Spicy, tangy, a hint of vinegar, and even sweet; Dijon mustard is a tasty condiment.

dijonmustardI have to admit I’ve grown addicted to having Dijon mustard with my peas. Mustard is a condiment made from ground up mustard seed paste. Originally, mustard was made from ground up mustard seed paste mixed with the unfermented but aged grape juice. This juice is called “must”, hence the name “mustard”. Being the research geek that I am, I needed to further investigate the origin of mustard once I decided to use it as a flavor and have found quite the varied and intresthistory. It appears that mustard as a condiment, actually first appeared as a grilling sauce for wild boar, was recorded in a Roman cookbook titled Apicius, and included quite an interesting array of herbs and spices. This seems to be how the ingredients for Dijon mustard originated. First, this recipe was recorded sometime around the 1st century in Rome, then mustard made its way to Gaul, and then on into the further regions of France, where around the 1300’s Dijon mustard became a popular “thing”.

From a culinary perspective, mustard is typically used as a condiment; however, it is also an ingredient in dressings, sauces, and even soup.  I, clearly, like mustard, especially Dijon, on peas.

mustardfieldFrom a health perspective, mustard actually has interesting health properties. Mustard seed itself has good stuff going on but apparently, when vinegar is added to mustard seed paste it boosts particular healthy qualities. Research demonstrates the mustard seed is beneficial for gastrointestinal health.  The glucosinolatic compounds inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells. Mustard seeds also have anti-inflammatory properties and help reduce the risk of colon cancer and other gastrointestinal issues. Mustard is anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral. It helps with cardiovascular issues and can balance metabolisim and enhance glucose management.

I say, what’s not to love about mustard and peas.... okay, or maybe just mustard. (but peas are tasty too).