water. Rub this on the back and front of the garment and let it stand for about two hours, then wash as normal. If this still doesn't work, have a good swear and then make up a paste of mustard powder and water and then mix this in a bowl of warm water. Take the offending garment and soak it in the water overnight. In the morning, abracadabra, you'll have a blouse, shirt or underwear of a distinctive mustard colour! Right, back to where I was. The plants all have yellow flowers, the seeds form in pods and the plants vary in height. The black mustard plants grow to about 2m (7 ft) whereas the white only reach 1m (3.5ft). White mustard is also used for salads and eaten as seedlings (i.e. as in the mustard & cress we grow as kids). Such fascinating stuff! The word 'mustard' comes from the latin 'must' (meaning much) and 'ardens' (burning). And, did you know? A one acre field of mustard will grow one tonne of mustard seed, sufficient for 47,600 jars or sometimes even 47,601. I use mustard mainly as a condiment but sometimes add a teaspoon of the powder to a veggie stir fry to add an extra bite. And, of course, you can't make a decent Welsh rarebit without English mustard! A mustard sauce enlivens drab food bits and, if you are a flesh eater, is OK for the likes of bacon, ham and mackerel. Simply make a normal white sauce but, prior to seasoning with salt and pepper, stir in two teaspoons of dry mustard mixed with two teaspoons of vinegar - this would be for four people. Gently re-heat the sauce and pour over whatever you wish - preferably not a dead animal. It seems some people do very strange things with mustard. There's a reflexologist guy who reckons that if you rub it into your feet and ear lobes it'll make you relaxed
and will reduce stress. Be warned though, it might make a bit of a mess of the duvet cover and could well add an element of surprise to any unexpected romantic encounter. Traditionally mustard has been used for colds and sore throats because of the heat that it can generate. Spread a thick paste on a flannel and place on the neck/throat/chest for about 15 minutes. Remove sooner if it burns too much. The skin should only turn a little pink and not end up red and blistered. Wash the skin afterwards and repeat 2-4 times a day. There are lots of other things to do with mustard but this is really in praise of the stuff you put on your plate. Why mess with anything so perfect? I'll be mixing up some tonight to quench my desire. Can't wait ... the smell, the taste, the fevered brow, the ... oh, nearly forgot, try adding half a teaspoon of dry mustard to the chocolate sauce used for profiteroles - it could well give you a pleasant surprise! To all of you that like it hot, and everyone else as well, have a fantastic year. Make your dreams come true. ;-> Kay
I am ashamed to admit that I have become addicted to American mustard. A year ago I would have laughed at the suggestion that anything could beat Coleman's but that changed when I worked in an ASDA warehouse during the summer of 2000. My curiosity was raised by an intruiging smell from one of the isles. I found that this was eminating from a spillage of French's mustard. The best way to describe the aroma was of the kind of smell you get from a McDonald's burger. Whilst this won't sound very appetising to most, I had been working for a few hours and was starving. Next time I was in a supermarket I decided to buy some of the stuff, secretly hoping that its taste would be a let-down. Whilst I must admit that it didn't do too well when tested with roast beef, it came into its own in a bacon sandwich. The taste is not overpowering and so compilments the bacon perfectly. The squeezy bottle is also perfect to use quickly. Another factor is that because it is milder than English mustards you don't tend to get intense flavours that you do from say Coleman's. It won't be to many peoples tastes but I think it works perfectly with fast food.
