Mustard Seed comes from two large shrubs, Brassica juncea (brown mustard) and Brassica hirta (white mustard), native to Asia. Both plants produce bright yellow flowers that contain small round seeds; brown mustard is more pungent than white. Mustard Seed's hot and spicy flavor enhances meats, fish, fowl, sauces, and salad dressings. Whole Mustard Seed may be used in pickling or in boiling vegetables such as cabbage or sauerkraut. Brown Mustard Seeds are an important flavoring in Indian dishes. Powdered Mustard has no aroma when dry, but a hot flavor is released when it is mixed with water.
Mustard was used in ancient Greece and Rome as a medicine and a flavoring. Mrs. Clements of Durham, England, who made a fortune selling the dry, pale yellow mustard flour, invented mustard powder. Use in foods needing flavor highlights. Unlike other pungent spices, Mustard's flavor does not build or persist. Mustard helps emulsify liquids use in salad dressing recipes to help blend oil and vinegar and add a spicy zip.