The Fascinating Origins Of Mustard
Updated : October 11, 2021 14:10 IST
Ever wondered where your favourite condiment comes from? Here is some trivia.
Mustard is a type of herb which is used in the mustard sauce, mustard powder, mustard oil and parts of the plant are used as a mustard green. The plant has become a household name, irrespective of where one lives. According to food anthropologists, mustard finds its humble beginnings in ancient Egypt. They were one of the first people to grow it and use it as a spice. There is proof of mustard seeds in the tomb of King Tutankhamun. Long before that, the Sumerians in Mesopotamia during the Sumer periods, crushed mustard seeds and mixed them with unripe grapes to make a thin highly acidic paste.
Besides the advantages of mustard in the kitchen, the Greeks used it for its medicinal properties.
The Romans, too, trusted mustard to be the cure for any and everything from the hysteria of snakebite to the cure to bubonic plague. Mustard was brought to Northern France by the Romans. There, in Northern France, it is was cultivated by the Monks. The cultivation and production were taken up by French Monasteries as early as the ninth century. These Monasteries for decades sold it for a source of income. Mustard appeared around the same time in countries like Spain because of the Roman legions. India was also blessed with mustard through Vasco Da Gama’s coming.
Pope John XII, in fact, loved mustard so much that he had a designated position for mustard maker called grand moutardier du pape meaning mustard-maker to the pope. Even Queen Victoria had her own mustard maker in 1886.
Over the years, mustard dawned a different version. It was grinned and mixed with vinegar and syrups to make something resembling yellow mustard (the kind sold today). But it was not till 1994 that the first official bottle of yellow mustard was accidentally created. And over time, we had not just yellow mustard but also dijon mustard and honey mustard and so much more.