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I am from Germany and I want to cook a recipe that has "English mustard" in it. I don't really know the difference between different kinds of mustard.

For example, the mustard I mostly use here in Germany is this one:

https://www.bautzner.de/de/Produkte/Senfklassiker/Senf-mittelscharf

It's just called mustard. Is english mustard something different? Is the one I know more of a yellow/ american mustard or something else entirely?

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  • What's the recipe?
    – The Photon
    Nov 21 '20 at 0:26
  • Currently I want to try Gordon Ramseys Beef Wellington, but I've seen a few recipes online that request english mustard. Nov 21 '20 at 9:00
  • I use Colman’s on his Wellington and love it.
    – JacobIRR
    Nov 22 '20 at 16:07
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I’m guessing that English mustard would refer to a mustard with more heat and stronger flavour than American (yellow) mustard. The Brits in my family usually mean Colman’s brand when they ask for mustard, and a little goes a long way. And the jar says original English mustard, for whatever that’s worth. I am unfamiliar with the German mustard you linked, however the ingredients on my container are water, mustard flour (21%), sugar, salt, wheat flour, turmeric, citric acid, and xantham gum. Maybe you can compare?

Colman’s Mustard

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  • images.app.goo.gl/oJ6gMg6ZL71eYAes7 link to a very good English mustard made by Ramsa in Austria. I guess available in Germany as well.
    – Alchimista
    Nov 21 '20 at 8:43
  • There isn't a very detailed recipe on the Bautzener Senf. It says Water, mustard seeds, brandy vinegar (german Branntweinessig), Salt, Sugar, Spices and aroma. Nov 21 '20 at 9:03
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    I think I will accept this answer as the common opinion is that english mustard is something different than our german mustard. I will try to get some for my recipees. Nov 21 '20 at 9:06
  • 3
    The ingredients list won't tell you the most important thing: the variety of mustard seed used. Along with the concentration, that's the primary factor determining strength. Two mustards can have identical ingredient lists and concentration, yet wildly different strengths.
    – Sneftel
    Nov 21 '20 at 11:37
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    @MatthiasNicklisch If you equate “German mustard” with plain “Mittelscharfer Senf”, you are doing injustice to the German Senf/Mostrich world. Once you leave the realm of the Wurstbuden-condiments, you’ll find everything from Bavarian sweet mustard (Weißwurst!) to extra pungent as mentioned in another answer. And that’s not even touching on the more international products, that already hit German shelves (fig mustard and cheese, anyone?).
    – Stephie
    Nov 21 '20 at 20:57
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The German „Mittelscharfer Senf“ ist pretty wimpy compared to the average English mustard that looks deceptively similar.

You need something that packs more punch, if you can’t get proper English mustard (the Coleman’s in the other answer is occasionally available in German stores), a Dijon mustard (Maille is a commonly seen brand) will do, or a „Scharfer Senf“ (strong/sharp mustard) of a German brand.

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  • I totally disagree sorry. If I must divide mustards in categories, dijon goes with the mustard typically found in Germany rather than with the English one. Coleman's is certainly available in Germany as well as an Englisher Send produced there or in Austria. I'll try to get back to memory it's name because it is even very good :)
    – Alchimista
    Nov 21 '20 at 8:39
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    @Alchimista I was talking about suitable substitutions, not implying that it’s the same. And yes, I happen to have used all of them.
    – Stephie
    Nov 21 '20 at 10:35
  • yes perhaps I didn't read well. Meantime I've found other labels too, including labelled as supermarket chain. All of them made in Austria.
    – Alchimista
    Nov 21 '20 at 10:43
  • :( found none in the one supermarket chain. Perhaps I’ll try another. This question triggered my “want some” reflex...
    – Stephie
    Nov 21 '20 at 10:55
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    Dijon bought in France or French brands bought in England (Maille usually) is probably the closest I've tasted to English mustard. There are so-called Dijon mustards that have far less flavour (to the extent that I would happily lick the spoon - you wouldn't do that with a proper Dijon or English mustard)
    – Chris H
    Nov 21 '20 at 12:12
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The "easiest solution" would be to go with Gordons recipe that doesn't use mustard

