Once you get a spice in your home, you have it forever. Women never throw out spices. The Egyptians were buried with their spices. I know which one I’m taking with me when I go.
– Erma Bombeck
Mustard seeds are spices and they are spicy. Why are some mustards are very spicy and others are not at all so?
Different varieties of mustard seeds have varying degrees of spiciness to them. In general, the darker the mustard seed, the spicier they are. When they seeds are broken and mixed with liquid, such as water or wine, the molecules inside mix with water, and specifically two of them, myrosin and sinigrin will cause a chemical reaction with the liquid, giving out heat. This is what gives the pungency, making the spiciness go up your nose and sort of around your head.
Then how come some industrial mustards aren’t spicy at all? The non spicy mustards have other added ingredients, such as flour, that counteract the heating producing reaction.
As for my first homemade mustard, I won’t publish the recipe. I’m conscious of the fact that it looks like a jar of solid vomit – I mean, just look at that photo. That alone must be a good enough reason for not publishing it. Other than that, the first time I tasted it, which was just 24 hours after making it, oh boy was it gross! Thankfully I didn’t throw it out and just let it sit in my fridge for another few days. This maturing period went well and it’s edible and nice now. Nevertheless, I have to admit that it is at it’s best when I mix it with honey and other ingredients to make honey and mustard type sauces… Trial and error. Our best lessons are learned from our mistakes. Let’s see how my next mustard will turn out.