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Mustard-Making-art – 12/7/03

"Making Medieval-Style Mustards" by Pani Jadwiga Zajaczkowa.

NOTE: See also the files: Mustard-art, mustard-msg, sauces-msg, herbs-msg, spices-msg, spreads-msg, garum-msg.

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NOTICE -

This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.

These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author.

While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.

Thank you,

Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous

stefan at florilegium.org

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Making Medieval-Style Mustards

A class in the Society for Creative Anachronism by Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

About Mustards

Mustard sauces are among the most mentioned sauces in period food texts and cookbooks, both medieval and Renaissance. Mustard seeds also show up in late period pickle recipes and in recipes where an extra 'bite' is wanted.

Mustard was cultivated and eaten in Rome, and was known in France at the time of Charlemagne, and in England and Germany by the 12th century (1100's). The Christian Bible speaks of one who has 'as much faith as a mustard seed' being able to 'remove mountains'; when you consider that the tiny black mustard seeds grow into 6-foot-high plants sturdy enough for birds to nest in them in a single summer, you can understand why! The yellow mustard plants you see in fields in the spring are a relative of mustard, Brassica Sinapstrum, also called charlock.

Rosetta Clarkson, in Green Enchantment: The Golden Age of Herbs and Herbalists, says that some monasteries actually had a monk called the 'mustardarius' whose duties included mixing the mustard sauce for the community. Mustard sauce could be used on meat or on fish, and in the days when you ate fish three times a week at least, and people ate a lot of cold, pre-roasted meat, no wonder it was popular! Le Menagier de Paris suggests mustard sauce with wild boar, beef tongue, and lots of different fish, including eel, shad, loach, lampreys, cod, stockfish, and whiting. Anne Wilson, in Food and Drink in Britain, says, "Mustard was eaten with fresh and salt meat, brawn, fresh fish and stockfish , and indeed was considered the best sauce for any dish. As in Roman times mustard seed was pounded in the mortar and moistened with vinegar. French mustard had powdered spices added to it, while Lombard mustard was made up thick with honey, wine and vinegar, and thinned for use with wine."

The humoral theory of medicine also accounts for mustard's popularity. Medieval people believed that everyone and everything possessed qualities of moistness/dryness and cold/heat which needed to be kept in balance for health. The cold, moist humor was referred to as phlegm, and excess of phlegm was considered a common hazard, especially in winter. The heat and 'dryness' of mustard could correct this excess.

Mustards were so popular a sauce in period because they possessed moderate heat, and therefore were good with cold dishes such as brawn, [boiled] beef, and fish such as cod. Medieval doctors and health-hobbyists like Platina suggested it to counteract 'cold' foods and 'cold' conditions. It was drunk and gargled with in wine for sore throats; Dioscorides (a first-century Greek) suggested 'mustard plasters' to help with 'pain of long continuance' (probably on the same principle as Tiger Balm). But indications in books such as Le Menagier de Paris treat mustard as the basic sauce, except for salt, to be provided (much as we provide ketchup in everyday cooking today). Sometimes, the higher ranks of the tables got a variety of sauces while the lower ranks only got mustard sauce.

Hildegarde of Bingen says "Mustard is of a very hot and somewhat dry nature... Its seed flavors other foods." She didn't approve of it for sick people, but said, "One who likes to eat mustard should pour over it wine which he has heated. Consumed in this way, it does not harm sick people. Its injuriousness is removed by the heat of the wine. If one does not have wine, he may pour cold vinegar on it. Eaten in this way it is not harmful. If it is not tempered by wine or vinegar, it is not good for human consumption."

Platina says, "It is considered very useful to the stomach, drives out ills in the lungs, lightens a chronic cough, makes spitting easy, is given food to those who are gasping, purges senses and head from sneezes, softens the bowels, stimulates menstruation and urine, and cuts phlegm. When smeared on an ailment of the body, it shows the force of its burning."

