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Want non-bitter mustard!

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I've been disappointed with the mustards we've tried lately--too bitter. Even a small container lasts a long time; I s'pose I should just throw it out, but my spouse will eat it. But then I end up going without because it's just nasty to my tastebuds.

Is it possible to make homemade mustard and eliminate whatever makes commercial varieties so bitter? Or are all mustard seeds inherently bitter?

PS: If you were gonna suggest a sweet variety, please don't. Sweet doesn't really mask bitter, in my book, and besides, we eat minimal to zero sugars/sweeteners.

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  1. What brand of mustard are you using? None of the stuff I use is bitter. The again, bitter to one is not always bitter to another.

    1 Reply
    1. re: todao

      "What brand of mustard are you using"
      you read my mind todao.

      My husband likes to buy Boars Head from the European deli down the street.
      He likes the deli style, a little hot&spicy and the Pepperhouse Gourmaise which is mayo combined with the deli mustard plus pink/green/white/black peppercorns. So good.

    2. Funny, I don't know that I have had any mustards that tasted "bitter" either. Perhaps bitter is not the best word to describe what you are tasting? I am no mustard expert, but agree that if you identify the brands it might help...


      1. I haven't really paid attention to the brand names. I'd probably recognize the bottles if I were at the store. I do recall that at least some of them are dijon or dijon-style...

        I'm rather sensitive to bitter flavors. For example, I can't stand the taste of beer. And the only coffee I'll drink is my homemade cold soak (and never straight, must have cream in it).

        I just ran across a thread about 'supertasters' and think I have that!

        I'm hoping someone knowledgeable about making prepared mustards will be able to explain how to make it myself and avoid/minimize the bitter flavors. (I've been finding some hints on the internet.)

        2 Replies
        1. re: Enso

          I know you pretty much said no to sweeteners but I used to add a little honey to French's yellow mustard as a dipping sauce for chicken fingers and the kids liked it.

          1. re: TrishUntrapped

            I use bright yellow hot dog mustard to rub down the entire outside of beef roast before roasting & after liberal sprinklings of salt and pepper first. So good and nice crust.

        2. What kind of mustard are you looking for? Good ol' yellow mustard? If you're looking for yellow mustard I am partial to Plochmans, I don't find it to be bitter. It's the mustard I grew up on.

          1. I agree with you the sugar (honey included) doesn't eliminate bitterness in foods. It does mask bitterness somewhat but it is not a solution to the problem you describe.
            A lot of mustard producers include Turmeric as an ingredient (primarily for color) and Turmeric can be somewhat bitter, especially to sensitive taste buds. Try reading labels and see if you can find a mustard in your area that doesn't contain Turmeric and see if that helps.
            Plochmans, French's and Guldens mustards contain Turmeric ....
            You could try this recipe and make your own:

            2 Replies
            1. re: todao

              Raley's Deli Style Mustard With Horseradish has no turmeric ....

              1. re: todao

                YES. I have been trying to figure out why some mustards do ring a little "bitter" to me and I think you've hit it with the turmeric. Might not be the OP's problem but it's a reasonable hypothesis.

              2. I think French's mustard is bitter, but if you don't mind hot, buy a can of Colman's mustard powder and mix the amount you want with water right before serving. You won't get the vinegar taste that many mustards have, so you'll miss that, but you won't get bitterness either. It'll just be up your nose hot, in a good kind of way. I think it's great with beef, including hamburgers.

                1. I've never heard of a bitter mustard, but I have recently started using a different mustard to avoid sugar, which practically every prepared mustard contains, whether a sweet type or not. Löwensenf Extra does not — it contains only mustard, vinegar, water, and salt. I sometimes use it as is and other times use it as a base to make something more complex.

                  You can always get Colman's dry mustard and do the whole thing from scratch, but that's more work.

