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What is mustard ?

  • Mustard is a plant which produces groups of yellow flowers with four petals.
  • Each plant can have over 200 flowers and can produce thousands of seeds.
  • The mustard plant is a relative of canola, which is also grown in the province.
  • The mustard plant is actually a member of the Brassica family. That's the same family as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussel sprouts
  • Mustard is an important spice crop.
mustard flower
  • The dark brown and black soils of the prairies are excellent for growing mustard.
  • Mustard is well adapted to cool climates and will germinate at low soil temperatures (4.4C).
  • Mustard tolerates drought conditions.
  • Three different types of mustard are grown in Saskatchewan: yellow mustard, brown mustard and oriental mustard.
  • Saskatchewan produces nearly 90 per cent of Canada's mustard. The province is the world's leading exporter of mustard.

field of mustard
a field of mustard     click here for larger picture

How does mustard grow ?

  • Plants reach heights of a metre or more (30 to 45 inches).
  • Buds form at the ends of the branches and bloom in 45 days.
  • Insects such as bees fertilize the flowers.
  • Fertilized flowers close and grow into pods.
  • Seeds develop in the pods.
  • Crops are harvested by either swathing or straight combining.

pods of seeds

What happens to mustard seeds ?

  • Seeds are hauled to a processing plant and cleaned.
  • The seeds are crushed.
  • The hull and bran are sifted out (depending on the type of mustard being made) .
  • Seeds are dry milled for flour, wet milled for mustard pastes or ground for spice mix.
  • A cold liquid (beer, vinegar, water, wine) is added, along with salt, spices and other flavourings (if making a flavoured mustard)
  • Some varieties of mustard are aged in large containers.


Uses for mustard

  • All parts of the mustard plant can be eaten.
  • The young tender leaves, known as mustard greens, are good in salads.
  • Older leaves with stems may be eaten fresh as a vegetable.
  • Mustard greens are cooked with ham or pork, and are also used in soups and stews.
  • The flowers can also be added to salads and cooked in soups.

  • Yellow mustard seed is the main ingredient in hotdog mustard. It is used in spice mixes, meat processing, salad dressings and mayonnaise.
  • Brown mustard seed is ground into flour and used to produce hot mustard. (Dijon mustards)
  • Oriental mustard seed is used to produce spicy cooking oils.

mustard on a pretzel,

hot dog with mustard


jar of mustard

Farming | Saskatchewan

photos courtesy of SMDC Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission

What is Mustard? -
Mustard -$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex12947

J. Giannetta, Regina, Sask.
September 2011

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