The Dijon Mustard

Dijon Mustard is definitely a gourmet Burgundy product that has proved its culinary qualities all over the world. Just think of mustard and Dijon comes to your mind! This flavourful French sauce typical from Dijon has indeed become a classic in gastronomy, as a tasty accompaniment for chicken, salmon, grilled steaks, roast beef and sausages, as well as a classic dressing for salads, burgers and hot dogs.

The French town of Dijon is obviously renowned worldwide thanks to its delicious mustard sauce. Beside its blackcurrant liquor, Burgundy's historical capital has been producing the authentic Moutarde de Dijon for centuries now.

Introduced for the first time in the Burgundy gastronomy in 1336 for King Philip VI's banquet, the French mustard only developed its reputation at the end of the 18th century. The reason for its popularity originates from the recipe of a Dijon mustard producer, Jean Naigeon, who decided to use vinegar instead of verjuice (juice of unripe grapes). Indeed, whilst the original Burgundy condiment made out with verjuice was acid, the successful Dijon Mustard had a delicate and smooth taste.

The traditional Dijon Mustard is made from black mustard seeds that are soaked in water until they swell up and then blended with vinegar (or white wine or verjuice). Seeds are next ground to create a smooth paste, but in some local recipes, the seeds can be partly left in.

Since the time the mustard fabrication was automated, the greatest French producer has been the "Grey Poupon Mustard" company - which finally merged with its competitor, "Maille". To protect the authentic recipe, the moutarde de Dijon received the AOC French Quality Label in 1937 and its production has been strictly controlled (and even limited to the area of Dijon).

Top Tip! Mustard lovers should visit the Grey Poupon - Maille Boutique in Dijon. A wide - and appetizing! - range of mustards is exhibited, including recipes with dried tomatoes, Thai spices, French Espelette pepper or Provence herbs.

Apart from being a flavourful condiment for meats, the French mustard is also widely used in gastronomy to season a dish or elaborate typical sauces, such as in the A la Dijonnaise (Dijon-style) recipes.

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