Yellow Mustard: A Classic Ballpark Condiment

Yellow mustard is made from mustard seeds that have been used for food since the time of the Ancient Sumerians and Egyptians. However, this spice is best known for its association with Ancient Rome. The Romans were particularly fond of mustard and took it with them on their travels around the world. They were the first to make prepared mustard, which they did by grinding the seeds and mixing them with grape juice, they called the combination mustum ardens, which translates to “burning must”. Must refers to grape juice.

One of the places the Romans planted mustard seeds was in France. Dijon would eventually become — arguably — the world capital of mustard-making and was home to the business started by Maurice Grey and Auguste Poupon. Less than a century after the Grey-Poupon partnership was formed, an Englishman named Jeremiah Colman would revolutionize the grinding process for mustard seeds while preserving their flavor.

Both the French and English mustard-making techniques would cross the Atlantic to the United States to create an American condiment. Yellow mustard is also called American mustard or ballpark mustard and was first sold by George T. French at the 1904 World’s Fair.

French called it a cream salad mustard. The ballpark mustard nickname comes from the fact that it is commonly used on hotdogs and hamburgers sold at baseball games. It is an extremely mild prepared mustard that is made using white mustard seeds that are flavored with salt and vinegar and colored bright yellow by the spice turmeric. The introduction of this mustard helped to spur the RT French Company onto success as America’s leading mustard-maker. By 1915, French’s Mustard was outselling every other mustard on the market.

Yellow Mustard

Yellow mustard flavor profile

Yellow mustard is made with mild white mustard seeds so it doesn’t have the spicy kick of other mustards like brown mustard. It does contain vinegar, which can give it a concentrated tart note.

Health benefits of yellow mustard

Yellow mustard is highly nutritious and a good source of various important nutrients including:

  • Vitamins: You can get a variety of vitamins from a serving of yellow mustard, including vitamins A, C and various B vitamins like thiamin and niacin. Vitamins E and K are also present in modest amounts.
  • Minerals: Yellow mustard is a good source of important minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. You can get zinc and manganese from it as well.
  • Isothiocyanates: Isothiocyanates are a group of compounds formed from glucosinolates, another group of chemicals found in cruciferous vegetables. Isothiocyanates are beneficial for lowering cancer risk.

Yellow mustard in your diet can help to treat or prevent health issues such as:

  • Obesity: Yellow mustard is not as strong as other mustards but it still brings a lot of flavor without a significant caloric load.
  • Inflammation: The turmeric that gives yellow mustard its color has a strong reputation for its inflammation-fighting abilities.
  • Liver damage: One of the benefits of turmeric is that it can help to boost liver health. It suppresses oxidative stress to protect the liver from damage.

Health concerns

Yellow mustard is very high in sodium, which means that it can have negative effects including increasing blood pressure and causing certain cancers.

Common uses

The most common uses for yellow mustard are as a topping for hot dogs and hamburgers but it can also be used in ham sandwiches and in salads. Use yellow mustard in the dressings for potato salad and coleslaw.