Explanation of the Difference Between Black and Yellow Mustard Seeds

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The mustard seed is probably most well-known for making the condiment, mustard. In America, this seed is probably best known in its yellow shade, however the mustard seed comes in many different varieties; aside from yellow mustard seed, black mustard seed is another well-known variation. These seeds have a few differences between them than just their outer colouring.

Yellow Mustard Seeds

The origin of the yellow mustard seed has been traced back to the Eastern Mediterranean region. These seeds are very small, usually around 1mm to 2mm, and fluctuate in colour. Yellow mustard seeds typically begin white and, as they ripen, they take on a yellow hue. Yellow mustard has a mild flavour typically used in condiment form on hamburgers, hot dogs and sandwiches. The whole seeds are used in different oil and vinegar-based dressings.

Black Mustard Seeds

Black mustard seeds come from the Middle East and are slightly smaller than their yellow counterpart. Seeds can range from brown to black in colour and carry a bold and slightly spicy flavour. The yellow mustard seed may be popular throughout America, but the black mustard seed is widely used throughout Asia and India. While yellow mustard is somewhat limited with its main use as a sidekick to other foods, black mustard seeds are versatile and are added directly into many entrées.


Storage of mustard differs depending on whether you have whole seeds or seeds that have been ground into powder. Whole seeds keep well in a room temperature area dry and free of moisture. Ground seeds keep best when sealed in an airtight bag or container and stored in the refrigerator.

Health Benefits

Mustard seeds offer health benefits and can be used as a natural way to soothe maladies, such as chest congestion. Mustard seeds are a wonderful way to get omega-3 fatty acids, as well as iron, calcium, zinc and protein, among other minerals.

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