View All Spice Definitions
Information for Mustard Seed
Mustard seeds come from the cruciferous mustard plant. These are produced from three varieties of mustard, specifically Brassica nigra, Brassica alba and Brassica juncea giving way to black, white and brown seeds.
The earliest mention of mustard seeds can be found in the story of Siddhartha Gautama and has been used as a spice in France since 800 A.D. The spread of mustard seed began around the 15th Century through Spanish explorers. Today mustard seeds are grown in Hungary, India, Pakistan, Great Britain, USA and Canada.
These seeds which are smaller than peppercorns and cloves carry a color according to their variety. Each of the three types is pungent, with the strength of smell differing with each kind as well. The slightly spicy seed mixed with a rustic taste has an aromatic fragrance. White mustard seed has the mildest taste and smell.
It has good preserving qualities and is often used for pickling and mustard sauce making. Brown mustard seed has a stronger pungency than the white type, but less than black. It is also used for pickling and as a seasoning. Black mustard seed is the strongest of all varieties. Mustard powder comes from mustard seeds which have been finely ground.
Photo Credit: djwtwo