Aaah! It burns... Nothing quite like it, on a nice ham sandwich, spicing things up just enough to get the tears dribbling down your nose, hot enough to burn the roof of your mouth, but so lovely... What am I talking about? Colman's English Mustard, of course (but you knew that otherwise you wouldn't be reading this). Just the most splendidly sharp of all dressings, a wonderful touch. Tesco sells this wonderful stuff in the following versions - 100g jar 49p 170g jar £1.08 50g tube 55p 113g powder £1.25 I used to buy the powder and mix it up with a bit of water, but in the gratuitous days of the fast food market the other versions are much more popular and my own fave is the lovely big jar, which allows a huge great dollop to get smeared everywhere. I adore this mustard above all other types and it goes so well with every meat - I prefer it to horseradish sauce with beef and will always stick some of it on meat if it's available as I can't abide plain old meat - I always need to pep it up just that little bit, and boy does the Colman's pep it up! The label on the jar spells out the ingredients, water, mustard flour, sugar, salt, wheat-flour, spice, citric acid, but that's the only hint apart from the Colman's logo sporting that nasty, dumb looking old bull, all in garish yellow to match the contents. Check out this URL - http://www.ilhawaii.net/~danrubio/mustard/recipes.html - if you want some hints as to ways of using the mustard and key http://www.mustardshop.com/index.cfm to "visit the Colman's Mustard Shop where you can buy speciality mustard and memorabilia online, discover the history of Colman's Mustard and Norwich and learn new recipes, plus visit the Kids Corner for fun and games", while http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/egg/egg0796/histcond.html gives you the lowdown on The History of a Condiment and check this: "T
oday, Colman's mustard is prepared by much the same process that Jeremiah Colman developed. Two types of mustard seed-white and brown-are ground separately and sifted through silk cloth to separate the husks and the bran from the mustard flour. Originally, black mustard seed was used, but it was replaced by brown several decades ago. After grinding and sifting, the two mustards are mixed together and packaged in the famous yellow tins. This blend provides of full range of sensation both on the tongue and in the eyes and sinuses" Had enough facts? - thought so... Look, Colman's English Mustard is a wonder to behold and taste - you'll never look back once you've tried it. Night all
Jeremiah Colman was once asked to sum up the secret of his success and how he made a fortune out of such a humble thing as mustard. His reply was that he made his money from the mustard that people threw away on the sides of their plate. There just has to be a moral there somewhere. In 1804 he was a flour miller and decided to try his hand at the milling and packaging of mustard. Such was his success and such was the popularity of his product, that he was forced to expand, and became the largest maker of mustard in the country. Today it is prepared in very much the same way that Jeremiah Colman invented. They use two types of mustard seed, one white and the other brown. The seed is ground and sifted to remove the husks and thus form the mustard flour. After grinding and sifting, the two mustards are mixed together and packaged in the bright yellow tins that are familiar to everyone. If the strength of a country were judged on its mustard, we in the UK would be International Supermen (and women). Take for example the Dijon mustards of France. They are very smooth, very sophisticated, but very WEAK. And what of the dark German mustard? Or the light coloured American mustard? Neither are what I would call mustard, in the real sense of the word. They are more of a relish, manufactured for those with a weak palate. Mustard should be Hot, it should clear your sinuses the moment you open the can, and should make your toes curl up if you slap too much on your ham sandwich. Colmans mustard is as English as the roast beef dinners that it enhances. I personally prefer to mix it fresh immediately before using it. Use cold water, mix slowly humming "Rule Britannia", and stand for ten minutes as this gives it more of a "kick" It is perfectly acceptable to use the ready mixed mustard that is more and more in use today, provided that it is Colmans of course. I have actually seen jars with what is described on the label
as ?English? mustard, produced in Italy! As an aside, I can only comment that if in fact they had used English mustard themselves, they would probably not have lost the Roman Empire. Colmans mustard has of course many other uses other than spicing up your Sunday roast. The following are a sample, which I have trawled from the web. I cannot personally vouch for most of them, but intend to experiment as and when the occasion arises: #.For smelly dishes add a heaped tablespoon of Colman's with the soap to remove odours like fish and onions. #.Make a paste with Colman's and spread it on the back of a loose tile to secure it to the wall. Acts like plaster! #.Use as fertilizer for better coloured daffodils. #.Sprinkle dry mustard inside shoes to prevent cold feet and frostbite. #.Mustard and honey at bedtime for coughs, a pinch of mustard in a glass of water for hiccups. #.Colman's poultry mustard fed to chickens stimulates egg production. #.To mend leaky car radiators temporarily, pour in contents of 2 oz. tin of mustard while car is running. #.Sprinkle over plants to rid them of insect pests. #.Dry Colman's rubbed into dog's coat helps stop distemper. Cover dog with blanket. #.Smear headlights with a dry Colman's mixed with some water to drive in fog. Voila, fog lights! #.Stuffy nose? Make a paste, spread it generously over a cracker, and take a few bites. This clears it up in seconds! #.Do you have trouble with ants? Sprinkle Colman's mustard over their trail and they wont cross it. #.Hands smell like onions or garlic? Rub some Colman's on your hand and rinse with warm water to remove the smell. #.When using breadcrumbs on chicken or chops, add a tablespoon of Colman's to the breadcrumbs. #.Before cooking mussels, put them in a bucket of water with a few teaspoonfuls of dry Colman's to make them spit out the grit and sand. #.Make a paste and rub
