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Mustard is, of course, great year round.

Mustard Flower, an early harbinger of spring

But when our meadows and hillsides are covered in a brilliant yellow blanket of mustard flowers, it is possible not to think of mustard, one of the world’s most popular condiments. From a simple mixture of ground mustard seed and water to suave Dijon mustards, mustard adds flavor, heat and nutrients without adding many calories. When it comes to bang for your buck, you can’t do much better than mustard.

When I wrote “The Good Cook’s Book of Mustard” in 1993, the mustard frenzy that soon would spawn the Napa Valley Mustard Festival and scores of hand-crafted condiments was just a dream in a few zealots’ minds. Now mustard is celebrated near and far and dozens of delicious options line market shelves.

Do you have a favorite mustard? If so, please name it here and if it is hard to find, add a place or two where readers can get it. I’ll start things off. My all-time favorite mustard is PIC, a brand of Dijon imported by Kermit Lynch and available locally at Traverso’s. I also love Edmond Fallot Dijon mustards, especially their Green Peppercorn Mustard and their Burgundy Mustard, which I usually buy at Traverso’s, as well. And, yes, I consider Dijon mustards to be the best in the world. Why, you ask? In part it has to do with the texture, which is the lusciously smooth, hence their description as suave. I also like the balance of flavors; a well-made Dijon has the right amount of salt and the right amount of acid, qualities that enhance the flavor of mustard itself. Even Grey Poupon, an international brand available almost everywhere, is very good.

One very popular mustard, made with honey, is so easy to make at home that you needn’t buy it. All you do is  combine ¾ cup good Dijon mustard with ¼ cup honey, ¼ cup minced candied ginger and 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger. Add 2 crushed cloves of garlic and several turns of black pepper. Stir until smooth and refrigerate until ready to use.

White mustard seed

Here are some of my favorite recipes from the Seasonal Pantry archives, all perfect in the spring.

Ginger Mustard Vinaigrette

Leek Strudel

Hot Asparagus & Cold Crab with Mustard Cream

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Chicken (For the version with mustard, scroll down to Variations)

Roasted Asparagus with Smoked Trout, Mustard Cream and Arugula

Bread & Sausage Salad, with Mustard Vinaigrette

Composed Salad of Chicken, Artichokes and Spaghettini with Green Peppercorn Mustard Dressing

Moutarde de Meaux, which dates back to the 1600s, is considered one of the finest prepared mustards in the world.

Rabbit Dijonnaise

Beef Tongue with Mustard Cream, Radishes & Watercress

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Comments

14 Comments

  1. J

    Any and all Dijons, especially those that have some texture, country style. But for a hot-dog, preferably Nathans, then it has to be French’s plain mustard on a bun with sweet relish. That’s an old childhood taste that needs not to be altered (and ought to be served with baked beans or pork’n beans). But I’m looking forward to hearing from others their particular favorite mustards.

    April 3rd, 2011 9:46 am

  2. Judy Barrett

    My favorite mustards for many years were the ones I was cranking out in my own kitchen using YOUR fabulous book, Michele, which I’m happy to see is still available http://amzn.to/gFALSm

    April 3rd, 2011 10:51 am

  3. Diane

    We bought a jar of Spicy Red Jalapeno Mustard. It was so fantastic we went back and bought 6 more jars the next day since we found it, of all places, at Tuesday Morning and were afraid we would never find anymore. It has a kick and is good on and in so many foods. It says it is from Food and Wine Magazine and manufactured by Barhyte Specialty Foods in Pendleton, Oregon. 1-800-277-4983. Worth hunting for.

    April 3rd, 2011 11:03 am

  4. Proximal.Kitchen

    The simpler the better! Ideally, whole-grain, with nothing but white wine, vinegar, and salt. Unfortunately, almost impossible to find mustard made that way anymore :(

    April 3rd, 2011 11:26 am

  5. Herbert

    We love your mustard book and . . . still using it! With chicken or pork sausages, SAAGS has a sweet mustard that goes very well.

    April 3rd, 2011 11:53 am

  6. MicheleAnna.Jordan

    You might like Moutarde de Meaux, by Pommery. I will add a photo of the crock it is packed in to the post.

    April 3rd, 2011 12:40 pm

  7. GameWit

    I’m a mustard fanatic and Raye’s Brown Ginger Mustard is the best I’ve ever had. In general, all the Raye’s Mustards, from Maine, that I’ve tried are excellent. When I lived in San Francisco, I used to get them at Cheese Plus, which stopped carrying them. I’ve seen them at Whole Foods in Santa Rosa, as well.

    April 3rd, 2011 2:34 pm

  8. Tony

    Mendocino Mustard is the very best mustard out there. You can get it anywhere (a little bit expensive) but it is Super GOOD. You can get it at Safeway (for the original) and you can also get both kinds they make at Traverso’s.

    April 3rd, 2011 4:38 pm

  9. Gerry Harvey

    My favourite would be Mean Mr. Mustard, an English creation from the Abbey Road area of London.

    April 3rd, 2011 8:29 pm

  10. Mary Jarvis

    The wine road which meanders through Dijon is reminiscent of Sonoma county. We stocked up on the regular old mustard while there. It’s still my favorite, though there is much competition on the grocery shelves with flavored mustards.. as though one needs to flavor a flavor. Don’t get me started…

    April 3rd, 2011 10:28 pm

  11. China Meier

    I love mustard, especially Dijon mustard. I recently discovered that Trader Joe’s Dijon is very good and much cheaper than Grey Poupon which my mom started buying when it came into the American Markets way back when. Before that she always bought the Meaux Moutarde in the crock which I always loved as a kid. Anyway, if price and a limited choice of places to shop for interesting mustards influences your choice, I highly recommend the TJ dijon over the Grey Poupon. Also, thank you for posting the recipe for the honey mustard. I am sure there are other recipes to be found for making interesting mustard at home.

    April 3rd, 2011 10:52 pm

  12. MizD

    My all time fave would have to be Beaver Cranberry Mustard. Soooo yummy, it’ll make you wanna slap yo mama!!

    April 5th, 2011 10:16 am

  13. kevin

    Kelley’s Gourmet is the most awesome, Hot Dog, Brat, Turkey, ham sandwich mustard ever. Hard to find except online

    January 26th, 2013 6:52 am

  14. kevin

    I think you can find the Kelley’s Mustard at http://www.kelleysgourmet.com

    January 26th, 2013 6:53 am

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