All the must on French mustard !

Get to know all the must on mustard!

We can’t get through summer without it. For hot dogs or hamburgers, it’s among the hit list of condiments. Let’s get to know more about a barbecue must: mustard.

What is mustard? The mustard seed measures between 1 and 2 mm or 1/8 inch in diameter. There are 3 types of mustard plants: black mustard, brown Indian mustard, white or yellow mustard. The mustard seeds are ground or cracked and then mixed with salt, water, lemon juice, vinegar and spices to make a tasty paste. Mustard.


moutarde seeds
moutarde seeds

Mustard dates to ancient Romans where the ground mustard seeds were mixed with juice from crushed non-fermented grapes and spices. The juice was called “must” and when mixed with the seeds it became “burning must” or mustumardens which was nicknamed mustard. It wasn’t just used as a condiment. French monks used mustard paste to treat wounds.

The first appearance of mustard makers on the royal registers in Paris dates back to 1292. Dijon, France, was recognized as a center for mustard making as early as the 13th century. The Duke of Burgundy consumed great quantities.

And of course something wonderful would happen when famous mustards would be developed in famous wine country. In 1777, one of the most famous Dijon mustard makers, Maurice Grey, developed a unique recipe containing white wine, and was financially backed by Auguste Poupon. Thus is the beginning of a great success story, Grey Poupon mustard.

grey poupon mustard

The company became famous for their advertising featuring Rolls Royce cars, snobby accents, and chateaux; telling you to try out the lifestyle for yourself by trying Grey Poupon mustard.

Dijon mustard was granted special AOC certification. Other important brand names have stocked household refrigerators. Up until the Second World War, Burgundy counted more than 160 mustard factories. Though the names of manufacturers have changed and most of the factories have dislocated from Dijon, it is still considered the birthplace of mustard.

When in Dijon, you can discover the mustard legacy. Visit the Maille house of mustard, with a variety of mustards to try that beats the 21 Flavors of Baskins Robbins ice cream. The tourist office holds special “mustard tours”. Or simply try some of the local gastronomy using this local delish.

Maison Maille Dijon

More musts on mustard…

Did you know that mustard contains anti-inflammatory properties ?

Greeks used mustard as a medication for muscle aches, tooth aches, to clear sinuses, and to increase blood circulation.

Dijon Mustard only contains 4 calories per teaspoon.

Mustard is the second most consumed condiment in the United States. In the Yankee Stadium alone, more than 1,600 gallons of mustard are consumed in a baseball season. That’s a lot of mustard!


Get more on mustard on our Burgundy tours :