it on the sole of the foot and around the ear lobes. This is very relaxing and reduces stress. #.Use a thin mixture of Colman's and water to catch worms for fishing. You have to find a wormhole, and pour the mixture in. The worms wiggle out and then you need to rinse them off before putting them in your bait box. Uses around your computer. #.Colman's Mustard makes a great background colour for WebPages. #.The nice mellow yellow colour relieves eyestrain. #.Make a great looking paperweight out of the tin! So that is Colman?s mustard for you, £1 - £1.30 for a jar or 75p or so for the powder in the famous tin. Far too strong for most countries....makes you proud to be British(sniff)
“A tale without love, is like beef without Mustard; an insipid dish” Anatole France It was tradition. Every Sunday lunchtime, along with the roast topside of Beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast parsnips, roast potatoes, sprouts, peas and rich beef gravy, with tinned peaches and custard to follow; the weekly ritual of mixing the dry Colman’s mustard to a paste. The famous trademark, the instantly recognisable mustard yellow tin, full of mustard yellow powder, with the Bulls Head on the front and the red lettering announcing ‘Colman’s Mustard’ As if there was any other! We didn’t have the ready made when I was a child, so my job was to measure the mustard powder into a bowl, add water until it was the correct consistency and then put the rich, mustard yellow paste into the ‘Only on a Sunday, special cruet set’ ready for the family roast beef Sunday lunch. My other chore was mixing the yellow custard powder with sugar and a little cold milk, ready to pour the boiling milk in and whisk vigorously, as lumps in either the mustard or the custard were not tolerated! But there is so much more to mustard than putting a small amount on the edge of the dinner plate to add, oh so very cautiously, to a morsel of rare roast rib of beef! ---What is Mustard?--- Mustard is a member of the Brassicaceae or Cabbage plant family. The English name, mustard, is derived from an abbreviation of the Latin 'mustum ardens' meaning 'burning wine'. This is a reference to the spicy heat of the crushed mustard seeds and the French tradition of mixing the ground seeds with 'must', the young, unfermented juice of wine grapes. Prepared mustard dates back thousands of years to the early Romans, who used to pound mustard seeds and mix them with wine into a paste, not greatly different from the prepared mustards we know today. There are hundreds of varieties of prepared musta
rds, including many specialty blends which include a fruit, herb, or spice base. Mild yellow mustard is made from the dried white seeds, and stronger mustards from darker seeds, both varieties don’t have any fragrance, but exhibit a pungent taste after some chewing for some time. The white variety is merely hot and tangy to the tongue, while the black and brown varieties carry their heat and pungency up to the nose, eyes, and forehead, which describes our very own Colman’s mustard, made from both white and brown or black seeds, flour, and turmeric, bright yellow in colour with an extremely hot spiciness to the tongue. ---Ancient Legends!--- Mustard was considered a medicinal plant rather than a culinary one. In the sixth century B.C. Greek scientist Pythagoras used mustard as a remedy for scorpion stings. One hundred years later, Hypocrites used mustard in a variety of medicines and poultices. Mustard plasters were applied to "cure" toothaches and a number of other ailments. My own feelings on this form of healing are, if I had a toothache and someone slapped a burning hot mustard poultice on my jaw, then I’m pretty sure I’d forget about the toothache completely, and be far more concerned about the giant blister I’d have on my face! Ancient legend has it that the Danes had an interesting "cure" for a woman's frigidity, involving a concoction made of mustard seeds mixed with ginger and spearmint. I don’t know about you girls, but I’m biting hard on a leather strap here, and would rather have the toothache healing and a blister on my phizog than entertain this unimaginable torture! Even though the Ancient Chinese considered mustard an aphrodisiac, I am having problems allowing for anything to do with mustard being even slightly sensuous! Stimulating yes! But in a mouth burning, tears to your eyes sort of way. If I decide to personally test these claims for the