Ingredients

  • 2 x 400g beef fillets
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • 500g mixture of wild mushrooms, cleaned
  • 1 thyme sprig, leaves only
  • 500g puff pastry
  • 8 slices of Parma ham
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten with 1 tbsp water and a pinch of salt
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Based on this link and their description of "English mustard"

English Mustard: Made from both white and brown or black seeds, flour, and turmeric.
Usually bright yellow in color with an extremely hot spiciness to the tongue.

and the other answers and comments I wouldn't use Bautzner Mittelscharfer Senf as this one is really mild and not spicy at all. Dijon mustard is always a good choice (imho) but as an alternative I would suggest to use something like the quite common "Original Löwensenf extra" which brings a well-balanced mustard and vinegar taste and a good portion of heat with it.

Jar of "Original Löwensenf extra"

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  • 1
    Löwensenf extra seems to be a German mustard that’s a Dijon type. Good to know, will give it a try one day.
    – Stephie
    Nov 21 '20 at 21:12
  • Löwensenf is good stuff from Düsseldorf - standard there. Nov 22 '20 at 11:42
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I have found that English mustard has a pronounced turmeric flavour which brings it more in line with horseradish. German mustard is milder taste with a stronger taste of the mustard seeds. The german varieties also seem to have a bigger taste of the malt vinegar.

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I might have some details wrong, but I'm working from a text (Arctander) that is somewhat incomplete but way better than a lot of very dubious internet stuff I've been looking at.

So, most importantly, German mustard uses black mustard seeds vs yellow (aka white) seeds in English. The crucial difference is that brown mustard hydrolyses -- when crushed & mixed with water -- to produce the pungent and volatile assault on the senses called Allyl Isothiocyanate ... which is the major component of the mustard oil of commerce, produced by distilling hydrolysed black mustard, and not to be confused with culinary mustard oil that is pressed from white mustard seeds.

Meanwhile, English mustard is generally prepared from white mustard seeds, which -- crushed with water -- hydrolyse to produce ACRINYL Isothiocyanate, and which is also pungent but, unlike Allyl Isothiocyanate, is neither volatile nor a skin irritant.

But there's more. in commerce, German Prepared Mustard is the term for mixing ground black mustard seed with water, vinegar and salt; and English Prepared Mustard combines white mustard seed, water, vinegar and salt. Both of these are more pungent and more skin-irritating than their water-only counterpart, but I don't know if there's some extra chemical reaction beyond the mere presence of acetic acid.

So, basically German mustard is easily hotter than English mustard. except that ... then there's hot English mustard, which re-introduces the sensual assault as "horseradish", which like wasabi contains Allyl Isothiocyanate. and if you didn't know, most of your wasabi is green horseradish paste, but it's the same pungent chemical and genuine wasabi is fiendishly difficult to grow. And frankly, a lot of your hot English mustard is probably lit up with synthetic Allyl Isothiocyanate, which is now the predominant form of mustard essential oil aka volatile oil of mustard. So by venturing outside the species with horseradish or plain honest industrial chemicals, you can make hot English mustard arbitrarily hot while being limited to white mustard seeds. But before you get excited about weak German mustard know that German brands are just as capable of boosting Allyl Isothiocyanate, artificially or naturally, so it comes down to a brand-to-brand comparison, rather than country. But I'll allow that generally consumers expect hot English to be the hottest.

For clarity, only black seeds only are used to produce volatile oil of mustard, only white seeds are used to produce mustard cooking oil, and black mustard seed characterises German mustard but there's a lot of room to fiddle with heat. If your recipe doesn't specify hot English mustard, you probably want any yellow mustard that is milder than hot English but hotter than American.

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