The Maille company has been in existence for over 200 years (265 to be exact) and over the years it’s popularity has spread from Europe to North America. I’m sure that many Canadians are already familiar with Maille Dijon Originale mustard. After all, this creamy, slightly spicy, condiment is the most popular type of Maille mustard sold in our country. I have an 800 ml jar in my fridge right now actually…
Other popular mustards from Maille are A l’Ancienne – an old-style mustard characterized by the presence of crunchy mustard grains, and Au Miel – a sweet and spicy honey Dijon mustard. Both of these products have won awards in the World-Wide Mustard Competition.
Every time I go into a grocery I seem to find Maille products that I haven’t tried before. Last week I saw this cute little bottle in my local grocery and decided to try it out. The Au Vin Blanc mustard has mild but distinct flavour, and pairs nicely with chicken, fish and potatoes. In addition to the white wine, I believe this also contains cinnamon and ginger. I’m pretty sure this is the same product as the Maille Rich Country Dijon sold in the US. (Side note: I’m not sure why there isn’t a Canadian version of the Maille website, but maybe that will come along eventually?)
Anyhow, I was always fairly impressed by the variety of mustards that are available from this brand, until I found out how many varieties they sell in France.
Did you know that Maille Boutiques of France offer more than 40 different kinds of mustard, as well as a large range of flavored vinegars, oils, specialty mayonnaises and cornichons. Woah! If I could hop on a plane to France on a whim, I would go there to try the Truffle & Chablis and the Clementine Pistachio mustards.
At the Maille Boutiques, located in Paris and Dijon, fresh mustards are served in a traditional method – pumped into ceramic pots for customers who routinely return for refills as often as once a week. Apparently, French chefs and cooks at home frequently use this popular condiment for homemade salad dressing, quiche, flavourful sauces, local dishes and even desserts.
For food-loving tourists, the unique offerings found at the Maille Mustard Boutiques have become well-known as “edible souvenirs.” I know that I would love the opportunity to bring an authentic Maille product home in one of those adorable ceramic pots. (Dear friends, should any of you ever visit this wonderful place, I would be eternally grateful if you brought me one of those pots…hint hint).
Take a look at the link I posted above for the boutiques, and you’ll see how absolutely gorgeous they are. How awesome would it be to peruse a shop like that? Soon enough we won’t have to just dream of visiting the shops in France, because…
In 2014, Maille will be opening North America’s only Maille Mustard Boutique in a secret location somewhere in Canada. That’s pretty exciting! The boutique will give us the opportunity to purchase some of the more unique Maille flavours that are not currently available in local grocery stores. The exact location for the boutique launch won’t be revealed for a while, but Canadian fans of Maille Mustard will be able to find out more on the Maille Canada Facebook page.
I’m hoping the boutique will be in Toronto, so I can visit it often!
Oh, speaking of Toronto, Maille’s Summer Tasting Tour will be in the city from July 27th – August 25th. The company ‘s product manager, Marie-Eve Brunet, says “mustards are one of the most popular condiments in the world, and we are eager to give our Toronto fans the opportunity to try the unique tastes and flavours of Maille mustards.”
Why is this French company so interested in Canada? Well, maybe it’s because Canada is the world’s leading exporter of mustard seeds, producing between 140,000-300,000 tonnes of mustard seed each year – much of it from Alberta (Source: Canadian Special Crops Association). The Summer Tasting Tour has already been to Calgary and Vancouver, but for details of the Toronto tour, please scroll to the bottom of this post.
So, has all that mustard talk made you hungry yet? If so, here’s a yummy recipe for you.
- 450g elbow macaroni pasta
- 1 stick (4 oz) butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup flour
- 1 tsp dried thyme, divided in half
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 4 cups 2% milk
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons Maille Au Vin Blanc mustard
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
- 8 ounces Monterrey jack cheese, grated
- Salt & pepper (to taste)
- 3 lobster tails, cooked and shelled
- 2 cups Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Drop the pasta into boiling, salted, water and cook until almost tender, about 8 minutes. Do not fully cook the pasta; it should have just a touch of firmness when tested. Drain well.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add garlic, and cook for a few minutes until it softens.
- Add the flour and ½ tsp of thyme, stir with a wooden spoon until a smooth paste forms.
- Continue cooking for a few more minutes, to cook out the "raw" flavour of the flour.
- Slowly stir in the wine and continue mixing until smooth, then add both milks, mixing well again. Whisk the mixture until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Add the paprika, mustard, cayenne, salt, pepper and cheeses and stir until melted.
- Roughly chop lobster meat and add to the cheese mixture along with the pasta. Stir well to combine, and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Pour into a 9-inch by 13-inch ovenproof casserole or similar dish.
- Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and remaining ½ tsp of thyme.
- Bake until the mixture is heated through and the breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Maille Summer Tasting Tour Details – Toronto (quoted from Press Release)
Mustard fans will have the chance to taste traditional favourites and some new offerings at Parisian-styled “mustard cafes” hosted by suave Maille Mustard hosts and hostesses. Modeled after the Maille Boutique in Place de la Madeleine in Paris, the Maille Tasting Tour will feature mustard tastings in a cafe-type setting, complete with the iconic Parisian-style advertising columns common throughout the famous capital of France.
The Maille Tasting Tours will showcase:
– Maille Dijon Originale (creamy texture, spicy taste)
– Maille Old Style (with crunchy whole grain mustard seeds)
– Maille Honey Dijon (the sweet-spicy mix of honey and authentic Dijon mustard)
Sampler nibbles of Maille Mustards will be smeared on organic pretzels, along with a choice of Maille Crunchy Gherkins and Maille Crunchy Mild Gherkins (petite, crunchy, tart, French pickles). Seasonal recipes from Maille, along with a high-value product coupon, will be available for take-away.
Select Locations in Toronto:
- Shops at Don Mills (July 27 and July 28)
- First Canadian Place (August 8 and August 9)
- Union Station (August 15 and August 16)
- Buskerfest – College and Yonge St. (August 22, August 23, August 24 and August 25th)
To learn more about the Maille boutiques in France, visit: http://www.maille.com.
The sauce for this mac and cheese is delicious! Let me know if you try it out.
Disclosure and Copyright: This is not a sponsored post. I obtained the Au Vin Blanc mustard using a free-product coupon from Maille, but did not receive any other financial compensation. The original Maille illustrations were provided by Maille, and I am using them with their permission. All photographs belong to me and may not be used without my permission.