Top 8 mustards tested

Made from a plant of the cabbage family, mustard is not only a great addition to our storecupboard, but to our first aid kit too.

Top 8 mustards tested

Containing sinigrin which converts to allyl isothiocyanate, it aids digestion by stimulating the gastric juices. Also, dried mustard mixed with water on a cloth can be placed on the back to relieve aches and on the chest to treat bronchitis. Try a little on the skin first as it can cause blistering if overdone. And it’s good added to equal parts of lemon, honey, salt and warm water for gargling.

While mustard is a favourite for barbecue food, I often also add it to the end of stir-fries as a thickener and to add zing to soups, particularly in winter. French or English mustard will give a lift to white sauces for simple macaroni cheese and lasagne and to dauphinoise potatoes. Add to the juices left from frying a steak and finish with a splash of cream for an easy sauce. As a coating with breadcrumbs on lamb chops it’s delicious.

Wholegrain mustards tend to be milder and often quite tasteless. Some needed to be partially blended for creaminess, so did not make our top eight. English-style stronger mustards pack a greater punch and are delicious on frankfurters, burgers and on coatings to finish baking pork and ham, and of course in a ham sandwich.

Marks & Spencer Terrifically Hot English Mustard 180g 95c

Living up to its name this one is peppery hot and caught us on the nose, yet it wasn’t overdone. With 32% dried mustard, the rest is a short list of water, salt, concentrated lemon juice and ground turmeric. Good flavour.

Score:

9

Colman’s Mustard 57g €1.37

We included this dry mustard as a reminder of how useful it can be mixed with flour as a coating for fish, mixed with spices, for a marinade, added to vinaigrettes and mayonnaises as it won’t alter their texture. Its quality since 1814 must have been consistent to have survived over 200 years. A useful storecupboard ingredient with just one ingredient – mustard flour – is another plus.

Score:

8.5

Lidl Batts English mustard 185g 43c

The first hit we got was a sweetness which comes from sugar (and not substitutes), then we get a decent mustardy taste from a fair 24% mustard powder. Spirit vinegar gives it a kick and, though a few thought it lacked depth, it was liked by tasters.

Score:

8

Maille Dijon mustard 215g €1.79

Just what we all expected from Dijon mustard, the slightly loose texture was nicely rich with a real kick. Named after the French town where a steam-driven mustard mill was used 260 years ago, this one has water, mustard seeds, spirit vinegar, a high enough 5.7% salt, citric acid, and for those with intolerance, the less desirable preservative sodium metabisulphite. Made by Unilever which also makes Colman’s.

Score:

7

Lakeshore strong Irish mustard 220g €1.50

A properly strong mustard was indistinguishable from English style and none the worse for that. Tasters liked the power of 27% mustard powder with a high 8.1% salt and some sugar. The smooth, oily texture is supplied by rapeseed oil and there are no undesirable chemicals. A satisfying product.

Score:

7.75

Heinz smooth & mild mustard 240g €1.89

Mild, quite sweet and liked by a few tasters, this is ideal for those new to mustard.

With 19% mustard seeds, low salt, spirit vinegar, sugar and no undesirables, a good one for children.

Score:

7

Tesco wholegrain mustard 180g 52c

We tried quite a few wholegrain mustards and liked this one best. A high 30% black mustard seeds are left whole but there is also mustard flour, along with cinnamon, pimento and turmeric powders (all with health benefits) making it cling together nicely. No nasties either. Good price.

Score:

8.25

French’s classic yellow sweet mustard 226g €1.59

This one shouldn’t really make our final eight, but is here to give an example of a number of products which lacked flavour and didn’t taste like mustard at all. There are two forms of sugar, one is second highest on the list of ingredients and a little further down there is 2% brown sugar. There is also turmeric, onion and garlic powders which should work. However, the sweetness dominates all flavours. Made in USA.

Score:

3

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