                  1. Not bitter, not sweet, not really very hot but IMHO insanely delicious ...Pommery Meaux. OMG!

                    At about $20 a bottle, try to taste some before you commit. Mielle stone ground is a faint echo of it.

                    1. I don't think of mustard as being bitter. It has a 'sharpness', something akin to the 'heat' of chiles and pepper, but different.

                      If mustard seeds do have bitterness that a 'supertaster' can detect, then there's no way around it. But if you are tasting turmeric (which in large enough concentration is bitter), then you are in luck. Bright yellow mustard like Frenches depends on that for color. On the other hand I have a jar of Trader Joes Dijon style that only as has mustard, vinegar, salt and citric acid.

                      1. We us Inglehoffer at my house almost exclusively:


                        I like the sweet-hot and hubby likes the dijon and stone ground varieties. None are what I would consider bitter or very sweet.

                        I've purchased it a A&P, Pathmark, Walmart, and Amazon also sells it. You can also get it in small glass jars.

                        1. Folks, since the answers to this thread are all about brands of mustard, we're moving it over to General Topics where packaged foods are discussed.

                          But since the original poster was actually looking for recipes and techniques to make his/her own, we hope they will repost on Home Cooking specifically for recipe ideas and post a link here.

                          1. Maybe this article will help.


                            You can try buying a can of Colman's dry mustard powder (regular supermarket should have for a couple bucks a can) and mix just a little with water and taste. You can try other options besides or with the water. At least it will give you a base point to start, and little investment (no jars of FAIL to leave around for DH to finish)

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Quine

                              Is that really the link you wanted to post Quine?

                              1. re: mangiare24

                                You mean the gummy soldiers? Seems to be as useful as any of the other posts. :)

                                1. re: mangiare24

                                  eek no! Oh I hate that And now I can't find the one I did want to post. Drats

                                  1. re: Quine

                                    Now you can understand th OP's reaction down below. :)

                              2. A mustard tasting party would be so helpful, wouldn't it? I love the idea! It gets expensive for one person/family to buy a bunch of different mustards to sample.

                                If we had a group of people sharing the cost we could all discover new brands to patronize.

                                Where is a Star Trek transporter when you need one, darn it!

                                1. Thanks to those who have some experience/understanding of the bitter mustard concept. Your info is helpful and appreciated!

                                  I forgot that about turmeric. I buy a good brand that is not bitter, so it could be the brands we've tried used cheap/inferior turmeric.

                                  I've also read in a few places that processing the mustard at too high a heat causes a reaction that can make it taste bitter.

                                  1. Since many mustards contain vinegar, might that be what you are experiencing as "bitter?" I would use the word "acidic" to describe the taste in a positive way but maybe to you it is "bitter" in taste in a negative way? Just a thought.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: mangiare24

                                      I wondered a bit about that at first, but in general, I enjoy sour tastes. Vinegar, lemon juice...yum.

                                      I also like heat, and the "pepperyness" of mustard. It's a little similar to me as the "bite" that ginger has.

                                      But, sweet and bitter are my least favorite "tastes".

                                    2. You may have been buying old jars of mustard. When stored for a long time at room temp., mustard gets bitter.

                                        1. re: chefathome

                                          I make my own too. I have several types in the fridge mellowing.Two are dark brown mustard, one with a brandy base, one with a bourbon base. Both with Drambuie and cider vinegar. Then one has some Indian spices, turmeric, cumin, etc. One has honey to sweeten, one muscavado sugar. Neither is too sweet. Takes two weeks to a month to be ready, to mellow and develop flavors.

                                          1. re: JMF

                                            Those sound sublime! I can taste them from your description.

                                            1. re: chefathome

                                              I also make similar ones and grind up dried fruit like apricots, pineapple, mango, papaya, etc in with the mustard. I started with an online recipe of apricot bourbon mustard and played with it.
                                              here's one

                                              1. re: JMF

                                                Same here! I just went out to buy dried apricots, actually. Love the combination with mustard.