Mustard sauces were generally made with ground mustard seeds-- black was considered better than white-- (sometimes mixed with other spices such as pepper), moistened with 'wine must', vinegar or wine. Honey or sugar was also added in a number of recipes; breadcrumbs and raisins appear in some recipes. (Platina says, "If you want it sweet, add sweet things; if sour, sour.") 

Mustard sauces were constructed in different ways depending on what they were to be served on, and the season of the year. Foods which the humoral system considered 'hotter' and hotter seasons got less 'hot' and 'dry' ingredients (spices, wine) and cooler ingredients (verjuice).

Nowadays we buy mustard flour, ground and sifted/bolted in the same manner as wheat flour, but Sarah Garland in The complete book of herbs and spices, and Rosetta Clarkson in Magic Gardens: A modern chronicle of herbs and savory seeds, say that the modern process for bolting mustard flour was not invented until the 18th century (1700's). I

Instead, you could buy mustard meal in some places: Plat's Delights for Ladies says: "It is usuall in Venice to sell the meal of Mustard in their markets as we doe flower and meale in England: this meale, by the addition of vinegar, in two or three daies becommeth exceeding good mustard." (Apparently he liked his mustard mild too.) But mostly you ground it at home, either with a mortar & pestle or with a mill in later times. You could also buy your mustard sauce ready-made, if you lived in the city: Le Menagier de Paris directs the reader to buy "At the sauce-maker, a quart of cameline for the dinner, and for supper two quarts of mustard."

There is some indication by modern medicine that mustard flour actually retards the growth of food poisoning bacteria such as E. coli, though the addition of a weak vinegar actually slows this down.

Period Recipes

                                                                 
  

Simple   Mustards

  
  

From   Marx Rumpolt, Ein New Kochbuch, c. 1581:Brown Mustard Sauce

  

Brown   mustard made up with clear vinegar/ is also good.

  

(Credit:   http://clem.mscd.edu/~grasse/GK_sauce1.htm)

  
  

English   Housewife, Gervase Markham, 1615

  

"The   most general sauce for ordinary wild fowl rosted, as Ducks, Mallard, Widgeon,   Teal, Snipe, Sheldrake, Plovers, Puets, Guls, and such like, is only Mustard   and Vinegar, or Mustard and Verjuice mixt together; or else an Onion, Water,   and Pepper..."

  

http://infotrope.net/sca/texts/english-housewife/roastmeats.html   

  
  

Parkinson,   Paradisi in Sole

  

"Garden   Mustard ... The seede hereof grownd between two stones, fitted for the   purpose, and called a Querne, with some good vinegar added unto it, to make   it liquid and running, is that kinde of mustard that is usually made of all   sorts, to serve as sauce both for fish and flesh." p. 502

  
  

"Cuoco   napolitano" 15th century. Translation by Terence Scully
  
  121. French Mustard: It is distempered with ony tart wine or must. This is   the French Mustard, with neither head nor feet.
  
  

  
  

Lombard   Mustards

  
  

From   the Forme of Cury:

  

Lombard   Mustard
  Take Mustard seed and waishe it & drye it in an ovene, grynde it drye,   farce it through a farce, clarifie honey wt wine & vinegr & stere it   wel togedr, and make it thikke ynowe, & whan thou wilt spende thereof   make it thynne wt wine.

  

http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/foc/FoC108small.html   

  
  

Liber   Cure Cocorum,
  Copied and Edited from the Sloan MS. 1986

  

For   lumbardus mustard
  Take mustarde and let hit drye
  Anonyn, Sir, wyturlye;
  Stomper hit in a morter fyne,
  And fars hit thurghe a clothe of lyne;
  Do wyne therto and venegur gode,
  Sturm hom wele togeder for the rode,
  And make hit thyke inowghe thenne,
  Whenne thou hit spendes byfore gode menne,
  And make hit thynne with wyne, I say,
  With diverse metes thou serve hit may.

  

Credit   http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/lcc/LCC32small.html and   http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/lcc/LCC33small.html

  
  

Other   Mustards

  
  

From The Viandier of   Taillevent (13th   century), translated by Terence Scully [Cameline Mustard Sauce]:
  
  Take mustard, red wine, cinnamon powder and enough sugar, and let everything   steep together. It should be thick like cinnamon. It is good for any roast.
  
