I missed posting last week due to birthday events so this week I’m giving this midweek review of something a little different.
It’s dawned on me that, as a Brit, I have failed to cover one of the most popular hot condiments in this country. On Friday I went to Hampton Court Palace, in Richmond upon Thames, which was once a favourite of Kind Henry VIII and other members of the royal family. Food was a big part of the King’s life – I’m sure you’re aware – and the first part of the tour featured a lot of food in testament. Luckily the gift shop included this too with lots of edible goodies and its own Hot English Mustard with Honey.
Keeping with the historical theme of this post, here’s a little history lesson in mustard.
History of mustard
Mustard is made from the seeds of the mustard plant, which can be grown all over the world and some historians believe it may have been grown as far back as 3000BC.
Romans are said to have been the first to experiment with condiment but it as the French, makers of the popular Dijon mustard, that made it a must-have on the dining table.
In England the use of mustard has been documented as far back as the 14th century in the books of royal cooks. It was prepared to form a mustard ball for storage and combined with vinegar or wine to make a paste. It’s even mentioned in William Shakespeare’s play King Henry the Fourth, Part II.
Today their are many variations of mustard around the world but English mustard remains one of the hottest and the most famous brand of English mustard is Colman’s, who first started producing it in 1814.
Hampton Court Palace’s Hot English Mustard with Honey
This isn’t exactly what Henry would have eaten but, judging by the history, it’s likely he had mustard or something similar with his food. This particular mustard contains mustard flour, honey, turmeric which gives it the bright orange colour and pimento.
Perfect for a typical British roast, this mustard is not too hot and it’s most likely the sweetness of the honey which takes the edge off. Still, it’s full of flavour and went very nicely with my ham and egg breakfast. For anyone sightseeing in the UK from abroad, even if you don;t want the mustard, Hampton Court is a great place to learn about English history.