Mustard: delicious and with a long history – Kalamata Papadimitriou

Mustard: delicious and with a long history

Mustard, the characteristic yellow paste condiment, is popular around the world almost from time immemorial. Simple table mustard coloured with turmeric, but also sweet from Bavaria or more sophisticated like that from Dijon, France. The intensity and characteristics of mustard are determined by the mustard seeds used in its preparation. Mustard as a spice in the form of powder is mentioned in Indian and Sumerian texts already since 3,000bC while later we also find it in Greek and Roman texts. It is one of the most marketable condiments in the western world.

Hippocrates used it as a medicine. Mustard seeds are rich in selenium, magnesium and complex B vitamins such as thiamine, niacin and riboflavin. Mustard also contains lutein, zeaxanthin, carotene, vitamins A, C and K.

Mustard has a leading role in the Mediterranean diet. Nowadays, the varieties on offer are many and appeal to all tastes as long as one finds one that is made with the appropriate specifications that ensure the integrity of both its quality and taste.

A mild Mediterranean mustard with aromatic herbs such as thyme and oregano can be the ideal choice for oven baked potatoes. On the other hand, a spicy mustard with paprika and chili, is a fine accompaniment to the grilled meats and hot dogs of the very daring. And then, poultry that is marinated and cooked with a thyme honey mustard, will acquire a perfect crispy crust. Do not forget to add thyme honey mustard when serving. Its light sweetness and velvety texture will delight your guests.

However, mustard traditionally also accompanies all kinds of sandwiches and wraps. Who would resist the temptation to add mild mustard on his club sandwich’s potato chips – or in the club sandwich itself! Of course mustard is a must in marinades. If you are nutrition conscious and wish to reduce your salt intake, you may add a mustard with 50% less salt to your food or the marinade you prepare for your meats. Its taste does not lack in anything, while at the same time its aromatic herbs and the extra virgin olive oil it contains will boost the flavour of your marinade. Also note that mustard is gluten free.

Finally, if you want to round up the flavour of your food, all you have to do is add some mustard. For example, to finish cooking the pan-fried pork, pop it in the oven, add spicy mustard 20 minutes before the end of baking, and let it caramelize. You can also add it to your burger mix. If these burgers are from poultry (chicken or turkey), opt for a mustard with honey for your mixture, while for the crisp crust you want to create outside of the burgers, baste with a thyme and oregano mustard just 10 minutes before the end of baking

Mustard is that paste condiment which is not used only to accompany dishes but enters in their preparation. Enjoy it!