The Modern Pantry Guide to the World's Best Mustards (2023)

I’m pretty sure that mustard gets more use than any other condiment in the Test Kitchen. That’s saying a lot when you consider the number of options we have to chose from: four refrigerator shelves and a sweeping pantry packed, shoulder-to-shoulder, with every obscure paste, potion, sauce, and seasoning we could ever need. But mustard is special, and popular everywhere on Earth it lands.

A Little Mustard Background

As a member of the Brassicacae family (which also includes pungent green vegetables like cabbage, cress, and broccoli), mustard is a low maintenance crop that thrives in a broad range of climates. The earliest evidence of mustard cultivation can be traced back to 4000-BCE China, and millennia of human migration, agriculture and imperialism have scattered mustard seeds across the planet. The Romans introduced the easy-growing seeds to many of their conquered territories and as a result, different varieties of mustard grow today, wild and cultivated, across North Africa, continental Europe, and the British Isles.

While wild strains of mustard already existed in the Western hemisphere and were used in native cooking, mustard seed was not a common crop for early European settlers. When Thomas Jefferson returned from France at the end of the 18th century, he brought with him a taste for the French-style condiment and planted mustard seeds on his Virginia plantation. Today, Canada exports more mustard seed than any other country (mostly to France, the United States, and Japan) and coming in a close second is the tiny mountain country of Nepal* which supplies a large portion of India’s demand.

We’ve featured some of the Test Kitchen’s house favorites below. The selection barely scratches the surface of all the options out there, but it’s a strong start for the modern pantry.

Essential Mustards to Know and Love

The Modern Pantry Guide to the World's Best Mustards (1)

<a href='' rel='nofollow' title=''>Ballpark Style: French’s Classic Yellow Mustard</a>

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    Let's get the obvious one out of the way, shall we? Michele Anna Jordan wrote in The Good Cook's Book of Mustard that "... a hot dog on the street in New York City, San Francisco, Santa Rosa, anywhere at all, should be topped with any humble ballpark mustard, sharp and bright and perfectly suited to its purpose."

    We catch what Michele is going for, but we will stick with the tried and true brand. Until recently, the North American palate has been by and large fearful of picante foods. At the turn of the 20th century, R.T. French, the “largest manufacturer of mustard in western New York State” sought to grow their sluggish business by producing a bright and flavorful mustard with none of the heat of European preparations.

    Labeled "French's Cream Salad Brand," the new condiment's instant success permanently changed the American table. French's topped a million dollars in sales in 1915, and in 1926 the family-run company decided to cash out to the English mustard giant Coleman's. Today's popular yellow potion is still bright with white vinegar and lots turmeric powder, along with some added flavorings and sweeteners that appeal to our national sugar addiction. French's is basic in the very best way: consistent, nostalgic, and great on greasy hotdogs and burgers. We also love Adam Perry Lang's technique of using it to tenderize and adhere spice rubs to grilled or roasted pork.

    The Modern Pantry Guide to the World's Best Mustards (2)

    Dijon: <a href=''>Maille Dijon Original Mustard with White Wine</a> and <a href=''>Edmond Fallot's Walnut Mustard</a>

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      This old lion brand supplied mustard to the courts of 18th century France, Austria, and Hungary, and the old French label was the favorite of King Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour. In spite of centuries of mergers and staggering growth, Maille still produces one of our favorite Dijon-style mustards. You can find pre-packed jars in most good grocery stores, while the company’s boutiques offer a number of classic and flavored mustards on tap for maximum freshness.

      If you don't live near one of their shops, their mustards "from the pump," packed in beautiful stoneware crocks, are also available online. With a silky smooth, almost whipped texture and moderate heat, we love the original Dijon with white wine.

      Edmond Fallot's sharp mustardy bite has earned it the prestige of being Thomas Keller's favorite brand. The classic Dijon and slightly hotter Burgundy version are pantry staples, and this grainy walnut version is a dream with pork, rabbit, or duck rillettes.

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      This extra-coarse mustard from the birthplace of Brie is nutty and tart with a dry, grainy texture and very little heat. The local monastery produced an early recipe as far back as the 17th century, and the Pommery family took over manufacturing in 1760.

