SCA: Making Mustard Medieval Style

We learned to make mustard medieval style. The class was taught for our local Society for Creative Anachronism branch by one of our members who plans to teach this class at events. Really good class–and good for kids too!

Our class used brown and white mustard seeds, a choice of vinegars, herbs to add flavor if desired, water, sugar or honey to sweeten, and a mortar and pestle to grind up the seeds. It ages on the counter for days or weeks, developing its flavor and mellowing.

My effort used apple cider vinegar, honey, 2/3 white mustard seeds, 1/3 brown mustard seeds (might have been 3/4, 1/4), water, and tarragon. Turned out delicious!

The mustard is ground in the mortar with the pestle. How fine or course it is ground it up to you. Moderns can use a spice grinder but it will generally be much finer! The ground mustard seeds are placed in a bowl (glass, ceramic, pottery, but NOT metal as it can change the flavor) and water is added. Surprisingly, cold water will make a spicier mustard, hot water a milder one! Only enough water is added to make a thick paste. They soak for 15 minutes or so, while you get ready to do the next step. Next, you add the vinegar, the sweet you chose (I used honey) and any spices (I used tarragon). If it needs to be thinner, add a bit more water. Go slow as it is more difficult to thicken than to thin!

This is a great project to do with children. Not complicated, and you get to eat your results. Our family will be doing it at home, and testing out more variations. I hope to remember to take pictures and share that activity with the blog too.

Dear Lord, thank You for mustard, for mortar and pestles, and for people who teach what they know. +Amen.

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