What Does Mustard Taste Like? (Types Of Mustard, Heat + More)

Even those who regularly enjoy mustard find the taste difficult to describe. The fact is, the taste is so unique, it’s hard to pin down.

If you haven’t yet tried this popular condiment, you may wonder what mustard tastes like. I’ve researched this topic and what I found might surprise you!

What Does Mustard Taste Like?

Mustard has a vinegary and pungent taste with a characteristic of being tart and tang. Depending on the brand and type of mustard, it can also be sweet and have a heat level ranging from spicy to nasal burning. For some, it’s like wasabi, for others, it’s like horseradish. Whatever the case may be, it’s certainly unique and mustard-y.

Want to know what mustard tastes like, how it compares to other condiments, and what can be used to replace it in a recipe? Read on!

What Is The Taste Of Yellow Mustard?

Yellow mustard, also referred to as American mustard, is one of the mildest forms of mustard available and is commonly used in hotdogs and salads.

Depending on the brand, yellow mustard can be sweet, spicy, or somewhere in between, and will have the unique tart-and-tangy kick for which mustard is known.

What Is Mustard Supposed To Taste Like?

The mustard seeds from which all prepared mustard is made have a sharp, bitter, and pungent taste.

Depending on the type of mustard seed used (dark seeds have a higher heat profile than lighter ones), the mustard can range from mildly spicy to nasal-burning.

This means all mustard will have a characteristic mustard-y tart and tang, but in terms of spiciness and heat level, some will be more intense than others depending on the type of mustard seeds used.

Is Mustard Sour Or Bitter?

Mustard is both sour and bitter, and one flavor can be stronger than the other depending on the type of mustard.

Additionally, the mustard seeds that are ground to prepare mustard are naturally bitter, giving store-bought mustard, and especially homemade mustard, a slightly bitter taste.

Moreover, prepared mustard is an acidic condiment with a pH level of anywhere between 3.6 to 5.5, creating a sour taste in the mouth.

Does Mustard Taste Like Wasabi?

Although prepared mustard is much milder than the paste form of wasabi, they do taste similar because both are strongly pungent and are made from plants belonging to the same Brassica family.

Additionally, most store-bought wasabi used in restaurants outside Japan don’t contain Wasabia japonica, the Japanese native herb originally used to make wasabi, and are just a blend of mustard, horseradish, and food coloring.

Does Mustard Powder Taste Like Mustard?

Mustard powder and mustard do taste the same because mustard powder is just another term for ground mustard seeds, the main ingredient in prepared mustard.

In addition, mustard powder is pound-for-pound much hotter than prepared mustard because prepared mustard is already diluted with other ingredients.

Does Mustard Taste Like Pickles?

For most, the taste of mustard can be suggestive of pickles because both are acidic and sour.

Moreover, pickling brine uses both vinegar and mustard seeds, the same ingredients in prepared mustard.

Does Mustard Taste Like Horseradish?

Although horseradish has a higher heat profile than mustard, they taste similar because they are made from plants belonging to the mustard family.

Both are intensely pungent and spicy and are often used interchangeably for some recipes.

Does Mustard Taste Like Cheese?

Despite the fact that mustard can have a similar color and texture to melted cheese, mustard and cheese taste nothing alike.

What Does American Mustard Taste Like?

American mustard is another popular term for yellow or regular mustard.

The taste varies depending on the brand and how the mustard was made, but generally, American mustard is pungent, sharp, and has a unique tart-and-tang.

What Is The Difference Between Mustard and Dijon Mustard?

Regular mustard and dijon mustard differ in both color and taste.

In terms of color, regular mustard is a bright yellow, while dijon mustard is a darker and paler yellow.

As for the taste, regular mustard is milder and less spicy than dijon mustard. However, the two are used interchangeably in some recipes.

These differences in both color and heat intensity are primarily because regular mustard is made from white mustard seeds, which are milder than the brown mustard seeds used in dijon mustard.

What Does Spicy Brown Mustard Taste Like?

Spicy brown mustard tastes like regular mustard, only spicier.

This is because while regular mustard is made from white mustard seeds, spicy brown mustard is made from brown mustard seeds which are naturally spicier.

Additionally, spicy brown mustard contains less vinegar than regular mustard, allowing the natural heat of the brown mustard seeds to be more pronounced.

What Does Black Mustard Taste Like?

Black mustard has the vinegary tang of regular mustard but is much more pungent and hot.

The reason for this is that black mustard is made from black mustard seeds which are regarded as the hottest of all mustard seed types.

What Does Honey Mustard Taste Like?

Honey mustard, like its name suggests, is simply honey blended with mustard to create a condiment that’s sweet but with the characteristic tart and tang that mustard is known for.

What Do Mustard Seeds Taste Like?

What Does Mustard Taste Like?

The taste of mustard seeds varies depending on the type.

The darker the mustard seeds, the sharper and more intense you can expect them to be.

On the other hand, white mustard seeds are pungent, mildly spicy, and have a tinge of sweetness to them.

And finally, brown and black mustard seeds are stronger, spicier, and produce a heat that can be felt in the nose.

What Does Mardi Gras Mustard Taste Like?

People who’ve tasted this popular dipping sauce from Popeye’s describe it as bold, sweet, and spicy flavored with a distinctive garlicky kick.

What Does Dry Mustard Taste Like?

Dry mustard, the powder made from ground mustard seeds, has no taste and smell until blended with a liquid to release the oil that gives mustard its taste and flavor.

What Does Whole Grain Mustard Taste Like?

Whole grain mustard is a form of prepared mustard with a coarser texture due to the mustard seeds not having been ground as much.

This type of mustard can taste like regular mustard, only thicker and coarser. In addition, it can be spicier and pack a stronger punch if darker mustard seeds were used.

Check out our related articles to discover if mustard is spicy, if mustard is a spice, and if mustard is kosher.


Different kinds of mustard will vary in taste but they will all be spicy, tangy, and have that characteristic mustard-y flavor that pairs so well with a variety of foods.

Mustard tastes like horseradish for some, and like wasabi for others, but if there’s one thing certain, it tastes unique enough to always have a place in the pantry.

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