7 Things You Didn't Know About Mustard

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7 Things You Didn't Know About Mustard
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7 Things You Didn't Know About Mustard

Read on to discover 7 fun facts about mustard!

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According to The Encyclopedia of Seeds: Science, Technology and Uses, mustard has been used in traditional medicine to treat everything from skin ailments to headaches and colds -- and even hair loss! It was touted as a cure-all by the Romans, early Greeks and Egyptians, with records of Pythagoras recommending it as a treatment for snake bites and scorpion stings in 530 BC!

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Mustard continue to be used to this day in alternative medicine for treating muscle pain, colds and coughs. Mustard plaster made from mustard meal and water can be applied in a protective dressing that is laid on the skin to soothe chest and back pain, while a mustard bath can help relax muscles. But be careful - mustard is potent in small quantities and too much can irritate the skin!

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Mustard isn't naturally yellow; mustard seeds are actually a brownish gray color, and the addition of turmeric gives it a bright color! Yellow mustard wasn't a thing until 1904, when George French of the R.T. French Company experimented with a "creamy salad mustard" and added the golden-hued spice for a more attractive presentation.

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French's cream salad mustard debuted at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904 and priced at 10 cents for a 9 ounce jar that came with its own wooden serving paddle.

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Mustard balls were a popular snack in England in the 15th and 16th century and were made by shaping a wet mixture of ground mustard seeds, cinnamon and flour into balls and letting them dry. They even earned a mention in William Shakespeare's play King Henry the Fourth Part II!

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Mustard seeds contain a compound called isothiocyanates, which are not only responsible for its hot pungent flavor but have also been shown to prevent cancer cell growth, particularly for stomach and colon cancer.

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Where did the name Grey Poupon come from? It has nothing to do with the color and instead comes from the names of the company's founders Maurice Grey and Antoine Poupon, who established their business in 1777 using Maurice's mustard recipe and Antoine's money.

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Are you a fan of mustard? The popular condiment is perfect mixed in glazes for meat and slathered on hot dogs and pretzels, but there's more to this yellow sauce than meets the eye. From its use during ancient times for medicinal purposes to the explanation behind its bright yellow color, we've uncovered plenty of fun facts about the spicy and pungent sauce!

Check out the slideshow above to discover 7 unusual facts about mustard.

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