About the author

Originally from London, I moved to Poland to absorb as much of the culture as humanly posssible. Maybe the biggest influence on me has been the food and I credit my adopted babcia, (Polish for grandmother) Ania, with much of the information here. I lived in Zielona Gora and Szklarska Poreba which are in the west and south-west of Poland respectively.
Please feel free to leave any comments, contact me at polishrecipes@gmail.com or visit my other site An Englishman in Poland

Monday, 31 March 2008

Top 5 Polish mustard review

Coming from England, when I thought of mustard I thought of the English variety which is radioactive yellow with a simultaneously bland but burning taste. I occasionally entertained French mustard if I was feeling adventurous but mustard never rated highly as a type of additive to my food.

However a new world opened up to me living in Poland as taste upon taste was thrust upon me in waves as friends would bring out a never ending variety of different colour and consistency mustard (musztarda). Meat and mustard became a love affair of mine as one of my friends, Piotr, guided me through this intriguing world with reviews, personal preferences and 'dipping tips for kielbasa' of all things! Kielbasa and mustard are marvelous. There is an infinite number of meat and mustard combinations that I still need to discover but for now I have compiled my top mustards.

Kamis have a monopoly in the mustard department, similar to Guinness and Paddy's day. I like the system they employ to rate hotness, using images of chillies and colours. I had an idea to import these to England, the ones which were unavailable in Polish shops but Tesco have beaten me to it. (click here for more on that!)
Musztarda deliketesowa (kamis)

My all time favourite. As the name suggests it is delicate and very mild (łagodna). It is sweet and has a light tan colour with a smooth texture. I tend to overuse this mustard and overpower the taste of the meat therefore I need to exercise a lot of restraint to strike the right balance. As my friend Piotr told me, the meat is an accessory to the mustard and not the other way around. Choose your mustard first and then decide on the meat that suits it! It is excellent on hot kielbasa.

Musztarda Chrzanowa (kamis)
This mustard is made with horseradish (chrzan) and is lekko ostra (slightly hot) with a yellow chilli. It is smooth like deliketesowa but a little lighter and whiter in colour. It has more of a hit than deliketesowa and so reminds you that mustard should be intrinsically hot even if this comes from the horseradish and not the mustard seed itself in this recipe.

Musztarda Miodowa (Kamis)

There is honey and mustard salad dressing and honey and mustard sauces but the ingenious incarnation of these is to make a mustard using honey (miód). Unsurprisingly it is mild (łagodna) but has a strong interesting taste which like deliketesowa makes you choose mustard before meat. I preferred this on cold cuts of meat like turkey.

Musztarda Sarepska

This brown mustard has one chilli and is labelled as ostra (hot). This is very popular and more traditional in a mustard sense. My adopted babcja prefers this and uses it a lot in recipes like in salatka.

Musztarda Grillowa (Kamis)

Grillowa is dark brown/red, is quite viscous with black whole mustard seeds intact and is lekko ostra (slighty hot - yellow chilli). It has a sharp flavour but is made using sweet peppers. In Polish a barbeque is called a grill so this mustard is aimed at meat that is barbequed, notably kielbasa!

Other mustards of note which did not make top 5

  • Musztarda czosnekowa - I was looking forward to this as I love garlic (czosnek) but felt let down and unimpressed. I think garlic and mustard are too strong to compliment each other.

  • Musztarda Rosyjska - This is Russian in style and bardzo ostra (very hot). Personally I do not like very hot food.

  • Musztarda Francuska - French mustard with mixed whole mustard seeds, slightly hot (lekko ostra). The French do this type better. Rather gluey consistency.

  • Musztarda Ognista - Made with chillies. Hot (ostra)

  • Musztarda Dijon - French style Dijon (ostra).

  • Musztarda Węgierska - Hungarian style mustard with ginger, garlic, hot(ostra). Have not tried this.

  • Musztarda Meksykańska - Mexican style hot (ostra). Have not tried.

  • Musztarda Bawarska - Bavarian mustard mild (łagodna). Have not tried.

My preferences are based on the fact I prefer mild food. My palette is not accustomed to spicy food. This list and reviews would be different for someone who prefers hot food. Furthermore there are many other manufacturers of mustard who make all types of mustard and I did not have time to try a bottle of each. As I try others I will update.

What is your favourite mustard, Polish or otherwise?


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Anonymous said...

It was just a moment ago that I made myself a ham and cheese sandwich with Dijon mustard, when I was reminded of the most amazing mustard that I had while traveling around Poland. And doing a quick Google search to see if I could find it, I found your site. And more importantly, I found MY FAVORITE mustard - Musztarda deliketesowa!!

Rarely does a condiment have such an impact on one's culinary enjoyment. I vividly remember taking grilled kielbasa and dipping it into the little pot of mustard - while sitting by the Oder river - and repeating this process until my belly could take no more or all of the kielbasa and Okochim pils were gone. (Beer, sausage, and mustard being my main sources of nutrition while in Poland).

And when I left Poland, fearing that I would never find this mustard again, I was relieved to find it stocked at virtually every Tesco in Ireland (where I was living at the time). However, after a two year love affair with this mustard, I returned home, and have yet to find it in any of the stores near me.

But thats soon to change...


whosthedady said...

Thanks for the comment, that mustard is something special and i'm glad that you know what to look for now....I just wish I could remember all the different types and names of kielbasa also!

Kash said...

THanks for the easy recipes...am trying to find ways to cook Polish food with limited ingredients in Africa...esp, no pork! Anyway, I agree with your favorite mustard, it is mine too. However I think you are omitting the mothership of all mustards, that continues to reign supreme in my family, and was the only option we even had in the 80s and early 90s...Kosciouszko mustard!

Kash said...


whosthedady said...

Thanks kash, I must admit I have not come across this mustard...as soon as I do I will rate it and who knows there might be new contender for the number 1 spot :)

Nazarina A said...

I want the sarepska now. I dabble with Polish delights for my prince Polo! Your Goląbki looks wonderful!

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Anonymous said...

English mustard = bland!? I really don't think so.
I always laugh when I see "ostra" on a Polish mustard label, I've tasted mayonnaise spicier than some Polish mustards.