Start with Fresh Ingredients
Like all spices, fresh seed has the best flavour. And as far as flavour variances go, there is a significant difference between the flavour and head level of the different seed types.
Choose your Texture
When used whole, the seed does not impart a sharp flavour, but rather adds a mild tang. Whole seeds may be ground to impart their unique flavour. Mustard’s head is created when ground or crushed seed comes in contact with moisture.
Dry toasting mustard seeds releases the oils and brings out the flavour, but over cooking will make the seeds bitter. Browning seeds in oil adds piquancy to the oil.
Fresh seeds can also be plumped in liquid and then processed in a food processor.
Add a Splash of This…
Dry mustard should only be mixed with cool liquid so the pungency can develop. Enzymes in the dry mustard must have a chance to combine and react for about 10 minutes. Hot water will kill the enzymes and adding vinegar too soon will stop the reaction, preventing the full flavour from developing. Wait the 10 minutes before adding the rest of the flavour ingredients.
The sky is the limit when it comes to adding flavour with different liquids. All kinds of vinegars, beers, sakes, wines, and liquors may be used.
And a Dash of That…
Popular complementary flavours can include garlic, dill, horseradish, onion and honey. But what about citrus, berries, herbs, tequila or ginger? Just a thought!
Then Wait… and Serve!
It’s important to understand that mustard preparations need to age before they reach their ideal flavour. Newly prepared mustard is most pungent, and may even taste somewhat bitter. Age preparations in a sterile glass jar with a tight-fitting glass or enamel-lined lid, set in a cool, dark place (but not refrigerated) for 3 to 8 weeks or longer, until the desired flavour is achieved. At that point, your signature mustard can be stored in the refrigerator, where refrigeration will retard any decrease in pungency.