  Credit: The
Viandier of Taillevent, edited by Terence Scully. (Ottawa: University of   Ottawa Press, 1988)
  
  

  
  

From Scappi Cap CCLXXVI,   folio 95, 2nd book.
  Sweet Mustard

  Take a pound of sauce of grapes, and an other of quinces cooked in wine and   sugar, four ounces of
  "appie" apples cooked in wine and sugar, three ounces of candied   peel of eggplant, two ounces of candied lemon peel, and half an ounce of   candied sour orange peel, and paste all the candies together with the apples   and quinces in a mortar. When everything is ground pass it through a sieve   together with the grape sauce, add to the said material three ounces of cleaned   mustard seed, more or less depending on how strong you want it. And when it   is passed (mixed) put in a little salt and sugar finely ground, half an ounce   of cinnamon, and a quarter (of an ounce) of cloves, and if you don't want to   make a paste of the candies then chop them minutely. If you don't have sauce   of grapes one can make it without, take more quinces and apples cooked in the   above said manner.
  
  From Scappi Cap CCLXXIIII folio 95, 2nd book
  To make sauce of black grapes

  Take black grapes, that are firm, those that are called "gropello",   that is "cesenese", that have a red
  skin, break them and put to boil in a casserole on a low fire for an hour.   After take the juice that they
  have made and strain through a sieve. And for every pound of juice take eight   ounces of fine sugar and put it to reboil in a casserole, scum it well and to   this add at the end a little salt and whole cinnamon and
  let it boil on a slow fire until it takes the cooking (the implication here   is that the sauce reduces and
  becomes syrupy) and when it is cooked conserve it in a glass or glazed   pottery vessel.
  
  Credit: Translated and redacted 2002 by Lady Helewyse de Birkestad,   CW.  You may use/distribute
  this version for non-profit use only (scholarly, private use) provided that   this information is included.  Contact the author by email at   helewyse at yahoo.com

  
  

  
  

From http://www.best.com/%7Eddfr/Medieval/Cookbooks/Sabrina_Welserin.html">Das   Kuchbuch der Sabrina Welserin (1553): To   make the mustard for dried cod 

  

Take mustard powder, stir into it good wine and pear preserves   and put sugar into it, as much as you feel is good, and make it as thick as   you prefer to eat it, then it is a good mustard. 

  

(Credit:   http://www.best.com/%7Eddfr/Medieval/Cookbooks/Sabrina_Welserin.html)

  
  

From   de Nola's Libro de Coch  (translated by Brighid)

  

153.   Mustard (124) MOSTAZA

  

You   must take mustard seed, and clean it of the dust and the soil and the stones,   and grind it well in a mortar; and when it is ground, strain it through a   cloth strainer; and then take the mustard powder and put it in a mortar with   a crustless piece of bread soaked in meat broth, and grind it all together;   and when it is well-ground, blend it with a little bit of lean broth without   fat which is well-salted; and when it is blended in a good manner so that it   is not too thin, take honey which is good, and melted on the fire, and cast   it in the mortar and stir it well until it is well-mixed, and prepare dishes.   Some cast a little vinegar in the broth; you can add peeled, toasted almonds,   ground-up with the mustard.  

  

154.   French Mustard-- MOSTAZA FRANCESA

  

You   must take a cantaro (125) of the must of wine, either red or white, and grind   a dishful of mustard that is select and very good; and after straining it   through a sieve or a sifter, grind with it, if you wish: a little cinnamon,   and cloves, and ginger, and cast it all, very well-mixed in the mortar, into   the cantaro or jar of wine; and with a cane stir it around a long while, so   that it mixes with the must; and each day you must stir it with the cane   seven or eight times; and you will boil the wine with this mustard; and when   the wine has finished boiling, you can eat this mustard. And when you want to   take it out to cast it in the dish to eat, first stir it with the cane a   little; and this is very good mustard and it will keep all year.

