Appetizers
April 18, 2012
Two mustards from Dijon go to work in the home kitchen

Bee staff photograph by Randy Pench

RP MOUTARDE.JPGTwo chauffeur-driven Rolls Royces stop next to each other at an intersection. The passengers in the backseats of both cars are eating lunch. The men are dressed in suits and ties.

The dashing gent in the white Rolls leans out the car window and asks the distinguished-looking man in the tan Rolls, "Pardon me. Would you have any Grey Poupon?"
"But of course," the man replies in a French accent, handing over a jar.
Voiceover: "The finer things in life... Happily, some are affordable."

That iconic 1980s TV commercial helped raise America's consciousness about mustard from the city of Dijon in the Burgundy region of France, the mustard capital of the world. Misguidedly, many Americans are still stuck on good 'ol ballpark mustard.

It's time to move on with two luscious Dijon mustards from Reine de Dijon, condiment-makers since 1840 - a traditional yellow, and that same mustard spiked with red pepper and tomato. Find them at Corti Bros. Market, 5810 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, (916) 736-3800. They're $3.99 each in seven-ounce jars.


Like special wines, the mustards are "appellation origin controlled" because "the mustard seeds and the Aligote wine used to make them come from Burgundy," grocer Darrell Corti notes in his latest newsletter at www.cortibros.biz.

"Darrell and I first came across the mustard three years ago at a trade show," said Corti Bros. Market director Rick Mindermann. "We had not tasted a Dijon mustard like that in years. (Because of business politics) it took awhile to get it in stock, but it's the real deal."

Agreed. The two mustards' textures, heat and depth of flavors are unique in my experience. For starters, I smeared some of each on halves of a ham-on-sourdough sandwich, took bites and said a single word: "Wow!" Advice: A little goes a long way, but the more you taste, the more you want.

Beyond that, I conferred with Mindermann and my colleague Chris Macias, the Bee's food and wine writer, on how best to use the mustards in the home kitchen.

"Dijon mustard is the 'secret ingredient' in countless sauces," Mindermann said. "It also acts as an emulsifier in viniagrette dressing, keeping the oil and vinegar from separating. It's not just a condiment, it's a dressing."

We came up with a few ideas on how to use the mustards:

For the Moutarde de Bourgogne (yellow): with fish and roasts of beef and pork; on a platter of charcuterie, cheeses, olives, almonds and breads; on pastrami and corned beef sandwiches; in sauces and salad dressings; and - what the heck - on anything not nailed down.

For the Moutarde Provencal (reddish; the Provence region is invoked because of the additions of red pepper and tomato): as a spread on panini and traditional Cuban sandwiches; as a garnish; dolloped on top of deviled eggs; inside an omelet; on top of steamed vegetables; and folded into rice, mashed potatoes and pasta.

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.



Recommended Links

FOLLOW US | Get more from sacbee.com | Follow us on Twitter | Become a fan on Facebook | Watch Bee news, lifestyle videos | View our mobile versions | e-edition: Print edition online | What our bloggers are saying

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Monthly Archives