Mustard is a condiment made from the seeds of a mustard plant (white or yellow mustard, Sinapis hirta; brown or Indian mustard, Brassica juncea; or black mustard, B. nigra). The whole, ground, cracked, or bruised mustard seeds
are mixed with water
juice, or other liquids, and sometimes other flavorings and spices, to create a paste or sauce ranging in color from bright yellow to dark brown. The tastes range from sweet to spicy.
Commonly paired with meats, sushi, pizza, breads, potatoes
, and cheeses, mustard is a popular addition to sandwiches, salads, steaks, tofu
, and hot dogs
. It is also used as an ingredient in many dressings, glazes, sauces, soups, and marinades; as a cream or a seed, mustard is used in the cuisine of India, the Mediterranean, northern and southeastern Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Africa, making it one of the most popular and widely used spices and condiments in the world.
Mustard is most often used at the table as a condiment on cold meats. It is also used as an ingredient in mayonnaise, vinaigrette, marinades, and barbecue sauce. Mustard is also a popular accompaniment to hot dogs, pretzels
, and bratwurst. In the Netherlands and northern Belgium it is commonly used to make mustard soup; which includes mustard, cream
and pieces of salted bacon
. Mustard as an emulsifier can stabilize a mixture of two or more immiscible liquids, such as oil and water. Added to Hollandaise sauce
, mustard can inhibit curdling.
Dry mustard is used in food preparation, and can be mixed with water to use as a condiment. In its dry form, powdered mustard lacks potency; the addition of water releases the pungent compounds. The pungency of mustard is always reduced by heating; if added to a dish during cooking, it gives less pungency than if added afterwards.