  

155.   Another Very Good French Mustard Which Lasts All Year-- OTRA MOSTAZA FRANCESA   MUY BUENA Y DURA TODO EL AO

  

Take   a caldron which will hold two cantaros, and fill it with red grapes and set   it to cook upon the fire until it is reduced by half and there remains half a   caldron  which is one cantaro; and when the grapes are cooked, remove   the scum with a wooden   spoon; and stir it now and then with a   stick; and strain this must through a clean cloth and cast it into a cantaro;   and then cast in the mustard, which should be up to a dishful well-ground,   little by little, stirring it with the stick. And each day you should stir   with it, four or five times a day; and if you wish, you can  grind with   the mustard three parts cinnamon, two parts cloves, and one part ginger. This   French mustard is very good and lasts all year and is mulberry-colored.

  

Credit   http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-MANUSCRIPTS/Guisados1-art.html

  
  

Le   Menagier De Paris:

  

MUSTARD.   If you wish to provide for keeping mustard a long time do it at wine-harvest   in sweet must. And some say that the must should be boiled. Item, if you want   to make mustard hastily in a village, grind some mustard-seed in a mortar and   soak in vinegar, and strain; and if you want to make it ready the sooner, put   it in a pot in front of the fire. Item, and if you wish to make it properly   and at leisure, put the mustard-seed to soak overnight in good vinegar, then   have it ground fine in a mill, and then little by little moisten it with   vinegar: and if you have some spices left over from making jelly, broth,   hypocras or sauces, they may be ground up with it, and then leave it until it   is ready.
  
  CALIMAFREY OR LAZY SAUCE. Take mustard and powdered ginger and a little   vinegar, and the grease and liquid from carp, and boil together: and if you   want to make this sauce for a capon, instead of using the grease and liquid   from the carp, add verjuice, vinegar and the capon grease.

  

http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/Cookbooks/Menagier/Menagier.html   

  

(Redon's   Medieval Kitchen gives a sample   redaction of the first recipe and a discussion of mustards in general.)   

  
  

The   13th-c. Arabo-Andalusian _Manuscrito anonimo_ gives the following recipe for   "Sinab":
  Clean good mustard and wash it with water several times, then dry it and   pound it until it is like antimony [?]. Sift it with a sifter of hair, and   then pound shelled almonds and put them with the mustard and stir them   together. Then press out their oil and mash them with breadcrumbs little by   little, not putting in the breadcrumbs all at once but only little by little.   Then pour strong vinegar and eggs over this dough for the dish, having   dissolved sufficient salt in the vinegar. Then dissolve it well to the   desired point, and clarify it thoroughly with a clean cloth; and there are   those who after it is clarified add a little honey to lessen its heat. Either   way it is good.

  

http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-CONDIMENTS/mustard-msg.html

  
  

The   Closet Opened (sir Kenelme Digbie, KT) 1669 To Make Mustard

  

The   best way of making mustard is this: Take of the best mustard seed (which is   black) for example a quart. Dry it gently in an oven, and beat it to subtle   powder, and serse it. Then mingle well strong wine-vinegar with it, so much   that it be pretty liquid, for it will dry with keeping. Put to this a little   pepper, beaten small (white is the best) at discretion as about a good pugil   and put a good spoonful of sugar to it (which is not to make it taste sweet,   but rather, quick, and to help the fermentation) Lay a good onion in the   bottom, quartered if you will, and a race (root) of ginger scraped and   bruised, and stir it often with a Horseradish root cleansed, which let always   lie in the pot till it hath lost its vertue, then take a new one. This will   keep long, and grow better for a while. It is not good till after a month,   that it have fermented a while. Some think it will be the quicker if the seed   be ground with fair water, instead of vinegar, putting store of onions in it.   

  

My   Lady Holmsby make her quick fine mustard thus: Choose true mustard seed; dry   it in an oven, after the bread is out. Beat and searce it to a most subtle   powder. Mingle Sherry-Sack with it (stirring a long time very well, so much   as to have it of a fit consistency for mustard) Then put a good quantity of   fine sugar to it, as five or six spoonfuls, or more, to a pint of mustard.   Stir and incorporate well together. This will keep good a long time. Some do   like to put to it a little (but a little) of very sharp wine vinegar.

