What’s So Great about Brown Mustard?

Across the wide world of sandwiches, brown mustard is pretty high up on the list of must-have condiments. But all brown mustards are not created equal, and our expert chefs set out to determine which brings the ideal combination of flavors and textures to the table. What Makes a Great Tasting Brown Mustard? A high-quality brown mustard should have an even balance of vinegar and mustard spice notes as the leading intensities in both the aroma and flavor profiles. These intensities should be complemented by other seasonings, including clove, all spice, coriander, black pepper and turmeric. There should be some spiciness/heat intensity and sweet notes of brown sugar and honey may also be present. Importantly, when the mustard is eaten with a hot dog and bun, the overall mustard flavor should remain and not be lost or dominated by the vinegar. Sour should be the leading intensity in the taste profile, followed by salt and bitter. Sweet may also be present. The texture of the mustard is expected to have some graininess and may have some astringency. It should appear to have some visible mustard seed “specks” and be homogenous, not separated. The ChefsBest Tasting Process After the certified Master Tasters at ChefsBest defined the ideal qualities of brown mustard, the blind taste test was administered. A statistical analysis of the results revealed that Gulden’s was the best tasting brown mustard in the group. With the best consistency, flavors, texture and other attributes that chefs consider important, Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard’s overall quality make it worthy of the Best Taste Award.

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Tasting terms

  • aroma

    The smell that emanates from food. Along with appearance, texture, flavor and taste, aroma is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate a product. Example: Brownies should have an aroma that includes chocolate as well as egg, toasty and sweet notes.

  • flavor

    A combination of a food's basic taste and its accompanying aroma, flavor is the distinctive taste of a food or ingredient while it is in the mouth. Along with aroma, appearance, texture and taste, flavor is one of the five dimensions considered by ChefsBest Master Tasters. Example: Chocolate chip cookies should have a moderate chocolate flavor accompanied by a slightly lower level of complex dough flavor that includes egg, flour, vanilla and brown sugar notes.

  • heat

    The intensity of spiciness or the perceived warmth of food in the mouth. Example: Hot sauce has a distinct flavor, but it also possesses a heat component that warms the mouth.

  • sweet

    One of the basic tastes; often considered pleasing while exhibiting characteristics of sugar. Example: Honey, ripe fruits and syrup all have a pronounced sweet component.

  • sour

    One of the basic tastes; often considered sharp, tart and acidic. Example: Lemon juice, vinegar and fermented foods often have a strong sour component.

  • taste profile

    The expected levels of each basic taste in any given food; defines the overall taste balance. Example: The taste profile of baking chocolate is led by bitterness that is balanced by a low amount of sweetness.

  • salt

    One of the basic tastes; tasting of or containing salt. Example: Potato chips, sea water and cured meats all have a strong salt component.

  • bitter

    One of the basic tastes; often considered harsh and unpleasant in abundance, but a key basic taste for foods like coffee and dark chocolate. Example: Unripened fruit, aspirin and coffee all have bitter components.

  • texture

    A dimension used to organize attributes like mouthfeel, graininess and initial bite, it is one of the five dimensions used by ChefsBest Master Tasters to evaluate food. Example: Glazed popcorn will have a crunch texture. The texture of milk chocolate should be creamy and smooth.

  • astringency

    The tendency of some foods to cause the mouth to pucker; often associated with the presence of tannins or acidity. Example: Red wine, tea, grapefruit juice and pickles can be astringent.