Narrator: The key to making Dijon mustard is mustard seeds. Other types of mustard are made from white seeds, while Dijon mustard is made from black seeds which give it a spicy, spicy flavor.
It is named after the city of Dijon in France, but very few of the black seeds used in its production come from this country. A few jars made from local seeds can cost up to six times more than the average Dizon mustard.
So what distinguishes real Diżońska mustard? Why is it so expensive?
Keishi Sugimura, Chef, Le Bénaton Restaurant: This mustard is very different from other mustards. Its taste is fruity, acidic and fresh, because Aligoté grapes are used in the production.
Narrator: Jars of Dijon mustard made from local French ingredients are sold as Burgundy mustard. Burgundy is the name of the region where it has been produced for centuries.
Thibault Désarménien, Sales Manager, Edmond Fallot: Let’s go. The seeds are very small. Their diameter is less than a millimeter. To make a kilo of mustard, we need 30-40 percent. the contents of such a bag. The seeds are beautiful.
Narrator: Mustard is a cruciferous vegetable, as are cabbage, broccoli, horseradish, and turnips. These plants abound in pods which are their fruits. Each pod contains several dozen mustard seeds.
Dijon mustard is made from black mustard seeds which are more aromatic than the white ones used for other types of mustard. They have a high level of sinigrin, a natural ingredient that gives mustard its pungent aroma.
Thibault: First, the seeds need to be cleaned. When in contact with water, the seeds separate into two parts. One is the yellow grain inside, and the other is the rind which we call “mustard essence”.
NarratorOne of the things that distinguishes Burgundy mustard from regular Diżoń, and keeps its prices high, is that it is ground using a stone mill.
This is a much slower process than using an automated steel mill. Stone mills can only grind 100 tons of seeds a day. The resulting flavor makes it worth doing.
The sharpness of the seeds is maintained by keeping the paste at room temperature.
Thibault: Mustard is also good with stronger aromas. There is no stinging aftertaste that often affects the sharpness and flavor of the product.
Narrator: To give the Dijon mustard a creamy texture, the paste is passed through a sieve that extracts the yellow grain from the peel.
Thibault: The turbine is running at very high speed. In this way, we extract the essence of the taste, which is mild.
Narrator: Diżońska mustard was once made with verjus – green juice from unripe grapes, which added acidity and preserves mustard. As the recipe evolved, manufacturers have tried to recreate its fruity taste by using a combination of white wine and vinegar.
These two ingredients are still used in most of the Dijon mustards sold, while Burgundy mustard is made using only wine.
The wine is made from a local grape variety called Aligoté, which contains a hint of chalky, potassium-rich local soil.
Keishi: I have been using Fallot mustard for 20 years. I started using Burgundy mustard when I was still working in Japan. Unfortunately, you cannot buy this company’s Burgundy mustard in this country. That’s why my boss called a friend from France and brought her over.
Narrator: In Dijon and the surrounding city of Burgundy, 90% of the production is produced. French Dijon mustard, while finding local seeds is much more difficult. Most producers source them from other countries. In Canada, 35% are grown. the world supply of mustard seeds.
Using seeds from abroad is more convenient and can be up to 50 percent. cheaper than using seeds from France. In 2021, France produced only 4,000. tons of seeds. This is much less than 32,000. tonnes that are needed to meet domestic demand.
Producing seeds locally also requires extra care. The use of pesticides is prohibited. In recent years, late spring frosts have damaged the mustard crops in Burgundy.
Thibault: The production of seeds in France is not sufficient to meet the demand. The price is also much higher. It is somewhat paradoxical that we are importing mustard from Canada.
Narrator: The scarcity of local seeds is the result of a steady decline in cultivation over the past century. What made local farmers quit mustard growing was the European Union regulations of 1957.
Thibault: The common agricultural policy of the European Union guaranteed subsidies for farmers for crops other than mustard. It was specifically oilseed rape, which is a very similar plant. Rapeseed and mustard are often confused for their yellow flowers. However, they do not have the same properties. You cannot make mustard from rapeseed.
Narrator: The few jars of Dijon mustard made from local seeds available are called Burgundy mustard. In 2009, the mustard was registered as a Protected Designation of Origin. It is similar with products such as champagne.
Farmers, scientists and the owners of the mills did this to restore mustard cultivation in the region.
Thibault: We considered this crucial as the phrase “Diżońska mustard” has lost its relevance.
Narrator: Of the more than 300 mustard plants that used to be in the region, only five, mostly industrial, remain. It all starts with the grain and ends with the bottling. There are, however, many challenges ahead of Burgundy mustard.
Late frosts kill both mustard and vineyards, making the raw material even scarcer and more expensive. On the other hand, the ongoing war in Ukraine increases gas prices.
Thibault: The price of mustard has increased by about 9%. compared to last year.