      The favored mustard of culinary philosopher Brillat-Savarin, this mellow (if pricey) mixture is no simple sandwich spread; swirl a spoonful into cream sauce or use it in a vinaigrette over warm haricots verts. With its lovely classic packaging, Moutarde de Meaux makes a charming gift for serious home cooks.

      The Modern Pantry Guide to the World's Best Mustards (3)

      Mustard Powder: <a href='' rel='nofollow' title=''>Colman's Mustard</a> and <a href='' rel='nofollow' title=''>S&amp;B</a>

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        While most of today’s mustard-eating countries sell and consume prepared mustard pastes in varying fineness of grind, mustard also comes in a dry powdered form. Heat and strong acid denature the enzymes that cause mustard’s “hot” sensation, so for the most intense mustardy burn, mix the powder with an equal part of cold water. Let the mixture rest for a few minutes to develop its full flavor before serving with roasted meat, on sandwiches, or stirred into mayonnaise as a dip or dressing.

        Our favorite powdered mustards are the English giant Colman’s and S&B Oriental Hot Mustard from Japan. Like any other ground spice, these lose potency over time. Both brands are inexpensive; discard and replace six months after opening.

        Karashi, such as the S&B Prepared Hot Mustard or House Brand Neri Karashi, is the only packaged prepared mustard we've come across that is not tempered by an acidic component. Consequently, these two karashi have the most intense mustardy heat of any of the prepared pastes we tasted. S&B's version was the clear favorite, with a mellow, savory hit of umami and a front-of-mouth tingle that suggests a touch of Sichuan peppercorn. Try it with tonkatsu, natto, or oden.

        The Modern Pantry Guide to the World's Best Mustards (4)

        <a href=''>Mostarda di Frutta: La Cicogna Mostarda Fichi</a>

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          Italians love this sweet and spicy fruit condiment, spooning it over pungent cheese and boiled meats, or, in the case of Mostarda di Venezia, swirled into bowls of mascarpone for dessert. Try this classic fig version, or make your own winter fruit relish using Tamar Adler's easy recipe, which includes both prepared Dijon mustard and whole brown mustard seeds.

          The Modern Pantry Guide to the World's Best Mustards (5)

          Dusseldorf and Bavarian Mustards

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            Traditional German mustard falls into two main categories: Dusseldorf style is savory, tart and strong, similar to Dijon but typically with less aggressive heat, while Bavarian mustards are mild and generously sweetened with sugar or honey. We like the smooth Dusseldorf-style Alstertor on baked ham while sweet and smoky Handlemaier’s is perfect on weisswurst or even breakfast links.

            The Modern Pantry Guide to the World's Best Mustards (6)

            American Deli-Style: <a href=''>Nathan's Famous Coney Island Deli Style Mustard</a> and <a href=''>Mister Mustard Original Hot</a>

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              American deli mustards are most popular in parts of the country with thriving Jewish and German communities like New York and the Midwest. Vinegary and accessible, but with more spice and texture than the the yellow ballpark stuff, they're perfect smeared over brats or pastrami. Nathan's makes our favorite mild version, but if you prefer a deli mustard with some serious heat, look for Mister Mustard's Original Hot flavor. It packs a punch and finishes with deep savory notes at a bewilderingly cheap $1.60 a jar.

              The Modern Pantry Guide to the World's Best Mustards (7)

              <a href=''>The Mellow Yellow: Uncle Roy’s Mellow Moffat Mustard</a>

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                If you like the flavor of smooth French and English mustards but can’t take the heat, Uncle Roy’s is a lovely option. Apple purée tempers the burn without the cloying stickiness of sweet honey mustards. Uncle Roy’s also features a number of tasty flavored versions; Wild Scottish Garlic is one of our favorite accompaniments to roast pork loin.

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                This boutique product from a homey Midwestern brand is shy on Dijonaise burn and not so grainy as moutard a l'ancienne. Its smooth, mellow base is flecked with whole white and brown mustard seeds that pop like spicy caviar. The texture is addictive spooned right out of the jar or in a warm German potato salad.


