Taste test: Mustard

Mustard taste test

Mustard taste test (Photo: Thinkstock)

Epicurious sampled 19 brands and discovered 3 that really cut the mustard.

Mustard, that splendid complement to soft pretzels, hot dogs, and salad dressings, has an extensive repertoire. One of the oldest spices in the world, it's also one of the most widely consumed. According to the Encyclopedia of Spices, the ancient Chinese, Greeks, and Romans used it, and France's King Louis XI loved it so much that he is said to have carried a pot of the golden goodness with him throughout his travels, in case he found himself in a mustard-free zone.

Mustard is a condiment to be reckoned with. Its storied reputation has much to do with its ability to improve the taste of sandwiches, potato salads, glazes, and meats. Even umami-rich ketchup needs a little dry mustard to make it great. (Seriously, it's often a homemade ketchup ingredient.)

Before mustard can do its magic, the sauce itself needs to be top-notch. That's where we chime in. Mustard varieties are endless. There are beer mustards, fruit mustards, and whole-grain mustards. For our taste test, we opted to stick to the basics: yellow and honey mustards. Read below to see which ones are welcome at our next grilling session.

Nathan's Deli-Style Mustard
Best Mustard Overall
Nathan's Deli-Style Mustard
($3.35 per 12-ounce bottle)

Pros: "It's got everything I would want in a mustard. It's savory, bold, and it doesn't look like a yellow school bus." Judges appreciated that this mustard had a natural appearance and a flavor that held its own.

Cons: Some found it to be salty.

Gulden's Yellow Squeeze Mustard
First Runner-Up, Yellow Mustard
Gulden's Yellow Squeeze Mustard

($1.69 per 12-ounce bottle)

Pros: "The ideal mustard!" exclaimed one judge. "It's not too much of anything—not too vinegary, salty, or sweet. Just right!" Judges also enjoyed its smooth consistency.

Cons: The color seems a somewhat more artificial yellow than the others.

(See more: Taste test: All-beef hot dogs)

Bookbinder's Honey Mustard
First Runner-Up, Honey Mustard
Bookbinder's Honey Mustard
($2.55 per 10.5-ounce bottle)

Pros: One judge described Bookbinder's as "delicately sweet, a nice blend." Another taster proclaimed it "hands down the best honey mustard I've ever had!"

Cons: Not the most appealing color.

The Other Contenders: The Bottom Three

Not only is Colman's Mustard an extreme yellow, but it's too spicy and tart, and has an alarming aftertaste. Visually, Eden Organic Yellow Mustard looks a lot like pâté. All the judges were turned off by its mealy texture and acidic flavor. Lastly, 365 Organic Yellow Mustard looks more like a mousse than mustard. And one editor pointed out that it's "hazardously sour."

Additional Taste Test Details

All 19 varieties of mustard evaluated are available nationwide in supermarkets or online. Listed from highest to lowest score achieved, they are: Nathan's Deli-Style, Bookbinder's Honey, Gold's Honey, Gulden's Yellow Squeeze, French's Classic Yellow, Organicville Yellow, Plochman's Yellow, Annie's Organic Honey, Billy Bee Original Yellow, Thumann's Real Honey, Hellmann's Honey, Annie's Organic Yellow, Billy Bee Original Honey, Emeril's Smooth Honey, Inglehoffer Honey, Woeber's Honey, Colman's, Eden Organic Yellow, 365 Organic Yellow.

Methodology: In a blind taste test, judges compared the flavor, consistency, and appearance of 19 types of mustard (ten yellow and nine honey). All were squirted on hot dogs. Mustards were ranked according to the Epicurious four-fork rating system (four being best).

Prices and availability subject to change.

More from Epicurious:

Easy Family Dinners

25 Sandwich Makeovers

How to Eat Your Spring Veggies

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Teen Girls Arrested After Video of Assault on Man, 62, Appears on Facebook

      Two girls, one 14 and one 15, are accused of assaulting a 62-year-old man who told them to get off his lawn.

      Inside Edition
    • Woman who pushed husband out of high-rise window found dead in prison

      An Oklahoma woman convicted of second-degree murder for shoving her hubby out of the window of their high-rise apartment was found dead in her prison cell on Monday, officials said. Amber Hilberling, 25, who was serving a 25-year prison sentence for the 2011 death of Joshua Hilberling was officially pronounced dead at 5:33 p.m. at the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McLoud, OK, according to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. The medical’s examiner’s office will determine Hilberling’s cause of death, but the woman’s parents who spoke exclusively to KTUL-ABC 8, said that medical staff told them that the death was being treated as a suicide, according to the news channel. Hilberling’s stepfather, Bryan Whitlock, who said he spoke to Hilberling the night before, told KTUL that there is “no way” his stepdaughter’s death was a suicide.

      New York Post q
    • Rihanna's Backup Dancer Has Been Found and Is Now Receiving Medical Treatment

      Rihanna's backup dancer Shirlene Quigley has been found after she was reported missing earlier this week.

    • A Redskins Coach Exposed His Wiener To Fans When He Whipped It Out To Pee On The Sideline

      One Redskins coach, however, decided to go full Nick Novak and pee on the sideline during Washington’s game on Sunday against Detroit. Ben Kotwica, Washington’s special teams coordinator, grabbed a cup, walked away from the action, and went to the bathroom. If you’d like to see the uncensored picture, Deadspin has your back.

    • Canceled? Our Predictions for Which New TV Shows Won't Survive

      These TV shows haven't even debuted, but we're already worried they may not last long.

