Tag Archives: Sauce

Class: Mustard Making


A&S Largess Class taught 10 Nov 2016 by Lady Prudence the Curious in the Canton of Aire Faucon

I have been making mustards from scratch ever since I took a SCAdian mustard making class. It is way fun. At its most basic, mustard is take mustard seed (black or yellow), grind, and add vinegar (white or red vinegar). Then let sit at least a week. Believe me, that waiting time is necessary for the mustard to mellow.

Long before ketchup was on the table, mustard was the sauce of choice. One recipe that can be found in A Taste of Ancient Rome (Giacosa p. 179) was written in 180 BC. Mustard was used on all three continents that the SCA period land mass covers, from China to Egypt.

Mustard sauce comes with infinite variation because cooks have added everything from nuts to honey, roots to flowers. The mustard seed and the vinegar provided the components needed for food preservation, allowing the sauce to store for extended lengths of time.

Plain Mustard
1/3 cup brown mustard seed
1/3 cup yellow mustard seed
2 cups White Vinegar

Spicy Mustard
2/3 cups brown mustard seed
2 cups red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons each of whole peppercorn, anise seeds, caraway seeds, whole cloves, and cumin

Sweet Mustard
2/3 cup yellow mustard seed
2 cups apple cider vinegar
3 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ cup goldenrod honey
1 cup raisins

Put all ingredients in a mini-food processor and mix until everything is done. Start with the seeds to get them crushed and then mix until good. Let set one month in refrigerator.


  1. Brown mustard seed is spicier than yellow mustard seed.
  2. While sitting, the mustard “powder” absorbs more vinegar. If it looks like the perfect consistency at the start of the aging process, you will need to add more vinegar to make it to the consistency you are aiming for: a thick spread, soupy, or runny.
  3. Letting the mustard seed soak for 15 minutes to 30 minutes before crushing will make the crushing faster and release more of the mustard oil during the process. The more oil released, the hotter the end product.
  4. All mustards need at least 2 weeks to age before serving.
  5. Do not heat the mustard during the mustard making process. Heat activates an enzyme which reduces the mustard flavor. Heated mustards are both more mellow (blended sooner) and more bitter.
  6. Wash hands after handling powdered mustard. Remember mustard gas was a weapon in WWI.
  7. Mustard with no acid (wine or vinegar) has been added fades faster because of the oil is not in suspension.
  8. Mustard left on the counter will mellow faster than left in the refrigerator.
  9. Most mini-food processors can crush instead of cut by flipping the blade upside down.

Ingredients used in period recipes

Liquid Ingredients

Water, White Vinegar, Wine Vinegar, Cider Vinegar, Verjuice, Wine, Beer, Black or Red Grapes (broken, boiled, and take the juice thereof), Cider, Lean broth (without much fat), Eggs

In-between Ingredients

Honey, Onion, Garlic, Ginger (root), Horseradish (root),  Raisins, Dates, Quinces, Grape Mash, Apples, Candied Eggplant Peel, Candied Lemon Peel, Candied Sour Orange Peel, Pear Preserves, Crustless bread soaked in meat broth

Dry Ingredients

Yellow Mustard Seed, Brown Mustard Seed, Peppercorn, Pine Nuts, Almonds, Cinnamon Powder (Cassia), Whole Cinnamon (Z), Sugar, Cloves, Ginger (powder), Anise, Breadcrumbs,

Also leftover spices from making jelly, broth, hypocras or sauces (which can have cinnamon, ginger, Grains of Paradise, nutmeg, galingale, cardamom, mace, spikenard, sugar, saffron, zedoary, cubebs, and bay leaves)


Giacosa, Ilaria Gozzini. Anna Herklotz translator. A Taste of Ancient Rome. The University of Chicago Press: Chicago. 1992.

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa (Mistress). Making Medieval-Style Mustards. http://www.gallowglass.org/jadwiga/herbs/Mustards.html (last reviewed 11/10/2016).