Mustard seeds have been cultivated in China and the Indus Valley since 4000 BC and mustard–made from mixing mustard seeds and vinegar–has been around since Ancient Rome. The first recipe for mustard appears in a Roman cookbook from the fourth or fifth century called “De Re Coquinaria”, which translates to “On the Subject of Cooking”. In the recipe, the mustard is made with mustard seeds, pepper, honey, vinegar, and an assortment of herbs.
Mustard first came to Paris in the 10th century, when the monks of Saint Germain des Pres began using imported mustard seeds to create their own concoction. By the 13th century, the city of Dijon had become a mustard hub, and it remains the mustard capital of the world, along with the French city of Meaux.
Mustard has been beloved by France since the 14th century, when the government first introduced regulations for mustard recipes. Throughout history, popes and kings have even appointed their own mustard-makers, but the condiment was enjoyed by royals and commoners alike.
While France is most famous for Dijon-style mustard, you can also find whole-grain mustard and honey mustard along with other various flavors, styles, and variations that are unique to France.
Below, we’ve rounded up the best French mustards, from familiar favorites to hard-to-find boutique brands.
Sold in an iconic stoneware jar, Pommery’s Moutarde de Meaux has been made in the city of Meaux since the 1700s. Pommery’s original mustard is a grainy, stone-ground mustard that has a richer and deeper flavor than Dijon. In addition to their traditional recipe, Pommery also has variations made with ingredients like honey, cognac, fig, truffle, or green peppercorn. There is also a more finely ground version, called “fine” that’s a traditional Dijon.
Where to find it: While you can sometimes find Pommery at grocery stores, you can order it from specialty stores, you can order it directly from www.moutarde-de-meaux.com
Spicy and tangy, Bornier is a traditional Dijon mustard, made in France for over 200 years. There are three varieties: original, a smooth, creamy Dijon; whole grain, packed with crunchy mustard seeds; and honey mustard, made with 10% honey. The Dijon and whole grain varieties also have organic versions.
Where to find it: All Bornier varieties can be found on Amazon, and you’ll be able to find the organic versions at grocery stores like Whole Foods.
Arguably the most famous French mustard brand, Maille has been around for centuries, selling vinegar and mustard in storefronts in Paris and Dijon. Today, you’ll likely be able to find Maille’s most common versions–Dijon and Whole Grain–in your local gourmet grocery store, but in France you’ll be able to find versions made with truffles, grilled onions, walnuts, pesto, black currants, and more.
Where to find it: Visit your local grocery store, order online from Amazon, or stop by a Maille boutique in Bordeaux, Paris, Dijon, Melbourne, or London
An offshoot of the Maille brand, Amora mustard is one of the most popular mustards in France, found in nearly every kitchen. With the tagline “fine et forte” it’s much spicier than a regular Dijon–and you can even find the “extra forte” version, a rich and spicy condiment that will make your sinuses tingle. While brands like Maille and Pommery come in beautiful bottles with beautiful labels (and the price tags to match), Amora is a more minimalist design and can be found in French grocery stores for under €2.
Where to find it: Amora is supremely easy to find in any market in France, and you can find them in some supermarkets in England.
Edmond Fallot has been crafting world-class French mustard at their family-run mustard mill in Burgundy since 1840. Today, the business sells vinegar, relish, and mustard in plenty of varieties and flavors. Edmond Fallot’s traditional mustards are a creamy Dijon-style mustard and a whole grain variety made with whole mustard seeds. In addition, specialty flavors include walnut, basil, honey, fig, and more.
Where to find it: You can find the original Dijon and whole grain styles at gourmet shops around the country, or order one of the specialty flavors from Amazon. You can also visit the Edmond Fallot boutiques in Beaune and Dijon.
This mustard from one of France’s oldest family-run truffle houses in France is rare, luxurious, and quite hard to find. Since 1897, Maison Pebeyre has earned a reputation for quality truffles, shipping their exquisite products all over the world. Using their world-class truffles, Maison Pebeyre has created a suite of gourmet products, including white truffle oil, truffle mayonnaise, truffle salt, truffle honey, and their famous truffle mustard.
Where to find it: Your best bet for finding a jar of Maison Pebeyre’s truffle Dijon in the wild is to visit a local gourmet shop that specializes in French products.