      The Cheat Sheet q
    • Mariah Carey Kicks Off Halloween 2016 (3 photos)

      From the hottest Halloween parties of the year to the best A-list Instagrams, check back as we round up the best celebrity costumes of 2016. From Harper's BAZAAR

      Harper's Bazaar
    • Doctors thought he just had jock itch. Then it spread.

      Late Friday afternoon on Dec. 4, 2014, Stephen Schroeder was waiting to board his packed flight from Philadelphia to Las Vegas for a much anticipated long weekend with his son when his cellphone rang. On the line was an unexpected caller: his doctor, reporting test results sooner than Schroeder had expected. Listening intently, Schroeder was flooded with disbelief as he struggled to comprehend what he was hearing. Using the lip of a trash can as a writing surface, he scribbled notes on the back of his boarding pass, making the doctor spell out each unfamiliar word. Then he sent a terse text to his wife, who was at their home in the Philadelphia suburbs, and got on the plane. Onboard, Schroeder,

      Washington Post q
    • 'Nothing short of a miracle' how kids survived suicidal bridge fall with dad, police say

      "When the officers found the children -- conscious and alert -- it's nothing short of a miracle, that's for sure," said Captain Christopher Depuyt with the Pequannock Police Department.

      WABC – NY 27 min ago
    • Tour Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner's Upper East Side Apartment

      In the living room of the apartment, which was designed by Kelly Behun, a custom-made sofa upholstered in an Élitis velvet and vintage Jindřich Halabala armchairs surround a 1970s cocktail table by Fernand Dresse; the light fixture is by Downtown, the drawing is by Jan Yoors, and the custom-made rug is by ABC Carpet & Home.

      ELLE DECOR q
    • Donald Trump just got some of his best polling news in weeks

      A CNN poll released on Monday showed Donald Trump trailing Hillary Clinton by five points...

      Business Insider
    • Family Denies Prison Death Of Okla. Woman Convicted Of Killing Husband Was Suicide

      An Oklahoma woman convicted of pushing her husband out of a window at their Tulsa high-rise apartment in 2011, killing him, was found dead in her prison cell Monday, but a relative on Tuesday rejected claims that she killed herself. Amber Hilberling pushed her husband, Air Force veteran Joshua Hilberling, out of the window in June 2011 after a heated argument in which she claimed she feared for her life. She also said her husband had abused her. Prosecutors said there was no sign of struggle in the apartment, KOTV reported. A court sentenced her to 25 years in prison in 2013. The medical staff at the correctional facility in McLoud is treating her death as a suicide, although they have not said

      Fox News q
    • Oops! She Did It Again — Britney Spears’s Bra Top Came Undone at Her Las Vegas Performance

      Whether she’s carrying a seven-foot boa constrictor seductively across a stage, giving us the height of millennial fashion in a coordinated denim gown with Justin Timberlake, or simply displaying her unparalleled ability to Google Image search corn, it seems the singer has got it all under control.

    • Pat McAfee roasts Skip Bayless

      Skip Bayless is known for his "hot takes" and Pat McAfee was having non of that today. The post Pat McAfee roasts Skip Bayless appeared first on Cover32.

    • Philippines' Duterte tells worried foreign businesses to go

      President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday urged foreign businesses in the Philippines worried about his deadly drug war to "pack up and leave", as he launched another anti-American tirade before flying to Japan to attract investments. Duterte voiced outrage at comments made the previous day by the top US envoy to Asia that his fiery rhetoric and crime war, which has claimed about 3,700 lives in four months, were bad for business. "These Americans are really crazy," Duterte said, as he held up a newspaper with headlines reporting criticism from US assistant secretary of state Daniel Russel.

    • Watch Kendall Jenner And Gigi Hadid Awesomely Sing Justin Bieber's Classic Track "Baby"

      Best friends Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid cover Justin Bieber's "Baby" in this hilarious clip for 'W Magazine.'

    • Mom Pleads To Save Her Nearly 300 Pound 11-Year-Old Daughter

      Miranda and her mother Julie have come to The Doctors seeking guidance and help to transform their eating habits in hopes of reversing their health issues. Miranda says the bullying from other kids has become a “daily routine” for her. Miranda, who has struggled with her own weight over her life, explains that they have attempted to change their eating habits, but admits she doesn’t know how to fix the issue.

      The Doctors TV
    • 'Driverless' beer run; Bud makes shipment with self-driving truck

      Anheuser-Busch has completed what's believed to be the first commercial shipment by a self-driving vehicle.

    • Josh Brown: 'I never struck my wife, and never would'

      K Josh Brown has broken his silence and released a statement claiming he never struck his ex-wife, and never would.

      SNY q
    • How Donald Trump spectacularly failed his supporters

      At the start of his campaign for president, Donald Trump began to articulate a vision of American nationalism aimed at reviving the fortunes of the white working class. His core supporters believe that liberal immigration and trade policies are hurting them economically and culturally, so Trump promised to build a wall and reset the terms of global trade. No more, he swore, would their concerns be suppressed by the Republican Party's Wall Street and Ayn Rand wing. Everyone on the American right comforted themselves that Trump would flame out like Pat Buchanan or Mike Huckabee. And yet, seeing the enthusiasm of his supporters, they were afraid to challenge him directly. So Trump quickly began

      The Week q
    • Ex-attorney general sentenced to jail, then cuffed in court

      NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Former state Attorney General Kathleen Kane, once a rising star in state politics, left a courtroom in handcuffs on Monday after getting a 10- to 23-month sentence for a retaliation scheme a judge linked to her all-consuming ego.

      Associated Press