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Mustard seed: 1 pound = 2 1/2 cup
1 ounce = 2 1/2 Tablespoons

Mustard, Ground: 1 pound = 4 cups
1 ounce = 4 Tablespoons

Flavor/Aroma: Sharp, pungent flavor and aroma 
Appearance: Golden, round

Pairs Well With Spring Foods Like: Beef, beets, chicken, crab, eggs, fish, green beans, lamb, pork, salmon, vinaigrettes

Mustard's pungency results from Acrinyl Isothiocyanate (in Brassica hirta), Allyl Isothiocyanate (in Brassica nigra and Brassica juncea). These compounds don't actually exist in the seeds, but are formed when the seeds are broken, releasing enzymes and other compounds within the seeds to combine in the presence of some form of moisture. The temperature of the liquid which is used to prepare the mustard, as well as its acidity, determine the heat of the mixture. Too high a temperature, or a pH that is too low, and the prepared mustard will not be hot. The enzymes responsible for the transformation are easily destroyed by heat--the seeds are ground, commercially, in a way that prevents build-up of heat from friction. In many south Indian recipes, the whole seeds are fried in hot fat, which provides, not additional spicy "heat" but, a pleasant nutty flavor. If you want the heat of mustard in a cooked dish, allow these enzymes to react first, then add the empowered product to the dish to be cooked.

Generously contributed by Gary Allen, an excerpt from his forthcoming book, The Herbalist in the Kitchen.



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