Mustard essential oil (olio essenziale senape) for Mostarda di Cremona
I was looking for a source of mustard essential oil (olio essenziale senape) to use in making Mostarda di Cremona, an Italian fruit glacé condiment for boiled meats that has a very strong mustard flavor and nasal burn, if made properly. I found 2 old threads on the subject here:
but neither of them found a solution.
A lot of people suggested using Indian mustard oil, which I had tried myself. But this is not the same thing as mustard essential oil. It has a very weak hint of mustard flavor and almost no mustard nasal burn.
Real mustard essential oil is so pungent and potent that it is sold only in pharmacies in Italy in small quantities. It is a strong irritant to the nasal mucous membranes and the eyes.
WARNING! Brassica nigra - mustard essential oil - is considered to be one of the most toxic of all essential oils; an oral toxin, dermal (skin) toxin, and very irritating to mucous membranes (ex. the membranes inside your nose)
So I had to find a source myself.
I did find one source on Italian eBay:
but it was very expensive--EUR 17,50 for 10 ml! And no shipping outside Italy.
I did finally find a reasonably priced source on USA eBay:
I bought the smallest quantity from the seller 'prizebest9711' to see how good it was. I paid $5.99 for a 5ml bottle (http://www.ebay.com/itm...). That might seem expensive but you only need 10-20 drops for a batch of mostarda and it's a lot cheaper than the Italian source. This oil is pure, processed using the steam distillation method, the best non-chemical extraction method, extracted from black mustard seeds (brassica nigra), the most pungent and potent of the mustard family. Before I ordered, I asked the seller if this was the real deal and he assured me it was. He said it was so strong, I should avoid smelling the oil directly, and was so sure I'd like the oil, he said that he would refund the price, no questions asked, If I din't like it.
I got the package from India 8 days after I placed the order. It required a signature and the tiny vial (6ml actually) was packed in so many layers of foam, plastic wrap, and tissue paper in a large box, it took some time to carefully extract the vial using a utility knife. I've never seen such thorough packing from an eBay seller. Other sellers should take lessons from this guy.
As I neared the vial itself, I could smell the strong mustard odor and feel the nasal burn. I was careful not to get my nose too close to the bottle as I opened the screw cap. There was also a hollow plastic plug under the screw cap. I pried that out and dipped the very tip of a toothpick into the oil. I made the mistake of placing the tiny quantity of oil on my tongue. OMG! It burned my tongue, made my eyes tear, and ripped through my nasal passages. Even with the plug in place, the vapors from the screw cap rip through the nasal passages and burn the eyes. It has a very strong mustard flavor and odor. This is the real deal. My search is over. I can't wait to add this to my mostarda. :)