  

http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-CONDIMENTS/mustard-msg.html

  
  

From   An Old Icelandic Medical Miscellany ( Harpestreng-manuscript, Icelandic   version supposed to be 15th C., from a lost manuscript of the 13 th C.)

  

One   shall take mustard (seed) and add a fourth part of honey and grind all   together with good vinegar. This is good for forty days.

  

One   shall take mustard (seed) and a third of honey and a tenth part of anise and   two such of cinnamon. Grind this all with strong vinegar and put it in a   cask. This is good for three months.

  

http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-CONDIMENTS/mustard-msg.html

  
  

Epulario   (1598), p. 32: To make mustard which may be carried in Bals.
  Beat the mustard seed as aforesaid*, then take grapes well stamped, adding   thereto Sinamon and Cloves, then make what fashion bals you will round or   square, and set them on a table to dry, and being dry, you may carry them   whether you will. And when you will use them, temper them with a little   veriuice, vinegar, sodden wine, or Bastard wine."

  

*"Take   mustard seed & let it soke for the space of two daies, and change the   water often, that it may be the whiter..."

  

http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-CONDIMENTS/mustard-msg.html

  
  

From   On Good Health and Right Pleasure -- Platina, translated by Milham

  

Prepared   mustard: Add pounded almonds to pounded mustard, which has, however, been   softened for two days in frequently changed water so that it has become   whiter and milder, and grind again with softened bread crumbs. Then, when it   has been soaked with verjuice or sharp vinegar, pass through a sieve into   serving dishes. If you want it sweet, add sweet things; if sour, sour. Partly   by nature, partly by the way it is made, it warms stomach and liver, reduces   the spleen, and stimulates passion.

  

Red   Mustard sauce: Grind in mortar or mill, either separately or all together,   mustard, raisins, dates, toasted bread, and a little cinnamon. When it is   ground, soak with verjuice or vinegar and a bit of must, and pass through a   sieve into serving dishes. This heats less than the one above and stimulates   the thirst but does not nourish badly.

  

Mustard   sauce in bits: Mix mustard and well-pounded raisins, a little cinnamon and   cloves, and make little balls or bits from this mixture. When they have dried   on a board, carry them with you wherever you want. When there is a need, soak   in verjuice or vinegar or must. This differs little in nature from those   above.

  
  

"Cuoco   napolitano" 15th century. Translation by Terence Scully
  
  122. Italian Mustard: Get the seed which is called sinapop and steep it for a   day or two, changing the water often; get balnched almonds and grind them up   and put them with the mustard seed grinding it all togther; then get good   must syrup to make it sweet, and for a tart taste use verjuice, and strain   everything and make it thick. Add spices if you want it with spices.
  
  123. Balled Mustard for Trips: Get mustard seed and when it has steeped a   day, grind it up with a handful of raisins, cloves, cinnamon and a little   pepper, and with this paste form balls, small or large as a walnut; then set   to dry on a borad; when dry, you can take them when you go riding; to   distemper them, use verjuice or must or wine or vinegar.
  
  

  
  

John   Evelyn A discourse of Sallets, 1699:

  

Take   the mustard seed, and grind one and a half pints of it with honey, and   Spanish oil, and make it into a liquid with vinegar......

  

To   make mustard for the pot, slice some horse-radish, and lay it to soak in   vinegar, squeezing it well, and add a lump of sugar and an onion chopt. Use   vinegar from this mixture to mix the mustard.

  

http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-CONDIMENTS/mustard-msg.html

  
  

Anonimo Veneziano, Libro   di cucina / Libro   per cuoco (14th/15th   c.)  

  


  XLII. Mustard and mustard good
  If you want to make mustard, take the fat that falls hot from a roast capon   or other meat, take mustard seed and crush well, and when it is well ground   put it to soak in water well boiled, and then take of cooked wine and mix   everything together and put it to boil a little etc.
  For another way of making mustard delicate, take the seeds cut and washed   well with boiling water and temper with a knife and mix sugar and powdered   cloves, etc.

