Making Homemade Mustard


Flatware, thrifted Arne Jacobsen for Georg Jensen. Secondhand Weck jar

Maille's Paris Madeleine store is undoubtedly beautiful. Mustard on tap comes with impressive crocks, and the sampling experience tastes and feels expensive- though after an intial 20-30 euro investment, refills cost 10% of the original price. Still, the hassle of wading through a crowd of Asians and the terrifying bike commute for 100 mL mustard makes zero economic sense. Grocery mustard brands come in reusable glasses more at home in a grandmother's kitchen than my own. The solution? Buy bulk graine de moutarde at Marché Belleville and make spicy, package-free condiments myself.

Two kilo mustard seeds (yellow and black) were 8€, and since I use one cup ground seed per batch, this fiery version is literally crazy cheap. Combine one cup ground mustard seed- the photo is misleading, it was hardly yellow- 1/3 cup honey, and 2/3 cups white wine minus a tablespoon over medium heat. If desired, replace white wine with the vinegar of your choice. Stir in one tablespoon white vinegar or whiskey (optional). Cook 5 minutes before transferring to glass container. Leave at room temperature for maximum spice, or store in the refrigerator for milder mustard. I ground yellow seeds only- in a pepper grinder, which was stupid- and mixed in 1/4 cup whole black seeds for stronger flavor. Mustard seeds are notoriously hard to grind, so some people suggest soaking them first and letting a food processor do the rest. I neither have nor want a food processor, but my friend lets me borrow hers, so n'importe quoi.

I thought this would be a disaster, but it's actually consistently excellent, unlike my food staging and photography (this looks much better in real life). Now that I know how quick, tangy, and delicious fresh mustard is, I'll only visit Maille when I miss my family or need a gift.

Miel de fôret in my own container, 11€ for 1L, Famille Mary
Bulk mustard seeds in a Weck jar, 4€ per kilo, Belleville Market
Natural white wine in my own swing-top glass bottle, En Vrac
Vinegar, purchased in recyclable plastic, 0.30€

Paris to Go

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