                What is considered the best mustard in the world? ›

                The best-tasting anything is in the mouth of the beholder (or be-taster?), but Amora is the French's mustard of France: It's the No. 1 mustard in the mustard-loving country known for mustard-making since the 10th century.

                What is the hottest mustard in the world? ›

                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.

                What is the oldest mustard brand? ›


                What is the number 1 mustard? ›

                Classic Yellow Mustard French's

                What kind of mustard do Chinese restaurants use? ›

                Chinese hot mustard, which can be found as a powder in the spice aisle, or as a sauce in the condiment section, is made from brown mustard seeds.

                What country eats the most mustard? ›

                France consumes about 2.2 pounds of mustard a year per habitant, making it the world's largest consumer.

                What is America's favorite mustard? ›

                The nation's most loved and largest mustard brand is none other than French's. The American mustard brand has been dishing out creamy yellow mustards for more than 117 years and has no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

                What is the most popular mustard in Germany? ›

                The two most famous German mustards are Düsseldorf and Bavarian Sweet. The main difference between these two varieties is that Bavarian Sweet keeps with its namesake, while Düsseldorf has more of a sweet-sour taste. Düsseldorf's brand is particularly famous due to its having the first Senf factory in Germany in 1726.

                Is mustard good for high blood pressure? ›

                In fact, research indicates that a balanced diet incorporating Mustard Oil, mustard seeds and mustard greens is highly effective in controlling blood pressure and fighting Hypertension.

                Is mustard good for kidneys? ›

                Mustard is an excellent kidney friendly diet condiment. So many seasonings and condiments are loaded with fat and sodium. One teaspoon of yellow mustard contains only 25 to 65 mg sodium.

                Is mustard good for your liver? ›

                Mustard oil is a very potent stimulant, and can help the liver and spleen produce increased levels of digestive enzymes, which can increase the speed of digestion and body's metabolic capacity.

                Why is French mustard no longer available? ›

                France's favorite condiment has disappeared from stores due to a drought in Canada. The shortage has shocked consumers and hobbled the mustard industry. But there's a silver lining to the crisis. Sonia Phalnikar reports.

                Is mustard German or French? ›

                The origin of the word mustard is believed to have come from the word Mosto or grape muss, a young unfermented wine which was mixed with ground Mustard seeds by the French Monks.

                Why is there no French mustard? ›

                The nationwide shortage is due to a lack of mustard seeds needed to produce the condiment. Severe drought in Canada, poor harvests in France and the war in Ukraine have combined to reduce the supplies of mustard seeds available to producers.

                What's the best tasting mustard? ›

                Heinz Yellow Mustard

                I was 100% convinced that French's would run away from this list with a win like Usain Bolt, but Heinz was inarguably the best of the best (and the most well-balanced!). It's very vinegar-heavy, but this acidity hits more at the end, giving it a perfect level of tartness that has you craving more.

                Which mustard is the sweetest? ›

                American Yellow Mustard

                It is considerably milder and sweeter than other mustard varieties. Its bright yellow color comes from the use of finely ground yellow mustard seeds and turmeric.

                Which mustard is the healthiest? ›

                The main differences are health-related, but these are in such small quantities that it may well prove negligible to make a decision between Dijon and yellow mustard due to health concerns. Yellow mustard has lower sodium content, but other than that, there is no further difference in terms of healthiness.

                What mustard is used in McDonald's? ›

                McDonald's Honey Mustard Sauce dipping sauce blends zesty dijon mustard with sweet notes of honey.

                Why is Chinese mustard so good? ›

                Chinese mustard is pungent, spicy and strong in taste, and it'll wake your taste buds up immediately with its horseradish-like heat. Like wasabi, it has sinus-clearing properties. Even a whiff will make your nostrils flare!

                What mustard do they use at IKEA? ›

                SENAP MILD Mild mustard - IKEA.

                Where is the mustard capital of the world? ›

                In 2009 the Mustard Museum relocated to Middleton, Wisconsin, where it is now known as the National Mustard Museum. Mount Horeb has been known by some residents as the "Mustard Capital of the World" as well as the "Troll Capital of the World".

