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The History of Mustard

Mustard is thought to have originated in ancient Egypt. The ancient Greeks and Romans used it as both a spice and a medicine. Then the Romans brought mustard to Northern France, where monks began to cultivate it. By the 9th century, monks were making a profit selling mustard. Prepared mustard as we think of it today began its life in the 13th century in Dijon, France. It was encouraged by Pope John XXll of Avignon, who loved mustard so much that he created a position called “Grand Moustardier du Pape,” or the Grand Mustard-Maker to the Pope. Then in the 19th century, the British began milling the heart of the mustard seed to a fine powder, establishing mustard as an industrial food ingredient. Yellow mustard was introduced in 1904 in Rochester, New York. It quickly grew popular, in part because it was paired with the iconic American hotdog. Today, mustard remains as popular as ever as a condiment and is also considered an essential component in many products.

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