Is a native of Europe, and was introduced into England before 1548. Our readers may remember how Grumio teased "the Shrew" by proposing "the mustard without the beef;" and how Bottom spoke to Mustard-seed the fairy: " Good Master Mustard-seed, I know your patience well; that same cowardly, giant-like ox-beef hath devoured many a gentleman of your house; I promise you your kindred hath made my eyes water ere now." In George I.'s reign, a Mr. Clements prepared and sold Durham mustard, but the condiment had (on the above authority) been long previously in use.
Mustard is of the easiest culture possible. The white mustard, which we eat in its seed leaves with cress, may be raised by spreading the seed in a saucer on wet flannel.
The flour of mustard - mixed for the table - is made from the ground seeds of the black mustard, extensively cultivated in England for that purpose.
The seeds of the black mustard contain a volatile and fixed oil of mustard, and two substances known as myronic acid and myrocene. These substances are not found in white mustard. Myronic acid contains sulphur and nitrogen. Myrocene is an albuminous matter which coagulates in hot water, and is necessary to the formation of the essential oil. Therefore mustard must be always made with hot water.
Table mustard mixed with hot water is a strong emetic, and spread as a poultice will relieve cold on the chest, etc. etc.
Mustard owes its peculiar odour, burning taste, and blistering quality to its volatile oil, which resembles that of horseradish.