The Difference Between Yellow, Brown & Dijon Mustard

By Cate Girone

Mustard is one of the oldest and most widely used spices, which is why so many different varieties now exist. In fact, modern world consumption of mustard tops 400 million pounds. From yellow to brown to Dijon, here's what you need to know about what's arguably the most popular (and delicious) condiment.

Mustard Selection
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Mustard comes in all colors and flavors.

Yellow Mustard

Yellow mustard is the most widely used mustard in the United States. Known as American Mustard in other countries, it's a mild condiment with a vivid yellow color that comes from the inclusion of turmeric. This type of mustard contains a mere 56 mg of sodium in each teaspoon serving, along with trace amounts of carbohydrates, fat, dietary fiber, sugars and protein.

Brown Mustard

Brown mustard has a higher concentration of brown mustard seeds, giving it a darker brown color and spicier taste. It's frequently used in Indian, Chinese and Japanese cuisines. It comes from a flowering plant in the same family as arugula, horseradish and wasabi, which is why brown mustard has an extremely pungent flavor.

Dijon Mustard

Dijon mustard, despite its name, is mostly manufactured outside the French city of Dijon. It was developed in 1865 when Jean Naigeon replaced vinegar with verjuice in the traditional mustard recipe. Wine, typically of the burgundy or white variety, is also included in Dijon mustard. One teaspoon contains 5 calories and 120 mg of sodium, which is much higher than yellow mustard.

Other Mustard Flavors

There are several ways to alter standard mustard flavors to make them spicier or taste different. Add a powdered spice mix to cold water and your favorite mustard to create a new condiment. Chinese mustard, because of its intense spiciness, is only for the bravest mustard connoisseurs. Jamaican and Bahamian mustard-based sauces are a little less fiery, but still have a kick. These mustard mixes can be high in sodium or contain eggs, so read the labels carefully if you have dietary restrictions.