I'm not a big mustard eater but I do like sharp tastes so once in a while it's just right. I also felt like making something I could give as gifts and mustard, being a pretty common food, seemed like a good choice. Who doesn't like home made preserves in jars?! In this case I felt that using the flavour and kick of radishes would be a good complement to the natural characteristics of mustard seeds. In addition I wanted to see if fermenting the mixture as a 'live' mustard would produce a good result.
In the end I was really happy with this; the mustard has lots of depth, good flavour and doesn't simply blow your nose off. It's complex and a little bit fruity actually. I have since tried making mustard this way with a few different seeds - see Variations at the end - and the results are still good. If you love your condiments, you could do worse than try making your own.
Tip: Be sure to use food grade radish seeds for sprouting. DO NOT USE radish seeds for growing vegetables as they may have been treated with a fungicide. In Australia I get my radish (and other) sprouting seeds from Green Harvest.
Fermentation is a fascinating thing and has long been used by food cultures, and culturers, all around the world. That's why Otis Beanery includes classic fermentations like sauerkraut and yoghurt in our workshop program, as well as some unusual ones like tempeh and water kefir. And it's fun as heck too :-)
People often ask about the benefits of fermented foods. As the classes have a lot of practical things to get through there's not always time to provide a full answer. The article linked below gives an excellent overall picture of fermentation, why we should eat fermented foods and how they fit into our increasingly scientific understanding of the microbiology of the human body.
(Michael) Pollan calls the 100 trillion or so bacteria in his own body “a vast, largely uncharted interior wilderness that scientists are just beginning to map.” The data is not all in yet. That said, there are plenty basic facts we already know, and scientists have made several amazing discoveries about friendly bacteria and fermented foods in recent years.
It's a very worthwhile read so catch the full article at AlterNet here.
We blog about once a month on vegan and food topics in and around Hobart.