Mustard — Make Mine Maille!

March 28th, 2013 § 0 comments

Maille, the French Dijon style mustard, which has been produced for 266 years, has an essential place in HG and BSK’s pantry. Although it is far better than the Made-in-the-USA Grey Poupon, the Maille mustard available in the better American groceries is not as pungent and flavorful as the Maille HG buys in Paris. It has been toned down for American tastes. To be walloped by the real Maille taste you have to go the Boutique Maille in Paris (it’s very close to the Madeleine church on the Right Bank, the church that resembles a Greek temple). At the Boutique you can buy mustard the way Paris foodies do — straight from a tap and consumed before time can steal any mustard power away. You can taste some interesting mustard flavors like chablis, honey and grape juice; white wine, apricot, blue cheese, walnut and rose. The obliging clerks provide little pretzels for tasting purposes. The basic Maille mustards (not all are exported): Dijon Originale (the smooth mustard one usually associates with Dijon); Whole Grain Old Style (great with cold cuts); Honey Dijon (nice with liver sausages); Mustard with Horseradish (try it with a choucroute); Rich Country With Cinnamon and Ginger (HG likes it with grilled Tandoori-style chicken). Americans usually think of mustard as a condiment to be squeezed or spread onto hot dogs or ham-and-cheese sandwiches. The French, however, use mustard in scores of sauces and dishes — including desserts. None of the Maille products works with Chinese food. For Chinese purposes, HG mixes Keen’s English Mustard Powder (been around since 1742) with vinegar or water. And, when HG is in the USA and powerful French Maille isn’t available, HG uses Russian or Polish mustard. These say “Hot and Spicy” or “Extra Hot” on the labels, It’s truth in advertising. These mustards stand up to the most garlic and pepper laden sausages.

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