Dijon, in the northern part of the Burgundy region in France, is the birthplace of the mustard that bares its name. Dijon mustard or moutarde in French, was born in the Middle Ages. This Dijon-born, yellow seasoning marvel was later granted exclusive rights to the name in the 17th Century.
Most Americans know Dijon mustard by the product on most supermarket shelves called Grey Poupon. While the ingredients in this product include “real white wine” (no disrespect to Nestlé), Grey Poupon is a pale imitator of the original moutarde produced at its birthplace.
As always with iconic foods, the ingredients are simple: brown mustard seeds and white wine. Sometimes, white wine vinegar and salt are used to replicate the taste of the original ingredients.
If you want a sample of the authentic golden goodness, try Maille’s genuine Dijon Mustard. It has a tangy flavor compared to Grey Poupon. The Maille mustard for sale in the US is closer to the original we have tried in France than Grey Poupon. Maille can be found at most US grocery stores. This said, Maille mustard sold in the USA is made domestically; it’s toned down from the original for the American market.
We prefer the real thing. Whenever in France, we cart back jars of the stuff in our luggage and carryons. Even our French colleague (who was born in Paris but now lives in California) has me bring Maille mustard from the “Mother Ship” back to him. (He in turn brings me real chocolate Cadbury from England when he visits!)
When visiting Burgundy, we recommend visiting either Maille in Dijon (above), or Edmund Fallot In Beaune (below) for mustard products. Both establishments offer tastings of the real thing too—like a wine tasting! Real Dijon mustard will make your nose tingle and your taste buds salute.
Fallot has an extensive tasting room and manufacturing tour in Beaune France, which is less than an hour south of Dijon. Fallot have dozens of different types of mustard in addition to simple Dijon flavor. Some of our favorites at the “mustard bar” were red wine, beer, and curry. .
If you have the chance to taste real Dijon mustard we recommend you try it. It turns any kind of sausage or wiener into a culinary sensation.