My trip to Dijon started very early indeed. I left Waterloo at 5.35 am. By the time I had negotiated Paris in rush hour (no mean feat) and spent 90 minutes on the train to Dijon deep in Burgundy, I was a bit jaded. No time for that. We started filming straight away in the fabulous Maille mustard shop. What a fascinating place. They shift something like 50 thousand tons of mustard, mainly due to this one shop.
Maille mustard has been around for a very long time. Founded by Antoine Maille in 1747, Mustard was not only eaten in the early days. It was rubbed onto the skin to prevent catching the plague, it was also used for cosmetics, skin and even hair care, so it was really good for you inside and out!
Head chef Philippe Colombet spends his days dreaming up wonderful new flavours to add to mustard. Some recent flavours include Cassis, walnut, dry apricot and curry, Balsamic, and rosewater.
The shop in Dijon has pump dispensers similar to the beer pumps in the UK to dispense fresh mustard. As we filmed, locals kept popping in with their small earthenware jars for a refill.
We had an excellent tasting session, all tasting fabulous and fresh. Then it was off to lunch at a local restaurant right by the market, called Le Bistrot des Halles. Here we tucked into pork with mustard and plenty of red wine followed by gingerbread creme brulee, very nice.
After lunch, we went to the Maille factory and a very large industrial process. There is a very good museum dedicated to Mustard in the factory and its process and history, well worth a visit.
Mustard seeds are cleaned, ground to a paste, and then transferred to a mixer where seasonings are added.
Then vinegar (verjuice) and left mature. Special stones are used to grind the seeds, so no heat is produced; this would impair the flavour of the finished mustard. The mustard is then left to mature for 2 hours, then is pumped into jars.
There is a National Mustard Day that is celebrated the first Saturday of every August at the Mount Horeb Mustard Museum in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin!
The Moutarderie has a museum with all the original equipment Marc’s grandfather used to produce his wonderful mustard.
All in all, a wonderful trip to have done, it’s a good day out if you are holidaying in the region.
- The Chinese have grown mustard for more than 3,000 years. The Romans carried mustard seeds to France, savouring them along the road, where the plants soon grew wild and flourished in the fertile hillsides.
- In 1856, Burgundian Jean Naigeon substituted verjuice for the vinegar in prepared mustard. The use of verjuice resulted in mustard that was less acidic than France had tasted before, and Dijon assumed its place in history.
- Dijon mustard now comes in many different flavours, including walnut, blue cheese, raspberry, and champagne.
- Today the French eat 50-thousand tons of Dijon mustard.
32 Rue de la Liberte
Tel 0380 3041 02
Moutarde de Dijon
Rue Henri-Dunant- Square de Cluny
Tel 0380 3041 02
For more information contact www.fallot.com