Is Senf really stupid?

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Mustard is not the same mustard. It is burning hot, mild or sweet, flavored with herbs, spices or fruits. Numerous mustard specialties now enrich the culinary offer.

History of mustard

The mustard, which is also called "inconspicuous flowering weed" and is native to the Mediterranean, was already known in antiquity as a medicinal and spice plant.

Already 300 v. Chr. In India, mustard was cultivated as a coveted spice plant. After the Greeks and Romans had described the mustard in its various effects in the 1st century, the Romans finally brought him across the Alps. By a request of Charlemagne in 795, the mustard was grown more. This promoted the spread in Central Europe.

In the 13th century, the French city of Dijon gained a monopoly on mustard production. Even today Dijon mustard is a special specialty.

Types, ingredients and production of mustard

Mustard belongs to the family of cruciferae. You can distinguish here two main varieties

  • White mustard (Sinapis alba) has sand-colored grains and is of mild, spicy sharpness.
  • Black mustard (Brassica nigra) provides seeds with rich dark brown peel that can be removed. The marked sharpness increases in the nose, eyes and palate.

The ingredients include glucosinolates or the mustard oil, fat oil, protein and mucus formed from them. Overall, these ingredients can be hyperemic (circulation-promoting), irritating to the skin or bacteriostatic (bacteria-inhibiting) act.

The production of mustard is straightforward, but always different with respect to the flavor. The grains are washed, polished and crushed. Then the crushed grains are mixed with the remaining ingredients.

Beer gives a spicy, wine or cider a spicy and vinegar a mild taste. If you mix the crushed grains with water, you get a very spicy taste.

Mustard is healthy!

The statement that mustard makes stupid, you hear again and again. The reason for this mistaken belief is probably in a name confusion. There are so-called Cyanogenic mustard oilsthat you might suspect in mustard by name. These toxic, cyanogenic substances effectively harm the brain in excess.

The assumption that the toxic substances are contained in the mustard, however, is absolutely wrong, since mustard oils occur predominantly in bitter almonds and in bamboo shoots. They are not present in mustard. But there are many other mustard oils that are formed by the ingredient glucosinolate. This has the mustard in common with horseradish, watercress and radish.

However, mustard oils generally have a positive, stimulating property. They promote the gastric juice production and the salivation and thus the digestion. So it makes sense to eat especially fatty foods such as sausage with mustard.

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