Difference between Black and Brown Mustards

Key difference: Black mustard seeds have a more pungent taste and are slightly larger than brown mustard seeds. The brown mustard seeds have an acrid taste are smaller in size.

Mustard seeds are the small round seeds that come from various mustard plants. There are three main types of mustard seeds, the black mustard seeds, the brown mustard seeds and the yellow mustard seeds. Mustard seeds have been around since almost 5,000 years and are commonly used throughout Asia and India.

The seeds are about 1 mm or 2 mm in diameter and are most commonly used as a spice, either whole or in a powdered form. They may also be used to make mustard oil and the edible leaves of the plant can be eaten as mustard greens. The seeds can also be used to make mustard, the condiment. To make mustard, the seeds are ground and mixed with water, vinegar or other liquids.

The different seeds come from different mustard plants. The white mustard seeds come from the Brassica hirta/Sinapis alba plant, the brown mustard seeds come from Brassica juncea, and the black mustard seeds from Brassica nigra.

The black mustard seeds originate from the Middle East, and are now commonly grown in Argentina, Chile, the US and some European countries. The brown mustard seeds, on the other hand, originated at the foothills of the Himalaya. They are now commercially grown in Canada, the UK, Denmark and the US. Canada and Nepal are the world's major producers of mustard seed. They accounted for around 57% of the world production in 2010.

Mustard seeds are considered to be very nutritious, as they have a high amount of selenium and magnesium. Selenium is known for its high anti-inflammatory effects, while, magnesium has been proven to reduce the severity of asthma attacks and certain symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and to lower blood pressure. Mustard seeds are also low in calories, high in nutritional value, and have a lot of antibacterial and antiseptic qualities. They are also very rich in calcium, manganese, omega 3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, protein and dietary fiber.

While comparing tastes, black mustard seeds tend to have a more pungent taste, while the brown mustard seeds have a more pungent acrid taste. The brown mustard seeds are used to make Dijon mustard, whereas the American yellow mustard is made mainly from white mustard seeds as they are mild. Also, the black mustard seeds are a little bigger is size than the brown mustard seeds.

Image Courtesy: freebeerforyorky.com, ejt.de

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