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The Ancient Chinese Considered Mustard An Aphrodisiac

National Mustard Day on the first Saturday in August recognizes a versatile condiment. Used in many different cuisines, mustard comes from the seeds of the mustard plant.

Depending on the kind of mustard, flavors and color will vary. For example, white or yellow mustard comes from a mustard known as Sinapis hirta. Brown or Indian mustard comes from Brassica juncea. And black mustard comes from Brassica nigra.

  • It is believed that mustard was first cultivated in India around 3000 BC. It was later taken to Britain by the Romans who used it as a condiment and pickling spice.
  • Pope John Paul XXII loved mustard so much that in the early 1300’s he created a new Vatican position of mustard-maker to the pope – grand moutardier du pape.
  • Our word mustard comes from the Middle English mustarde, meaning condiment; which in turn comes from the Old French mostarde.
  • Egyptians tossed mustard seeds onto their food, and sent King Tut to the great beyond with a good supply in his tomb.
  • There are about 40 species of mustard plants. The ones used to make the commercial mustard products are the black, brown, and white mustard.
  • More than 700 million pounds of mustard are consumed worldwide each year. Mustard is the second most-used spice in the U.S., following peppercorns.
  • In one year at New York’s Yankee Stadium more than 1,600 gallons plus 2,000,000 individual packets of mustard are consumed.
  • The ancient Chinese considered mustard an aphrodisiac.
  • German lore advises a bride to sew mustard seeds into the hem of her wedding dress to assure her dominance of the household.
  • In Denmark and India, it is believed that spreading mustard seeds around the exterior of the home will keep out evil spirits
  • A 100 gram (3.5 oz) serving of mustard generally has 66,000 calories.
  • On Amazon, French’s Classic Yellow Mustard sells the most for this condiment.
  • Today, mustard is one of the most popular and widely used spices and condiments in the world. It has been called the third most important spice after salt and pepper.
  • The earliest record of people using mustard on hotdogs dates back to St Louis World’s Fair in 1904.
  • Along with radish and turnip, mustard belongs to the Brassicaceae family.
  • In the New Testament, the tiny mustard seed is a symbol of faith.
  • Dijon, France, became a recognized center for mustard making by the 13th century. The popularity of mustard in Dijon is evidenced by written accounts of guests consuming 320 litres (84 US gal) of mustard creme in a single sitting at a gala held by the Duke of Burgundy in 1336. Due to its long tradition of mustard making, Dijon is regarded as the mustard capital of the world.
  • Dijon mustard originated in 1856, when Jean Naigeon of Dijon replaced the usual ingredient of vinegar with verjuice, the acidic “green” juice of unripe grapes. Most mustards from Dijon today contain white wine rather than verjuice.


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