It was my father who introduced me to mustard. He like his hotdog sandwich with ketchup and mustard, I felt intrigued enough to do as he did, I liked it and I’ve been smitten since. Back then, what we always seemed to have around was a jar of plain yellow mustard. I came to associate mustard with yellow and the association was strengthened by a crayon color called mustard yellow to differentiate it from other shades of yellow like canary, lemon and ochre. And I thought that mustard, in its raw state, was naturally yellow.
Then, I grew up and realized how wrong I was. I learned that mustard in jars are made with mustard seeds but mustard seeds can either be brownish yellow, off-white or black and each is produced by a different plant: black mustard (Brassica nigra), brown Indian mustard (B. juncea), and white mustard (B. hirta/Sinapis alba). I also learned that plain mustard is the mildest preparation there is and that there are so many other varieties that are richer in flavor, texture or both.
In time, as an adult, I came to like grainy mustard more than the plain creamy stuff. I use it for making sandwiches, salad dressings, marinades and sauces.
The problem is that, in this country, grainy mustard is not exactly mainstream. Ketchup is more universal than mustard and the smaller sector that enjoys mustard leans more toward plain, Dijon or honey-Dijon. As a result, grainy mustard is not a regular item in most groceries. When unable to find it, we felt pushed to substitute the more widely available plain or Dijon mustard.
Recently, however, I discovered that it is quite easy to make grainy mustard at home. And the best part? Mustard seeds are inexpensive. I have bookmarked two recipes that I like the most (and there are dozens on the web).
Very soon, I will make grainy mustard right in my own kitchen.