Mustard is one of the world’s most important spice crops. Throughout history it has been adapted into many different cuisines by many different cultures which makes it an exciting place to start if you’re looking to explore ethnic dishes. In more recent times, mustard has been increasingly used in food preparation for its unique properties.
The exact origin of the word mustard is not clear, it may be derived from the use of seed as a condiment mixed with the sweet must of old wine called ”mustum ardens” or hot must. The original use was likely not as a flavour enhancer as much as a flavour disguiser, predating the development of safe and efficient methods food preservation and handling.
Some of the earliest known documentation of mustard’s use dates back to Sumerian and Sanskrit texts from 3000 BC. It has also been described by the Egyptians around 2000 BC and appeared in Chinese writings before 1000 BC. Mustard has been referenced by many scholars and factors prominently in the Bible.