What Makes Good Mustard?



My projects and obsessions seem to run a similar vein. I’m very interested in the processes of creating something. So thanks to David Leibowitz, I’m starting to experiment with making my own mustard.

I was lucky enough to get horseradish, which supposedly grows like a weed here but have yet to find, and a bag of mustard seeds.

I followed the recipe described in the link, except that I used apple cider vinegar mixed with honey, and used a stick blender to crush the seeds.

The result? First, I was frankly surprised at how much heat mustard is packing. My eyes watered at my first tasting. Second, I discovered why horseradish is added sometimes to mustard.

The spiciness of mustard seemed very one-dimensional to me. It hit a high note on my palate, then disappeared. Chiles, in compariso, burn the tongue even minutes after ingestion. Horseradish kind of “rounds out” the spiciness by adding depth to it.

It was used by the boy’s father on the grill and confirmed my opinion–that he has tasted better mustards.

Now what makes a good mustard? I already have a basic understanding why mustard is produced the way it is made. But I never really thought about what makes mustard great. I guess that is what I now have to find out.

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