                Why is there no Dijon mustard? ›

                The Dijon region has been famous for its mustard seeds since the Middle Ages, but production has been decimated by pests as chemicals used to kill them have been banned. The Dijon region has been famous for its mustard seeds since the Middle Ages, but production has been decimated by pests.

                What is the least liked condiment? ›

                According to the results of a survey conducted in June 2021, the most hated condiment by consumers in the United States is hot sauce, with approximately 24 percent of respondents indicating that they hate hot sauce. In second place was relish, which was hated by around 21 percent of respondents.

                What is the best tasting yellow mustard? ›

                Our Favorite Yellow Mustard: Heinz Yellow Mustard

                While we recommend every product, tasters particularly loved the “classic” flavor profile of our winning mustard from Heinz: tart and tangy, with a faint sweetness balanced by moderate acidity.

                Do Germans love mustard? ›

                Mustard, or senf, is quite possibly one of the most ubiquitous condiments in Germany. Varying in degrees of hotness and as about as nuanced as beer, there is a perfect mustard for every accompanying food item.

                What is the number 1 condiment in America? ›

                Ketchup. Ketchup is a classic American condiment with which I was already familiar.

                Which mustard is closest to English? ›

                It can be more difficult to find English mustard outside the UK, in which case Dijon mustard would be the closest alternative, though it has a milder flavour. If you wanted something a bit more assertive then we suspect that ready-made wasabi paste could also be used as an alternative.

                What makes German mustard different? ›

                If you had to compare it to another mustard from around the world, it would probably be compared with Dijon mustard from France. The main difference however, would be that this mustard is much spicier. It comes from whole mustard seeds rather than powder, and has been made in Germany for centuries upon centuries.

                What is the most popular mustard in France? ›

                Maille. Arguably the most famous French mustard brand, Maille has been around for centuries, selling vinegar and mustard in storefronts in Paris and Dijon.

                Is a spoonful of mustard a day good for you? ›

                Mustard contains antioxidants and other beneficial plant compounds thought to help protect your body against damage and disease. For instance, it's a great source of glucosinolates, a group of sulfur-containing compounds found in all cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and mustard.

                Is mustard an anti-inflammatory? ›

                Mustard is good for you because it contains several antioxidants that provide various health benefits including anti-cancer, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and wound-healing properties.

                Is mustard better for you than mayo? ›

                In addition to adding some snap to your sandwich, mustard is one of the healthiest condiments. Mustard has fewer calories than ketchup, sweet relish or mayonnaise. Flavored mustards, such as honey mustard or beer mustard, also are low in calories, but they do have more calories than brown or yellow mustard.

                What foods restore kidneys? ›

                20 Healthful Foods for Fighting Kidney Disease
                • Blueberries. Blueberries and other dark berries like strawberries and raspberries are among the best sources of antioxidants to help protect your kidneys. ...
                • Cauliflower. ...
                • Olive Oil. ...
                • Garlic. ...
                • Bell Peppers. ...
                • Cabbage. ...
                • Skinless Chicken. ...
                • Arugula.
                4 Nov 2019

                Is mustard OK for heart? ›

                Cardiovascular benefits

                Mustard oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. Researchers have consistently found that including monounsaturated fatty acids in the diet can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

                What foods are hardest on the liver? ›

                Fatty/Fast Food Items

                French fries, wafers, burgers, and pizzas do no good to your liver. These food items are high in saturated fat or trans-fat content and are difficult to digest. In other words, your liver needs to work hard to process these food items.

                Is mustard a Superfood? ›

                Mustard: A powerful superfood

                The health benefits of mustard have made it a popular superfood for centuries. The potent medicinal properties of mustard seeds made this powerful ingredient popular with the ancient Greek and Roman civilisations who used it for various ailments.

                Why would you put mustard in bath water? ›

                Mustard baths are a traditional remedy in England-- used for the treatment of colds, stress, fatigued and achy muscles, fever and congestion. Mustard has been known to stimulate the sweat glands, opening the pores and helping the body rid itself of toxins.