  

Translated 2002 by Helewyse   de Birkestad (Louise Smithson):  http://www.geocities.com/helewyse/libro
  

  

Raw Materials 

                 
  

  

Mustard Seed:

  

      Black/Brown   (Brassica Nigra)

  

      Yellow/White   (Sinapis Alba)

  
  

Other liquids:

  

      Water   (to soak seeds)

  

      Meat   broth

  
  

Thickeners:

  

      Almonds   

  

      Breadcrumbs   

  

      Egg   (1 instance

  
  

Spices:

  

      sugar   

  

      cinnamon   

  

      cloves   

  

      ginger   

  

      salt   

  

      anise   

  

      pepper?   

  

      horseradish?   or onion?

  

      spices   left over from making jelly, broth, hypocras or sauces
  (according to Le Menagier,
  who includes the following in some of his sauces: cinnamon, canell [cassia?],   ginger, grains of Paradise, nutmegs, galingale, cardamom, mace, spikenard,   sugar, saffron, zeodary, cubebs, bay leaves)

  
  

Grape products:

  

      Wine   Must

  

      Crushed   Grapes

  

      Wine   (red or white)

  

      Vinegar   (white or red)

  

      Verjuice   

  
  

Sweeteners:

  

      Sugar   

  

      Honey   

  

      Dates   

  

      Raisins   

  

      pear   preserves (1 instance)

  

 

  

  

Honeyed mustard seems to be generally called 'lombardy mustard' in the recipes.

Process:

The most basic constituent of mustard sauce is mustard seed. Both yellow 'white' mustard (Sinapia Alba) and brown/black mustard were used in period. There appears to be a slight preference for brown/black mustard seed, unless a white-ish sauce was wanted.Modern mustard fanciers can choose between ground yellow mustard 'flour', yellow mustard seeds and brown mustard seeds. Be cautious with the ground mustard flour; it seems to be 'hotter' than ground seeds are! Also, though brown mustard seeds are supposed to be spicier, I've found them more mellow.

Most period mustard sauces also call for mixing the ground seeds with some product of the grape, if not more than one: wine must (crushed grapes) was the most popular, but wine, vinegar, verjuice and even raisins were added on occasion.The yellow seeds were sometimes soaked in water before or after grinding, to make the result 'whiter'. Modern mustards branch out into using beer, ale, or different vinegars.

Honey sweetened mustards seem to be associated with Lombardy, but there are plenty of recipes calling for sweeteners, including honey, sugar, and ground dates or raisins. Oil in mustard sauce seems to be a postperiod development, as the first reference I've found is John Evelyn, though C. Anne Wilson says oil was used in Roman mustards. Platina explicitly leaves the choice to the cook: "If you want it sweet, add sweet things; if sour, sour. "

A wide variety of spices were used, and several notations indicate to me that the exact spice combination may have varied not just from cook to cook but from batch to batch of mustard. Certainly, Le Menagier's thrifty advice to add spices left over from making sauce (does he mean before the sauce is mixed, or what has been strained out when the sauce was sieved?) would result in the use of a wide and differing selection of spices. Cinnamon, ginger, cloves and pepper are among the most popular.

Some mustards were eaten right away, others were aged; some were even 'fermented' as Digby's (below) was. Because of the changes in the flavor related to the release of the essential oils of mustard (so sharp they were used to produce the bioweapon 'mustard gas' in WWI), the flavor and sharpness of the mustard changes over time. Mustard to which no acid (such as vinegar, verjuice, or wine) has been added, fades sooner than that with acid. However, the nature of the acid can vary the aging time: a mustard I made with red wine was not ready to eat for 4 or 5 months, and Nicollo's redaction of Platina's Red Mustard needs to sit for quite some weeks before serving. Fresh mustards, especially if pepper, ginger and/or cloves are included, can supply quite as much 'hot' to the medieval diet as capsicum peppers do to the modern one!

