My dear, poor, non-French people
Please stop thinking that the yellow sauce that dares to call itself “French’s” is by any mean coming from my beloved country.
Oh que non!
My grand-father Robert, who loved mustard so much that he used it for cataplasm during the war, would have said that “the mustard comes to his nose” just thinking of it (la moutarde lui monte au nez, meaning getting very mad).
La vraie moutarde de Dijon is… from Dijon. And it has no sugar involved. NOT SWEET!
When I moved in LA, I’ve tried all the “French mustards” I could, and after a lot of tries and fails (you guys have a strange definition of what a Dijon is: most are not made in Dijon, and even made in France! And the taste!)… I was sooooo happy to discover that the good, authentic, real Dijon “Moutarde Maille” was actually available at the next supermarket, Ralph’s.
Ca c’est de la moutarde : a real Dijon must be spicy, but simple, going straight to the point.
Moutarde is really important in the French diet, as much as great bread.
You always have to have moutarde when you eat: no restaurant table with a small mustard pot!
You add it to a red meat, or a great grilled chicken, with boudin blanc, on a “Gratin dauphinois“, or with Boeuf Bourguignon...
And I use it a lot too in my recipes: for a spicy vinaigrette for example.
It’s made in (old) Orleans, the city where I went to highschool.
Orleans is known for its vinegar: the ships coming from Bordeaux and Nantes to Paris by the Loire would stop there with half their wine turning into vinegar. They would turn the “bad” wine in delicisous vinegar, and after, mustard.
I believe Martin Pouret is the last of the vinegar makers in Orleans… I don’t know if they ship overseas, but every time I have the opportunity, I buy some in France and get one or two bottle with me when I go back to the US (imagine my suitcases!).
The recipe was invented back in 1580, and has been “reinvented” by a very famous French chef: Alain Passard. If you have the great chance to eat at his Parisian restaurant, l’Arpege, you’ll find some moutarde d’Orleans. (And no meat, Alain Passard is the first vegetarian three Michelin stars chef).
I understand some Martin Pouret mustards can be found in the US, by contacting DeMedeci Imports.
Oh, and if you are in Paris or Dijon, visit the Maille stores!
They are very authentic looking, and have great products.
Bon appétit les amis!
PS: Best way to cook with mustard: la tarte à la moutarde, right here on the blog.