Dijon and It’s Mustard

No Condiment Quite Like It

Let’s bring it back to when Dijon was only a little town in the Burgundy region of France. Yes, Dijon is not only a mustard as most may know it as, it is a town as well. Dijon began as a Roman settlement called Divio, located on the road from Lyon to Paris, where today lays one of the easiest ways to get from Lyon to Paris, the TGV. This city also has the largest amount of buildings more than 300 years old, which are still standing.

The original indication to mustard extravaganza in Burgundy was in 1336 when a banquet was given for the King of France, Philip VI. Reports show that 66 gallons of mustard were consumed during this event. Later, the French mustard only urbanized its reputation at the end of the 18th century. The cause for its fame originates from the recipe of a Dijon mustard producer, Jean Naigeon, who decided to use vinegar instead of verjuice, (which is juice of unripe grapes). In fact, even as the original Burgundy condiment made out with verjuice was acid, the successful Dijon Mustard had a delicate and smooth taste. To protect this authentic recipe, the two major companies of mustard, “Grey Poupon Mustard” and “Maille” combined as one.

Today most mustard is made outside of Dijon, and 90% of the world’s supply of mustard seeds is grown in Canada, but that doesn’t stop the towns reputation from remaining “the mustard capital of the world.” In addition some of the finest mustard is still made in small, artisanal factories such as Edmond Fallot in Beaune. Therefore, when you are biking through Burgundy make sure you buy, or at least try, a jar of Dijon Mustard from the folks that know the condiment best.

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