There are many varieties of mustard which come in a wide range of strengths and flavors. The basic taste and „heat“ of the mustard is largely determined by seed type, preparation and ingredients. Black seeded mustard is generally regarded as the hottest type. Preparation also plays a key role in the final outcome of the mustard. Mustard, in its powdered form, lacks any potency; it is the production of Allyl isothiocyanate from the reaction of myrosinase and sinigrin that causes heat to be present.
Locations renowned for their mustard include Dijon (medium strength) and Meaux in France; Norwich (very hot) and Tewkesbury, famed for its variety, in the United Kingdom; and Düsseldorf (hot) and Bavaria in Germany. There are variations in the subsidiary spices and in the preparation of the mustard seeds. The husks may be ground with the seeds, or winnowed away after the initial crushing; „whole-grain mustard“ retains some unground or partially ground mustard seeds. Bavarian „sweet mustard“ contains very little acid, substituting copious amounts of sugar for preservation. Sometimes prepared mustard is simmered to moderate its bite, sometimes it is aged. Irish mustard is a wholegrain type blended with whiskey and or honey.
Dijon mustard is not covered by a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) or a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) under the auspices of the European Union; thus, while there are major mustard plants in Dijon and suburbs, most Dijon mustard is manufactured outside of Dijon.
Dijon mustard originated in 1856, when Jean Naigeon of Dijon substituted verjuice, the acidic „green“ juice of not-quite-ripe grapes, for vinegar in the traditional mustard recipe.
In wholegrain mustard, the seeds are not ground, but mixed whole with other ingredients. Different flavors and strengths can be achieved by using different blends of mustard seed species. Some variations have additives such as sun-dried tomato mustard and chili mustard.
Honey mustard, as the name suggests, is a blend of Dijon mustard and honey. It is most often used as a topping for sandwiches and as a side for dipping french fries, onion rings, and other finger foods. It can also be used as a base for salad dressing when combined with vinegar and/or olive oil. The most basic form of honey mustard can be created by combining equal amounts of honey and mustard; however, most varieties incorporate other ingredients to add flavor, adjust texture, or change other properties.
Chinese mustard is a commonly served condiment in Chinese cuisine, and in Chinese American cuisine it is available (along with soy sauce and duck sauce) in small clear plastic packages when ordering Chinese take-out food. A similar form of mustard is also served in Korean cuisine, particularly with the buckwheat noodle dish called naengmyeon.