Many mustards need to age from 2 days to 6 weeks. Testing over time will tell you how you like it best. In some cases, mustard sauces that have sat for too long, may well need to be 'sharpened up' with a little mustard powder.

There are several recipes for 'pre-made' mustards, little balls or thick pastes to which the user adds vinegar or other liquid to make the right consistency of mustard. Mustard sauces in period may have been less thick than the specialty mustards we are accustomed to; the phrase 'running' or 'thin' is often applied to mustard prepared for serving.

Some of the mustard sauces are boiled, also. Modern herbalists note that heating/cooking mustard may cause it to get bitter if it is cooked too long.

Equipment: Mortars & Mills:

Several sources mention peppermills, handmills or querns used for the purpose of grinding mustard. We can use a mortar and pestle, peppermill, flour grinder, coffee grinder, etc. for grinding spices. Food processors and blenders seem to have too large a capacity to do a good job on squishing the seeds, though they can be used to get a smoother consistency in the finished product.

Mortars with a roughened inside, and heavy, roughened pestles seem to work best; also, if the mortar curves inward at the top, you get less 'splatter'. You only want to grind a small amount at a time; trial and error will show you the best quantity to use in a given set.

Coffee grinders can be a wonderful convenience for grinding medium quantities of spices and herbs at one time. Be sure to KEEP THE LID CLOSED until all motion has ceased -- powdered mustard continues to move a bit longer than ground coffee.

When grinding, be sure not to get mustard powder in your eyes, nose, or other mucous membranes; it really, really hurts!

Other Equipment:

Obviously, you need a bowl to mix in, spoons and things to mix with, measuring spoons if you measure, and containers to put it in! Mustard should be kept in a sealed container of some sort; refrigeration (except under Pennsic like conditions) is probably optional if you have enough acid in the mix. Exposure to air dulls the mustard oil, (which is why period mustard pots had small mouths). If you are going to cook the sauce, you'll need a pan to do that in (a non-reactive one is best).

How to do it:

  1. Grind      your mustard seed
  2. Grind up      any squishy things, such as grape pulp, raisins, almonds, or dates you are      going to add; mix them with your mustard.
  3. Add a      reasonable proportion of the spices you want to use (limit the amounts of      ginger, cloves and pepper at first).
  4. Add any      mustard flour if you like
  5. Add      liquid. You can add water as well as wine, vinegar, verjuice, etc. if you      want.
  6. Add any      other sweeteners such as sugar to taste
  7. Mix.      Adjust spices, liquid and sugar.
  8. Allow to      rest, checking periodically for balance of mustard, spice, liquid and      sugar. Remember that it will get thicker over time and need to be thinned.
  9. Serve!

 


Redactions

     
  

  

Pear Mustard from Welserin, by   Brandu (Jeff Gedney)

  

What I wound up doing:
  -- I had no ready source for pear preserves, so I did something I have done   in the past to great effect...

  

      4   cans pear halves in juice, well drained

  

      two   spice bottles of dry mustard powder (I usually prefer to grind my own with   mostly brown mustard seed)

  

      1   1/2 cups sugar

  

      6   tbsp cider vinegar

  

      1   cup white wine

  
      
  1. puree        the pear halves.
  2.   
  3. stir in        the other ingredients.
  4.   
  5. put in        the fridge to set for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. the more        this sets the more the flavors develop. makes about 3-4 cups sauce
  6.   
  

I did this all in the food   processor...
  Here is a caveat, the more you agitate this the hotter the mustard gets. if   you prefer a milder sauce use less mustard, and stir it by hand. I wanted   something tasty and sweet that would clear the sinuses, I had a pork roast   coming, and this sauce not only would ideally "balance the humors",   the flavors would really compliment.

  
  


  

  

References

      The Complete Book of Herbs and Spices, Sarah Garland. (Pleasantville, NY: Reader's Digest, 1993)

      Delightes for Ladies. Hugh Plat. edited by Violet and Hall Trovillion from the 1627 edition. (Herrin, IL: Trovillion Private Press, 1939)

      Ein New Kochbuch, Max Rumpolt, c. 1581, translated by M. Grasse: http://clem.mscd.edu/~grasse/GK_sauce1.htm

      The English Housewife: containing the inward and outward virtues which ought to be in a complete woman..., Gervase Markham. first printed 1615. Published 1986 by McGill-Queen's University Press, Montreal; edited by Michael R. Best.

