Mustard is one of the most common condiments in the world. It is made from the seeds of a type of brassica, also called mustard. The Romans provided the first written records of mustard being used as a condiment. They ground the mustard seeds, mixed them with grape must and called it mustum ardens, meaning “burning must,” which later evolved into the word we use today.
We carry a huge variety of prepared mustards, most of them from France and Germany, but also a Canadian line as well. All of the major types are represented: French Dijon, whole grain deli-style mustard, sweet Bavarian mustard for weisswurst, hot mustard, maple mustard, horseradish mustard, even mustard in tubes and beer mugs.
Another type that we carry is Kozlik’s “Triple Crunch.” This is not so much prepared mustard as it is brined mustard seeds. Brined seeds are as versatile as regular mustard. They are a perfect addition to salad dressings, marinades, sauces or simply used as a condiment.
The brining removes much of the heat from the seeds, as well as softeningthem enough that they provide a very satisfying pop and crunch.
These are also really easy to make. Start with plain mustard seeds---we have both yellow and brown---I like to use a mix of the two. Next, make a simple brine out of sea salt, water and maybe a little bit of sugar if you like. Quantities should be to taste, as every type of salt will imbue a different degree of saltiness. You want it to be pretty salty, but not necessarily burn-your-face-salty.
Heat it up to combine the ingredients and add some vinegar. I usually just use white vinegar but you could also use wine vinegar or cider vinegar. Pour the brine over the seeds in a bucket or a large jar and let them sit, unrefrigerated for as long as it takes to soften the seeds enough to bite into them. When they pop in your mouth, they are ready. Brined mustard seeds are shelf-stable and will keep for over a year in my own experience.
Of course, you could also take the next step and process your brined mustard seeds into Mustard, the condiment. This is also easy. Put the seeds into the food processor and combine with beer or white wine.
Let it just sit there overnight and repeat the next day. Do this over the course of a few days until your mustard is the desired consistency and strength. These are just guidelines. The process can be adjusted in any number of ways. Just remember: it should be easy!
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