                Why is American mustard so yellow? ›

                The gold standard for American mustards is the yellow variety. Its bright yellow color comes from the sole use of finely ground yellow mustard seeds, as well as the powerful coloring spice turmeric.

                What is the difference between French mustard and Dijon mustard? ›

                British-style “French mustard” would also be classed as a “moutarde douce” - a term used for certain sweeter, milder mustards in France. Dijon is a dark yellow, with a milder taste than English mustard, but still with more bite and a more classic mustard taste than the sweetish, savoury, “French mustard”.

                What is the difference between American and French mustard? ›

                Flavor and Ingredients.

                Yellow mustard, which is made of powdered mustard seeds, a spice blend, and vinegar (or even water), has a milder taste compared to its French counterpart. Dijon definitely has a distinctive mustard flavor, but is a tad more intense and complex than yellow mustard.

                Can dogs eat mustard? ›

                No, you should never give your dog mustard, even if it is just a small amount on some table scraps, as it's toxic for dogs. If they happen to lick a small bit off your plate, it's unlikely to cause a problem, but if they have a large amount, it could cause a serious issue.

                Why is English mustard so strong? ›

                English mustard

                It is made with a combination of yellow and brown seeds and is stronger than many other mustards as it has a low acid content. It is particularly suited to flavoring as a cooking ingredient but is also used as a table condiment for cold and hot meats.

                Do they eat mustard in Italy? ›

                Mostarda is a must-have on your table this holiday season. Mostarda is one of my favorite additions to a cheese plate—and I'm not talking about the yellow paste you put on a hot dog (the Italian word for mustard is senape).

                Why is there no ketchup in France? ›

                In 2011, France banned the tomato condiment from school cafeterias in order to preserve French cuisine. The one ironic exception: Students can still eat ketchup on French fries. Phasing out incandescent light bulbs isn't as easy as flipping a switch.

                Is there a mustard shortage 2022? ›

                Not so far. Yellow mustard is made from white mustard seeds, not brown like dijon, and those crops haven't suffered the same as brown mustard. Grocery stores are still well-stocked with yellow mustard, but you'll already find dijon and spicy mustard supplies low.

                Why is German mustard so spicy? ›

                The black mustard seeds are what contribute the heat, and the brown sugar, garlic, spices, and tarragon add depth of flavor.

                Which country makes the best mustard? ›

                The average annual growth amounted to 1.70 % since 1961. The top ranked country, Nepal, accounted for 32.1 % of mustard seed production in the world. The top 3 countries hold a 77.8 % share while the ten largest countries some 103 % in 2019.
                Which Country Produces the Most Mustard Seeds?
                Mustard Seed ProductionUnit
                12 more rows
                10 Mar 2022

                What is the most popular mustard in America? ›

                One of the most common forms of mustard consumed in the U.S., it's hard to beat classic yellow mustard. First developed by George T. French — of the eponymous French's — yellow mustard's origins date back to the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, according to Wonderopolis.

                Which mustard is closest to American? ›

                Yellow Mustard: Aka “American mustard,” this gets its characteristically bright yellow color from turmeric. One of the milder mustards, it's hugely popular in the U.S. and can be found at most backyard cookouts involving hot dogs or burgers. It's commonly referred to as just “mustard” by most Americans.

                What mustard do Germans use? ›

                A German Specialty

                The two most famous German mustards are Düsseldorf and Bavarian Sweet. The main difference between these two varieties is that Bavarian Sweet keeps with its namesake, while Düsseldorf has more of a sweet-sour taste.

                Which state is famous for mustard? ›

                Mustard is an important cash crop for farmers in Rajasthan, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, among others. Rajasthan is the largest producing state in the country.

                Who is the largest producer of mustard? ›

                China is the largest producer of mustard in the world. China, India and Pakistan grow about 90% of the world production of mustard. Mustard is cultivated in many countries of the World Since Olden days.
                Area in Ha105000
                Production in Mt91000
                Productivity (Kg/Ha)866
                6 more columns


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