ir reliability and impact, I will certainly inform you. Although I’m rather concerned with the Danish theory of applying their particular brew to any delicate body part and the immediate effect on Morty and his sensitive areas! Still on not quite as Ancient Legends! It is a universal supposition that distilling and concentrating mustard aroma made the deadly mustard gas that inflicted devastation on soldiers in World War One. Apparently this isn’t true. The poisonous gas was made by mixing chemicals that produced a gas that smelt just like English mustard, and so it was christened ‘Mustard Gas’ by the British soldiers. There is a joke that at the same time, German Scientists were working enthusiastically on an even more frightening weapon in order to cause mass immobilisation. It was Mayonnaise gas, said to cause its victims to become limp and insufferably boring! ---What are The Healing and Curative Properties of Mustard?--- Stuffy nose? Make a mustard paste, spread it generously over a dry biscuit, and take a few bites. This clears it up in seconds! And while you’re at it with that stuffy nose, take a teaspoon of mustard and honey at bedtime for the cough that will inevitably follow, while a pinch of mustard in a glass of water will banish those hiccups you might get if you attempt the Danish frigidity remedy. If after all this, you still decide to go out in the freezing cold, then mustard flour sprinkled in your socks is said to save your toes from frostbite. In fact, there is more to eating mustard than the added flavour it gives to food, as it stimulates the appetite by increasing salivation up to eight times. Mustard also has digestive, laxative, antiseptic, and stimulates circulation . As a digestive aid in moderation, mustard neutralizes toxins and helps ward off an upset stomach. Mustard is well documented as one of the flower remedies offered by Dr Bach. Dr Bach claims
that: “Mustard is the remedy for deep gloom and depression that descends for no apparent reason out of a clear blue sky. People in this state often list all the reasons they have to feel happy and contented, but still everything looks black and hopeless to them. The remedy helps to dispel the clouds so that the person can once again find joy and peace in life.” This rings true, as yellow is a cheering, restful colour and for me, the refreshing swathes of daffodils in back gardens, growing wild in woods and on the roadsides in the Spring, always lift my spirits. It’s even suggested to use Colman’s dry mustard as fertilizer for better coloured daffodils. Mustard has great health benefits in that it provides tremendous flavour for few calories and little fat. A gram of mustard flour contains just 4.3 calories and simple mustard preparations can be eaten with impunity by nearly everyone. Mustard itself contains no cholesterol, only trace amounts of vegetable fat, and is between 25-32% protein, depending on the variety of plant. Leaf mustard contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and Vitamin B. ---So where do Colman’s Fit in the History of Mustard?--- In 1804, Jeremiah Colman bought a flour mill in Norwich and began the first of several moves that would make his name a household word for mustard. In 1823 Jeremiah made his nephew James his partner, and J & J Colman were formed. In 1866, Jeremiah Colman was appointed as mustard maker to Queen Victoria. Colman perfected the technique of grinding mustard seeds into a fine powder without creating the heat which brings out the oil. The oil must not be exposed or the flavour will evaporate along with the oil. Colman's mustard is still prepared by much the same process that Jeremiah Colman developed. Two types of mustard seed-white and brown-are ground separately and sifted through silk cloth to separate the husks and the bran from t
he mustard flour. Originally, black mustard seed was used, but it was replaced by brown several decades ago. After grinding and sifting, the two mustards are mixed together and packaged in the famous yellow tins. ---What About Mustard in Cooking Then?--- There are several hundred varieties of ready made mustards on the market, but whichever type is used, mustard should be added late in the cooking process because heat destroys much of mustard's unique taste. This is illustrated in Colman’s technique of grinding the seeds without creating too much heat. Mustard flour as a condiment is most common in Asian cuisine, where the flour made from brown seeds is mixed with water or rice vinegar to form a hot spicy sauce There are claims that mustard flour heightens the flavours of all foods, much as monosodium glutamate does. Although this has never been scientifically confirmed, mustard frequently appears in unlikely recipes such as gingerbread and chocolate cake, and perhaps this is why. Mustard is an emulsifier and will hold an oil and water mix together. Add some English mustard to a homemade mayonnaise as you combine, and it will prevent it separating. A basic vinaigrette will stay blended for longer with the addition of dry or ready made mustard. A warm potato salad, made with real mayonnaise and added mustard is mouth-watering. A leg of lamb coated with a mixture of your chosen mustard and breadcrumbs, then roasted, makes a delicious crust and wonderful seasoned gravy using the juices. Before cooking live clams or mussels, put them in a bucket of water with a few teaspoonfuls of dry Colman's, and they’ll spit out the grit and sand (So would I) ---How About Some Household Hints Then?--- Here are a few handy household hints I’ve picked up along the way. Smelly dishes? Next time you have this problem, add a heaped tablespoon of Colman's with the Fairy Liquid to remove odours li
ke fish and onions. For DIY, make a paste with Colman's and spread on the back of a loose tile to secure it to the wall. Acts like plaster! This I have to try! To mend leaky car radiators temporarily, pour in contents of 2 oz. tin of Colman’s mustard while car is running. And finally! Dry Colman's rubbed into your dog's coat helps stop distemper. Cover dog with blanket. Cover dog with blanket? I am nearly gagging here at the thought of the reek of warm, damp dog smeared with Colman’s dry mustard and warming up under a blanket. If anybody attempts this particular hint, please tell me the result. I trust you have learned something useful about the ordinary mustard plant, its history through the ages, and its somewhat bizarre uses, as well as its better established ones. I certainly have!