What will all the bongs in the world do without Mustard!? I do not know, like the indispensable 'haash deem' or duck eggs a must for tons of Bengalis who would not acknowledge chicken eggs as edible thanks to the ridiculous religious stigma but this was a few decades ago. Now the the trio read, fish, chicken and chicken egg rules the kitchen of almost all Bengali household. Coming back to the mustard mania tons and tons of mustard is consumed in Bengali household every day at every meal, primarily in form of mustard seeds paste and mustard oil. Like the Italians vouch for EVOO or Extra virgin olive oil and Malyalis for coconut oil we Bengalis take pride in mustard oil.
Put mustard oil in your ears to cleanse, smear it in the naval before bath to keep a cool head, massage your elbows and toes for shiny smooth skin or better smear yourself daily before bath, apply the oil for thick healthy tresses and do not forget to plop it in your pan to fry the fish along with some mustard paste for the double dose of mustard. A basic way to prepare fish in most part of Bengal Orissa and Assam.
The 'thousand bubbles busting' nope not soda experience but the mustard effect is a hair-rising effect. Okie, I agree wasabi can win if we compare the brain shattering, tongue battering sensations but no ingredient can come close to the flavors mustard can add to a meagerly developed squash or the dumbest of vegetables.
The French take a lot of pride in their mustard and so do the Bengalis. The physical interpretation of the same ingredient, the mustard sauce and the mustard paste is as distinct and distant as the countries themselves. Envy the people form the west of India as they are know for their healthy hair and shiny skin, it's because of Mustard my dear. I won't be exaggerating if I say that countless fellow-mustard lovers consumes mustard oil in liters per week!
The golden yellow aura and the strong stinging smells (clears my nasal passage every time) and sparkling taste make the oil as precious as gold! The mustard seeds so tiny and so potent when made into a fine paste a spoonful can make the most ordinary fish into a delectable experience.
So, when I see a moon faced Bengali with a blissful smile passes me by I guess the twinkle in her eyes comes for the magical powers of the mustard seeds.