      Forme of Cury, online version: http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/foc/

      Le Menagier de Paris. online version of an 1844 English translation: http://www.best.com/~ddfr/Medieval/Cookbooks/Menagier/Menagier.html

      Food and drink in Britain. C. Anne Wilson. (Chicago : Academy Chicago Publishers, 1991)

      A Garden of Pleasant Flowers: Paradisi in Sole. John Parkinson (NY: Dover Publications, 1991)

      Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages http://www-ang.kfunigraz.ac.at/~katzer/engl/

      The Greek Herbal of Dioscorides: illustrated by a Byzantine, A. D. 512; Englished by John Goodyer, A. D. 1655; edited and first printed, A. D. 1933, by Robert T. Gunther ... with three hundred and ninety-six illustrations.

      Green Enchantment: The golden age of herbs and herbalists, Rosetta Clarkson. (New York, Macmillan, 1940)

      Hildegard von Bingen's Physica: the complete English translation of her classic work on Health and Healing. Trans. from the Latin by Patricia Throop. (Rochester, VT: Healing Arts, 1998)

      http://www.best.com/%7Eddfr/Medieval/Cookbooks/Sabrina_Welserin.html">Das Kuchbuch der Sabrina Welserin (1553): http://www.best.com/~ddfr/Medieval/Cookbooks/Sabrina_Welserin.html

      The Lore of Spices, J.O. Swahn. (NY: Cresent Books, 1991)

      The Magic of Herbs: A modern chronicle of herbs, and savory seeds. Rosetta Clarkson(New York: Macmillan, 1939)

      The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy. Odile Redon, et al.(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988)

      "Medieval Mustard", by Terafan Graydragon: http://www.greydragon.org/library/mustard.html">http://www.greydragon.org/library/mustard.html

      "Mustard" in Stefan's Florilegium, http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-CONDIMENTS/mustard-msg.html">http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-CONDIMENTS/mustard-msg.html

      Mustards, Ketchups and Vinegars: Making the most of seasonal abundance. Carol W. Costenbader (Pownal, VT: Storey, 1996)

      The Neapolitan Recipe Collection: (New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, MS Buhler, 19): A Critical Edition and English Translation. by Terence Scully. (University of Michigan Press, 2000)

      "The 'opusculum de saporibus' of Magninus Mediolanensis." T. Scully, Medium Aevum 54 (1985): 178-207.

      On Right Pleasure and Good Health:A Renaissance Gentleman's Discourse On food, Health, and the Physical Pleasures. Platina. Translated and edited by Mary Ella Milham. Available in hardback from MRTS and paperback from Pegasus Press.

      The pantry gourmet : over 250 recipes for mustards, vinegars, relishes, pates, cheeses, breads, preserves, and meats to stock your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator. Jane Doerfer (Emmaus, PA: Rodale,  1984)

      The Spice Companion: the culinary, cosmetic, and medicinal uses of Spices. Richard Craze (Allentown, PA: People's Medical Society, 1997)

      "Antimicrobial Effects of Mustard Flour and Acetic Acid against Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium." Rhee MS, Lee SY, Dougherty RH, Kang DH. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, May 2003, vol 69, issue 5: p. 2959-63.

 


Copyright 2002, 2003, Jennifer A. Heise. Contact me via email for permission to reprint: jahb at lehigh.edu
Permission is explicitly granted for limited reproduction as a printed handout for classes in schools, herb society meetings, or classes or guild meetings in the Society for Creative Anachronism (except to corporate officers and board members of the SCA, Inc.), as long as I am notified and credited and the entire handout is used. [Jadwiga's herbs homepage:  http://www.lehigh.edu/%7Ejahb/herbs/herbs.html">http://www.lehigh.edu/~jahb/herbs/herbs.html ].

If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.

<the end>



Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
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Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org