Mustard sauce is a condiment prepared from mustard seeds, which are grounded and mixed with vinegar, water and spices as well as flavoring agents to create a thick sauce. This sauce has a sharp and pungent taste and a yellow or brown color, and is a common accompaniment to foods like sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers and various other fast foods. It is often used as an ingredient in the preparation of other sauces as well, or for various types of dressings, marinades and glazes. The sauce is common to the cuisines of India, North America, the Mediterranean regions, Africa and northern Europe. The sauce is often referred to as just 'mustard'.
History of Mustard Sauce Recipe
The origin of the mustard sauce can be traced back to the Roman era, when ground mustard seeds used to be mixed with grape juice or 'must' to make a condiment. One such recipe has been mentioned in an anonymous Roman cookbook from the 4th or 5th century named 'Apicius', which suggests use of ground mustard, caraway, pepper, lovage, coriander, celery, oregano, thyme, onion, honey, vinegar, fish stock and oil to prepare the condiment. The sauce also used to be prepared in the 10th century by monks of Paris, who seem to have adopted the dish from the Romans. In the 13th century, France had become an established name in mustard sauce preparation. In the eighteenth century, the sauce was further popularized by Grey-Poupon, the famous makers of Dijon mustard sauce. Dijon is considered to be the world's mustard capital. The first time mustard was used as an accompaniment with hot dog was in 1904, at the St Louis World's fair.
Ingredients Used and Popular Methods of Preparation: Mustard Sauce Recipe
The main ingredient used for mustard sauce is mustard seeds, which are used in grounded form. Different varieties of these seeds are used to make different types of sauces. Some popular examples are yellow mustard, brown Indian mustard and black mustard. The strengths of the seeds also vary across varieties. Black mustard is considered to be the strongest one. The mustard seeds are grounded, and the husk may or may not be removed. They are then mixed with vinegar, water (at a particular temperature as prescribed in the mustard seed recipe), spices and flavorings which may vary across recipes. Different "mustard" recipes, for example, suggest use of ingredients like flour, honey, whiskey, brown sugar or tomato in sun-dried form. The temperature of liquids added in the sauce has an effect on its pungency, and cold water or liquids result in a stronger or more pungent sauce. The pungency is reduced by heating.
Serving and Eating Mustard
Mustard sauce is served as a table sauce in small bottles. It is widely used both in homes and restaurants, as an accompaniment to popular foods like hot dogs and hamburgers.
The sauce is also added as an ingredient to other sauces like mayonnaise or barbeque sauces, or to marinades. It is often combined with vinegar and olive oil for salad dressings.
Mustard Sauce Recipe Variations
The sauce shows variations across the globe. The most common variety is 'yellow mustard', which is popular in the United States and in Canada. Here are some common examples of variations to the standard sauce recipe-
- Whole grain mustard, in which the seeds of mustard are present in whole form rather than grounded form of regular sauce.
- Sweet mustard contains sweetening agents like honey.
- Fruit mustard contains fruits as an additional ingredient to the sauce. For example fruits like apricot, apple, berries and pineapple are used.
- Herb mustards contain flavoring herbs like rosemary, dill, fennel, garlic, etc.
- Deli style mustard contains coarsely grounded mustard seeds, in a speckled form.
- American beer mustard contains beer instead of vinegar in the mustard sauce.