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The mustard from Dijon: little histories about a condiment

Dijon mustard | Rainer Zenz / CC-BY-SA

What’s this?

Smooth, spicy... the mustard from Dijon!

Originally, the mustard is a plant with yellow flowers.

Seeds are used for the production of the famous condiment.

The little history

People ate mustard since the Middle-Ages, in Burgundy: a 13th century manuscript mentioned it and edicts controlled its production.

A legend says pope John XXII created the office of "great mustard keeper" in the 14th century...

A pretty important office, because pope loved mustard and always wanted a jar in stock!

The modern mustard was created in the 18th century by Jean Naigeon, who wanted to make the finest mustard.

But in Paris, a man named Maille, put in charge of the mustard supply for Mrs. de Pompadour, became "king’s vinegar maker"... Nowadays, Maille is a famous French brand!

But where did the name "mustard" come from? We have two possibilities. The first one: moutarde comes from Latin mustum ardens, moult arde, which means "very spicy".

The second possibility: moutarde comes from Moult me tarde, which was duke of Burgundy Philip the Bold’s war shout, when he fought in Flanders in 1388.

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!