Discover Germany, Issue 60, March 2018

Page 22

Discover Germany  |  Wine & Dine  |  Feature

BBQ sauce, mustard, mayonnaise. Photo: © Engin Akyurt

Pass the mustard, please! If you travel to Germany and reach for mustard on the supermarket shelf, you will not find an equivalent to ‘English mustard’. The many German varieties of this popular condiment range from süß (sweet) to extra scharf (scorching) to Düsseldorfer – but what exactly makes ‘senf’?

Bavarian Sweet Mustard− Süßer Senf, Bayerischer or Weißwurstsenf


When people think of mustard, they commonly envision some yellow sauce coating a sausage, but there are hundreds of kinds in the world. Mustard was already cultivated in Asia in 1800 BC, a long time before the Romans experimented with the preparation of mustard. They mixed unfermented grape juice (the must) with ground mustard seeds to make ‘burning must’, mustum ardens — hence ‘must ard’. Dijon became a recognized centre for mustard making by the 13th century, and the early use as a condiment in England is attested from the year 22  |  Issue 60  |  March 2018

in the south, the milder and sweeter varieties prevail. To help you pair your next bratwurst perfectly, here are some of the most popular German styles:

1390 in the book The Forme of Cury which was written by King Richard II’s master cooks. In Germany, mustards range from smooth to grainy and are called ’senf’ or sometimes ’mostrich’ or ’mostert’. Germans have had a taste for mustard since the Middle Ages when it was sold at pharmacies for medical and culinary uses. Today, there are five basic types: mild, medium hot, hot, extra hot and sweet. Whereas spicier types of mustard are most popular in Northern and Western Germany,

Bavarian style mustards are made from coarsely ground and roasted mustard seeds mixed with vinegar and honey, sugar or applesauce as a sweetener. They are the only ones worthy to grace a pair of ’weißwürste’, those minced veal and pork bacon sausages, traditionally eaten as a snack between breakfast and lunch. Medium-Spicy Mustard − Mittelscharfer or Delikatess Senf This is made with a combination of yellow and brown mustard seeds and is the most