Serious Heat: Mustards to Spice Up Labor Day Cookouts

Serious Heat

Andrea Lynn, senior editor of Chile Pepper magazine, shares thoughts and observations from the fiery food world.

Note: On Wednesdays, Andrea Lynn, senior editor of Chile Pepper magazine, drops by with Serious Heat, with additional writing by Lillian Cho.


[Photograph: Bill Milne]

Think a lone jar of Dijon or squeeze-bottle of yellow in your fridge covers all your mustard needs for the Labor Day grilling holiday? Well, we were under that assumption too until we went on a quest to find the best spicy mustards around. From orange to white, smooth to chunky, mild to weepingly hot, each mustard we sampled was so original that by the time we had reached the end of the taste-test, we were mustard maniacs. These are our top favorites. But we're still open to opinion. What are your favorite mustards that pack a punch? Check out ours after the jump.

Appalachian Naturals Chipotle Honey Mustard A lazy glow of chipotle provides smokiness while the wildflower honey adds hints of sugar, a fabulous juxtaposition of flavors when combined with the stone-ground mustard and variety of spices. It's just begging to be thickly spread on top of a hot dog.

True Natural Taste Organic Hearty Horseradish Mustard A delightful, white mustard that is velvety smooth and elegantly textured. Extra spicy, super creamy and wonderfully horseradishy, slather this on practically anything from a pastrami sandwich to roasted asparagus. Or just eat it by the spoonful, as we were caught doing it at our desks.

Beaver Wasabi Mustard Proceed with caution--this extra spicy mustard is worth every flame-filled bite. The creamy mustard is definitely wasabi-centric but provides a smooth burn. Pile it high on a burger!

Cherith Valley Jalapeno Cilantro Mustard This piquant and bold mustard with chunks of chiles and onions smells like fresh salsa. Though it may look like a traditional yellow mustard, the flavors go a few steps further, with a carefully balanced mix of mustard, jalapeno and fresh cilantro.

Sprecher Brewing Company Spicy Brown Beer Mustard Crack open this mug-shaped jar to find a perfect complement to brats and burgers (funny how those things go well with a beer to drink, too). The airy, bubbly mustard flavor practically dances around in the mouth and the fairly mild heat makes it even more tempting to guzzle down.

Restaurant Lulu Gourmet Mustard with Herbs de Provence Opening this mustard is like unleashing a jar full of the Provencal sun. A mild mustard with a slight throat-warming punch, it has loads of whole mustard seeds and a massive blend of herbs. The taste is savory, garlicky, and floral from subtle lavender.

Robert Rothschild Farm Raspberry Wasabi Dipping Mustard Although the raspberry taste doesn't command center stage, bask in the berry aroma of this lush mustard that delivers a kick of wasabi. The flavor combination might sound unusual, but it works so seamlessly, you'll wonder why you didn't think of it. Use this mustard to enliven boring old deviled eggs.