What Is Whole Grain Mustard and Why Is It Less Fancy Than Dijon?

What is whole grain mustard? Is it mustard you find in a hole in some grain? No, obviously not. What’s the difference between whole grain mustard vs Dijon? We’ll answer these questions and more and we promise not to spread ourselves too thin. That was a condiment joke. More of a reference than a joke, I guess. Keep reading.

What is whole grain mustard? 

Whole grain mustard is a prepared mustard with visible seeds—or, at least, parts of seed. The mustard seeds are ground enough so that it forms a paste, but not so much that the seeds are broken down entirely. Maybe we need to back up a little bit here. If you read “mustard seeds” and thought “WTF?” Yes, mustard is made from mustard seeds. Now, you don’t plant them and a few months later Grey Poupon starts growing. It doesn’t work that way. 

There are three basic types of mustard seed: white, black, and brown. All the varieties of mustard are made by grinding up these seeds with spices and a liquid. White seeds and turmeric mixed with vinegar are the base of your classic American yellow mustard. Black seeds are used in those super hot mustards and in some Indian cuisine. Brown seeds are in your classic fancy mustards like whole grain (Hey! That’s what this article’s about!) and Dijon. Most whole grain mustard includes both ground white and brown seeds, and the liquid in the mix is usually wine. That said, there’s no whole grain mustard council somewhere out there making sure you follow certain rules. Some folks throw in black mustard seeds and other spices to give their whole grain mustard a zing and a kick.

Whole grain mustard vs. Dijon

So, what is the difference between whole grain mustard and Dijon mustard? The main difference is the texture. That’s about it. Dijon mustard is much smoother and more uniform than whole grain mustard. It is made with brown mustard seeds that are ground to be completely smooth and usually mixed with white wine. Like whole grain mustard, Dijon has many varieties so it can range from mild to hot. The type most people know is probably Grey Poupon. If you want to try some, ask any rich person to roll down their window while driving and they’ll let you have theirs. I never do this, though. I stick with the mustard of the people, whole grain mustard! Viva la whole grain!

About the Author

Will Morgan

Will Morgan, a freelance contributor to Sporked, is an L.A. based writer, actor, and sketch comedy guy. Originally from Houston, TX, he strongly believes in the superiority of breakfast tacos to breakfast burritos. Will traveled the world as one of those people that did yoyo shows at elementary school assemblies, always making a point to find local and regional foods to explore in whatever place he was, even in rinky-dink towns like Tilsonberg, ON. Will spends his birthdays at Benihana’s. Let him know if can make it.

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