National Mustard Day: Celebrating the spicy


Most American mustard has added tumeric to get the bright-yellow color that matches mustard flowers. Image: Wikimedia Commons.

For most people in America, mustard comes in a few limited flavors. National Mustard Day, Aug. 7, is a great excuse to expand your mustard horizons. You can go all out and make your own mustard, or you could try using mustard in a new way.

The basics of mustard

There are four major types of mustard seeds that come from the mustard plant. There is white mustard, yellow mustard, brown mustard and black mustard. The seeds are usually crushed, ground or bruised and mixed with a liquid to create a paste. Most yellow American mustard is crushed yellow mustard seeds mixed with tumeric and vinegar. Making your own mustard is easy — just get mustard seeds (in the spice aisle), crush them and mix with vinegar and whatever else you would like. Homemade mustard tends to be very spicy, so be careful.

Why National Mustard Day is special

National Mustard Day is important because it encourages people to explore more than just yellow mustard. Mustard is an antibacterial product, meaning that it can be stored outside the fridge. It is also an emulsifier, which can help combine oil and water. Dry mustard powder can even help reduce the possibility of curdling if you add it to unstable sauces like Bearnaise. Mustard also accounts for about $300 million in grocery sales each year.

Your own National Mustard Day

Even if you aren’t too adventurous in the kitchen, you can still celebrate National Mustard Day. Mustard is more than just a paste to spread on your sandwich. Try mixing your favorite mustard — prepared or homemade — into a variety of new treats. For example, try:
Honey Mustard
Mix equal parts brown, Dijon or deli mustard and honey for a dipping sauce. Stir in a touch of olive or canola oil to make a honey mustard salad dressing.
Mustard Grill Rub
Mix cracked mustard seed with kosher salt, pepper and a small amount of sugar. Use it as a dry rub on beef, chicken or portobello mushrooms for grilling.

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