Burgundy is quite simply an exceptional place for mustard, located in a wine-producing region, there could not be a better place to provide the wine and vinegar needed for mustard-making. This bourgeoise region with its brilliant, sumptuous royal court was not lacking in consumers of meat and as a consequence of this, mustard was eaten at every meal. The land was rich in potash, very favourable for cultivating the mustard plant.
Dijon already had a firm reputation under the reign of Saint-Louis, and it was Dijon mustard that was brought to the table of the Queen of France. In 1634, the manufacturing process for Dijon mustard was regulated with the first official statutes of the corporation of vinegar and mustard-makers of Dijon. The philosophy of these statutes was summed up in two words: ethics and hygiene. All manufacturers had to show "care, vigilance, honour in their conscience in order that the public can rely on their characters".
Unfortunately, the mustard fields have been gradually disappearing from the Burgundy landscape since 1950, and today mainly Canadian seeds are used in mustard-making. A large-scale revival campaign has been launched by the INRA (National Institute for Agricultural Research) to try to re-introduce this plant to its native soil. This is how Dijon mustard became such an original product and a reference for good quality.
Dijon mustard is sieved. The hot flavour of this mustard comes from myrosine and the myronate, two ingredients contained in black or brown mustard seeds.
These black or brown seeds are cleaned of impurities, washed and then crushed. This flour is then mixed with verjuice (grape juice) and white wine.
The solid content made up from seeds must be at least 22% of the weight of the finished product. This mixture is then finely sieved to separate the skin from the core of the seed to give a smooth golden yellow paste.
Mild mustard is obtained by mixing three varieties of seeds; brown, black and yellow. The solid content made up from seeds must be at least 15%. Saccharose may be added.
Depending on its ingredients, this mustard is known as "green" if aromatic herbs are added, or "violet" if the verjuice includes the red grape must, and "brown" if skins added from black or brown-seeded varieties make up 6% or more of the dry matter.
Mustard "À l'ancienne"
This is a mustard obtained using only black or brown seeds. These seeds are mixed into verjuice (vinegar or green grape juice or grape must or wine or cider, together with water and salt).
Spices and aromatic herbs are then added according to each manufacturer's recipe, then the mixture is roughly ground to preserve the seeds intact, hence the brown and yellow particles. The solid content from seeds must make up at least 18% of the weight of the finished product.
The milder, less spicy recipe, due to the aromatic herbs added, make this a so-called "gastronomic mustard".