Actually, I’m not sure this is totally universal to the site; some of our most esteemed contributors fall into the strangely misguided category of ‘mustard hatas.’ Even so, I would hope that even the most vehement detractor of the second most important food group would say that there is something brilliant about cress-that-is-actually-mustard.
In order to maintain the high standards of impartial journalism this site is known for, I shall look at cress-that-is-actually-mustard across three categories:
Anyone with kids will be able to tell you that it is extremely cheap because it’s the sort of thing they get sent home with to look after as some initial citizenship project. But also, you can grow it on loo roll. There are not many other foods I have managed to germinate and rear to health on an old bit of plastic packaging and some purloined bathroom tissue and there’s something heroic about a crop that will.
Even if, like me, you’ve entered the era of lazy bastardry where remembering to water some seeds on your windowsill every day feels a bit too difficult then it’s 27p from even the swankiest supermarket for a little box that, allowing for regrowth, can do you quite a long time if managed carefully. Even if you don’t, it was 27p for goodness’ sake, stuff it all into your mouth at once if you like.
The Great British Menu being on while I make dinner has somewhat altered the standard of what’s made it onto the plate lately. These days my poor boyfriend can’t eat breakfast without me stuffing sprigs of rosemary into it and dinner involves a whole new level of fannydangle. The addition of a few humble sprigs of cress-that-is-actually-mustard can make even yr most bogstandard dinner look a touch gourmet though and it has enough flavour to justify its presence. Obviously, coriander or parsley or chives can do it just as well but there’s something hugely pleasing about the way cress-that-is-actually-mustard falls, curled and delicate, that completely belies the fact it may well have been grown on loo roll.
Cress-that-is-actually-mustard has another cheap role, though. Go now, into your local sandwich shop and buy an egg and cress-that-is-actually-mustard sandwich and kiss it with your mouth because it tastes lovely. All the loveliness of cress. And it will be the cheapest sandwich in there. And god bless it.
From growing it on bits of tissue as a child to my ludicrous joy at seeing it regrow on the windowsill even now to the way it is just slightly exciting because it is little tangy plants and you eat them and you have to get the scissors out to give it a haircut and all the other twee, twee joys of cress-that-is-actually-mustard it is hard, unless you are among the aforementioned mustard h8ters, to have a beef with cress.
(unless you want to actually put it on beef, in which case it works very well as a garnish for roast)