If you really like to cook, one of the most important ingredients in the fridge is authentic Dijon mustard. If you are thinking of Grey Poupon, that is fine, but it’s made for the masses…the American palate.
Authentic Dijon mustard comes in 2 styles…regular and grainy (still containing the mustard seeds). The ingredient list for Dijon mustard is short…mustard seeds, white wine, and salt.
There are hundreds of different mustards out there, but as a purist (and also 1/2 French) Dijon is the way to go. The flavors can be strong, and when tears start to form, and your nose runs, you know you found the right product. The mustard should also be super fresh, which can be a challenge sometimes.
Perhaps my favorite brand is Amora “Fine et Fort”. Is there a café in Paris that doesn’t serve this at every table? I think not. It can be hard to find, as it may only be available in super specialty food stores, or on-line. The best source on-line that I have found for Amora is frenchybee.com. Order the 15.5 oz. pots, and if you spend over $49.00 the shipping is free. I order 8 pots at a time.
Understand that mustard ages more quickly in small pots, and therefore should be used promptly.
Other good brands, if they can be found fresh are Roland “Extra Strong”, Fallot, and Maille (Found at the supermarket), and Pommery “Whole Grain”. Also check out sources like Amazon.com.
Beware of the flavored Dijon mustards, as their flavors tent to fade and turn old quickly. (Tarragon, Peppercorn, etc…)
NOW…for one of the best uses of a fine Dijon mustard is a Classic Vinaigrette.
2 tbs. Dijon mustard, 3 tbs. red wine vinegar, 6-8 tbs. oil, salt & pepper to taste.
Add mustard and vinegar into a bowl and mix. Slowly add the oil. Mix well. Obviously, the amounts can be adjusted to taste, as well as the type of oil and vinegar you use. Perhaps substitute a nut oil (walnut or hazelnut), or a rich and healthy olive oil. Use rice wine vinegar to add lightness and a tart sweetness. Add fresh chopped tarragon, or other fresh herbs.
Enjoy one of France’s great gifts.