Food For Thought — April 21, 2015 at 11:45 am

NY Taps Into Its First Mustard Boutique (Yep, Mustard)

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maison-maille

What do Coca Cola, 7-Up and Maille Dijon mustard have in common? No, it’s not a place on the poshest McDonald’s menu ever. In fact, they all started life as (very tasty) medicines.

Maille, the premium French mustard brand, was founded in 1747 by Antoine Maille, a vinegar-maker who, after selling his wares from a pump on the street as a remedy for his plague-stricken hometown in France, caught the eye of King Louis XV and was taken on as his official supplier. It’s a fascinating history for a condiment brand and it’s yours to discover, too, at New York’s first Dijon mustard boutique.

Our city’s own Maison Maille opened its doors in December on the Upper West Side (185 Columbus Ave. at 68th St.) and has been welcoming dedicated mustard fans and intrepid tourists alike for tastings and to fill up their mustard jars.

maille-jars           maille-mustard

To facilitate this, much like Monsieur Maille with his mustard pump of yore, the upscale boutique—which looks more like a perfume shop than purveyor of pantry staples—serves its mustard on tap alongside traditional ceramic jars made by a factory in Brittany that is actually older than the mustard company itself.

maison-maille-mustard

It’s a pretty awesome tradition. Favorite flavors include the chablis wine mustard and wholegrain chardonnay, which have very different but equally enticing mouth feels (and yes, apparently you do use wine terms when describing ketchup’s fancier cousin).

If you’re feeling adventurous, check out Maille’s spring/summer bistro collection in flavors like lemon and garlic and fine herbs. Or, go for the pistachio and orange white wine mustard, which is supposed to go with sweeter flavors like chocolate. Yes, you heard that right: mustard and chocolate. It’s a thing now. And it’s not half bad: on a recent tasting evening, Maille served up chocolate eclairs with a chocolate and pistachio orange filling and they were subtle and sumptuous.

maille-eclairs

In a time when waste-less living is in the zeitgeist, the idea of bringing back your chic ceramic jar for refilling with a discount is what makes this boutique particularly cool. If you wonder, like I did, how a mustard shop manages to get 5 stars on Yelp (a perfect score), stroll uptown and find out. And bring a pretzel or two.

Twisted Talk: Have you visited Maison Maille yet? Will you give their creative mustards a try? Discuss below!

2 Comments

  1. Interesting concept. Never knew there could be so many mustards.

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