Last updated: August 10, 2021

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The mustard plant belongs to the cruciferous family. It flowers yellow and grows up to 1 m tall or even a little taller, depending on the species. It originates from the Near East and southern Europe. Today it is cultivated worldwide, but especially in Europe and the USA. Mustard seeds were already used in ancient times as a spice and as a remedy for various diseases.

Shortly before the mustard plants are ripe, i.e. the seeds are still in the pods, the plants are mown. They are dried and threshed; then the seeds are dried again. It is these seeds that are used by people. We tell you what you need to know about mustard seeds to make your buying decision easier and to find the most suitable mustard seeds for you.

The most important facts

  • Mustard is known to us primarily as a hot spice and is used in cooking.
  • Mustard seeds have different colours. The white/yellow seeds are the most commonly used. They taste rather mild and only slightly spicy.
  • The brown seeds are much sharper. They are used especially in sauces and spice mixtures.
  • Black mustard is the hottest. It has a bitter, pungent taste.
  • Mustard is healthy and can even make carcinogenic substances harmless. This has been medically proven.

The Best Mustard Seeds: Our Picks

There are three types of mustard seeds: yellow (also called white), brown and black. They also come with and without additives and ground. All of them naturally produce mustard, but there are differences. We have picked out a favourite from each group:

Buying and evaluation criteria for mustard seeds

There are several factors you can use to compare and evaluate mustard seeds. This makes it easier for you to get an overview and decide on the right condiment. The most important are:

To the individual criteria is to say:


You can distinguish between light and dark mustard seeds. Basically, light mustard seeds, which can be white or yellow, have the milder aroma. The darker the seeds, the sharper they are.

Organic, origin

If you value organic quality, you should make sure that your mustard seeds come from Germany if possible and are labelled with the organic quality seal. Grains from France and the Netherlands are also safe.

If you feel like it, you can also grow mustard plants yourself, for example in containers or balcony boxes. Push the seeds a few centimetres into the soil and make sure that it is always slightly moist and that the plants get some sun.

Pungency and flavour

If you only want to give your food a light mustard flavour, the light mustard seeds are sufficient. If, on the other hand, you want to give your food a sharp, tangy flavour, you should use dark, brown or even black seeds. Black seeds also have a bitter flavour. They are particularly suitable for spicy soups, meat and fish.


As a general rule, dark mustard is more expensive to produce than light mustard. Organic quality products are also always more expensive than ordinary mustard. If a mustard has an organic quality seal, you can be sure that the mustard seeds are untreated and come from Germany.


You can recognise good mustard seeds by the fact that they are all the same size. Light-coloured seeds should be the same colour. Dark seeds can be brown to black in colour, but also have an even size.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about mustard seeds answered in detail

In this section we present the most frequently asked questions about mustard seeds. This way you are well informed when you want to buy mustard seeds.

What are mustard seeds suitable for?

Mustard seeds are used in the kitchen especially for seasoning soups and stews, for pickling as well as for cooking and frying. However, there are also numerous other areas of application. Mustard is famous as an indispensable ingredient in sausages.

What types of mustard seeds are there?

A distinction is made between light and dark seeds. Light-coloured seeds can be white or yellow and have a milder flavour. Dark seeds are brown or black. As a rule, the darker the mustard seeds are, the hotter they are.

Mustard plants

Mustard plants are often used as green manure in the garden - but this can cause cabbage pests to multiply more quickly. (Image source: Mak / Unsplash)

How much does a packet of mustard seeds cost?

You can buy mustard seeds online for as little as 1.50 euros per 100 grams. Mustard seeds are available in 100 gram bags. If you need a larger quantity, you can also get them in 1 kilogram and even 5 kilogram bags. Prices for ground mustard seeds, also called mustard flour, start at around 3.00 euros per 100 grams.

The following table gives you an overview of the prices:

Type Price
Whole dark mustard seeds from approx. 3.00€/100g
Ground dark mustard seeds from approx. 4.00€/100g
Whole light mustard seeds from approx. 2.00€/100g
Ground light mustard seeds from approx. 2.50€/100g


In summary, mustard is a small miracle product. Many dishes and meals would be inconceivable without mustard as an ingredient. In modern cuisine, it is a matter of course. Since it comes in three basic forms and many varieties and mixtures, there is something for every taste. However, you should know the different types of mustard seeds (yellow/white, brown and black) and their special features.

Besides, as the ancient Greeks already knew, mustard seeds are an effective remedy. They help against tension, headache, backache and muscle pain. Medical studies have proven that mustard seeds can even render carcinogenic substances harmless and block the development of tumours.

(Cover photo: Wolfgang Hasselmann / Unsplash)