by Michele Anna Jordan
I love a sassy little Dijon from the French company, PIC, imported in small quantities, by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant in Berkeley. This mustard is irresistible and I'm forever sneaking fingersful of it as I walk past one of several mustard shelves in my kitchen. I buy it by the case. When making say, mustard cream, I notice a significant difference when cooking with PIC, the most suave, elegant mustard I have come across.
After PIC, I favor Dessaux and L'Etoile , and when I can't find those, Grey Poupon serves me well. Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard, now made domestically by Nabisco Foods Inc., is frequently criticized and I heartily disagree. Nabisco was licensed by Grey Poupon of France to produce the only Dijon mustard outside of France and they do an outstanding job. The texture is perfect and if it's not quite as strong as the French-made Grey Poupon, it still packs a good wallop of heat. The flavors are well balanced, and it is not overly salty. Grey Poupon is an excellent product that one can find in nearly every supermarket in the country. and it is relatively inexpensive, so don't break your budget looking for the most exotic Dijon mustard around.
There are scores of wonderful flavored mustards made by small companies all over the country, many of which begin with a commercial mustard base, often imported. I am wild about the Vidalia Onion Mustard made by Oak Hill Farms in Atlanta, Georgia; Duck Puddle Farm of Ivyland, Pennsylvania, makes a fine southwest mesquite mustard that is great with smoked poultry (or by the spoonful). A lovely whole grain mustard is made by Arran Provisions on the Isle of Arran, Scotland; and I love the dark richness of the black mustard made by Wilson's of Essex, England.
And finally, a hot dog on the street in New York City, San Francisco, anywhere at all, should be topped with any humble ballpark mustard, sharp and bright and perfectly suited to its purpose.
Copyright 1996 by Michele Anna Jordan, author of The Good Cook's Book of Mustard. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.
Check out Michele Anna Jordan's latest book: The World Is a Kitchen: Cooking Your Way Through Culture
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