Saturday, March 18, 2006

La moutarde me monte au nez

Be reassured, I'm not actually loosing my temper. I just want to explain another food idiom! La moutarde me monte au nez litterally means "the mustard is getting up my nose". Now if you've ever tried real Dijon mustard (it's much hotter than the one sold in the US; even French brands seem to make it milder for exportation), you can imagine the effect of eating a spoonful of this nose-tickling condiment. When someone is upset and his/her face gets gradually red (you know, like in cartoons!), you can tell that "la moutarde lui monte au nez".


Talking about mustard, I have a new favorite brand! I was looking for Maille mustard the other day at Whole Foods Market but couldn't find it. Maille is excellent (they used to sell it in gigantic jars -1 pound!- at Williams Sonoma. Can't find it there anymore). Not knowing what to do, and not being able to live a few days without mustard, I picked a jar Beaufor's extra strong Dijon mustard at random (well not exactly. It was the "cheapest" -read the least expensive- jar on Whole Foods' gourmet shelves). And it turns out to be the best mustard I've ever tasted overseas! The fact that it is "extra strong" brings it to the the expected spiciness level. Their Moutarde à l'Ancienne (whole-grain mustard) and Moutarde aux Herbes de Provence are exquisite too.

7 comments:

Susan in Italy said...

Hey, this is great to know! I'll look for Baufor's next time. I was just eating dinner with some Maille mustard and some horseradish and remarking that the Maille (here in Italy) doesn't have that much of a kick. I always tought they had a problem keeping the product consistent.

Myra said...

Thanks for the great phrase and the tip on a good mustard. As luck would have it I need to buy more later today.

Marquette said...

Yest, that's true. I miss real French mustard! A good Grey-Poupon, or even Maille "de France", which is much stronger than the mustard we can find here... I like it very cold on a little piece of fresh baguette: delicious!

Pascal said...

I'm a big fan of Maille as well (you can't beat "Il n'y a que Maille qui m'aille" ;) ), but I'm always looking for something interesting and today I got to try a mustard with ground horseradish and I loved it. You can find it at Honey Baked Ham and it is called Honeysweet Whole Grain Mustard and it has a really good kick to it (like an Amora would have for example). It is whole grain, and doesn't include honey as the name may indicate. Yum!

Veronique said...

I am a French expat living in California - Los Altos. I founded www.saveurdujour.com, a website that specializes in French Gourmet food. And we do sell many kinds of mustards, all French and all strong ;) !!
Feel free to visit!!
Merci pour le blog!Veronique

Lou Gascon said...

Hi Miss Mustard or is that M'selle Moutarde - goodness me, I had a friend this evening ask about a recipe for - Moutarde aux Herbes de Provence - that was after he laid on me a small jar of homemade Moutarde d'aile et dill - delicious...
Point is, I'm searching for the recette to no avail at present...
So, the question is: do you make your own? If not - why not?
But more important, do you have a recipe for Moutarde aux Herbes de Provence? or perhaps Veronique may be able to help - Bon soir V...
Or anyone...Help!!!
Je t'aime la belle Française - I lived there for 15 years, but never thought to look for that recipe...
look forward to a few comments
Lou Garçon

Estelle said...

Pascal, Veronique, thanks for the tips!

Lou,
I've never tried making my own mustard. I guess I never thought of it! But that sounds fun and according to Joy of Cooking: "somehow, homemade mustard is even more impressive to most people than homemade preserves, although it is far easier to prepare". They prepare "uncooked hot mustard" by combining 1/2 cup dry mustard, 2 tbsp dry white wine, 2 tbsp cider vinegar, 2 tbsp water, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp white pepper. Let stand for 2 hours, stir again and refrigerate until you serve. You can then flavor it as you wish, for example with Herbes de Provence.
Good luck!