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Why would a recipe specify Dijon mustard?

Is there some kind of chemistry that is specific to Dijon mustard, or is it just the taste? What would be the best substitute for Dijon? We have many mustards, both commercial and home made, but the resident mustard maven does not like Dijon!

asked by susan g almost 4 years ago
28 answers 31685 views
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pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 4 years ago

Yes, it is the taste. And digjon is on the spicier side but you can amp it up even higher if you want. But I wouldn't subsitute something like French's yellow mustard. There is a spectrum of flavor so you have to find the one that suits you, maybe one of those pebbly seed ones.

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sexyLAMBCHOPx

sexyLAMBCHOPx is a trusted home cook.

added almost 4 years ago

I love French's mustard on a simple sammie. I must hae some 8 ( counted) mustards lingering in the cupboard) and they each have their place!

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added almost 4 years ago



Pierino is right on the money as usual. It's all about personal taste. I'm in neither the Dijon nor the French's camp myself. Guldens is a great alternative for both, center ground so to speak. Or Inglehoffer stone ground when you want some texture.


516f887e 3787 460a bf21 d20ef4195109  bigpan
added almost 4 years ago

Dijon is mustard, French's is yellow "something".

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 4 years ago

The "something" is vinegar, water, mustard seed, salt, turmeric, paprika and garlic. Pretty similar to Dijon mustard, but in different proportions.
No need to be snooty.

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sexyLAMBCHOPx

sexyLAMBCHOPx is a trusted home cook.

added almost 4 years ago

Boo!, bigpan. : )

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added almost 4 years ago

Dijon is by definition a preparation of mustard with white wine, is my understanding. I don't much care for dijon on a sandwich, but it is the 'right' thing for salad dressing (the "pebbly kind", in my opinion). Gulden's spicy brown (hello sandwich!) is prepared exclusively with vinegar. Gulden's being spicy, and dijon not-so-much, maybe the wine mellows the heat? I think even the yellow stuff has it's place (I do not like cheetos, but yellow mustard on ballpark pretzels? Now we are talking my language of junk-food). My husband claims to have fallen in love with me because I had so many different types of mustard in my fridge. And I took that as high praise.

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pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 4 years ago

Indeed yellow mustard is also essential to the Chicago style hot dog, along with bright green relish and sport peppers. Ketchup is forbidden.

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sexyLAMBCHOPx

sexyLAMBCHOPx is a trusted home cook.

added almost 4 years ago

Yellow mustard on a NY hot dog (with ketchup) is my favorite! I agree with you 100% TFE, thats why I hae so many mustards. Variety is the spice of life!

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added almost 4 years ago

Oh, and to the resident mustard maven – it may be worth trying whole grain dijon – it seems to me that its flavor profile is different than creamy dijon. Also, if you haven't tried Maille, it is the best easily accessible French-style mustard – puts the standard American dijon to shame.

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added almost 4 years ago

I agree whole-heartedly. Maille is excellent, but Trader Joe's has an excellent whole-grain Dijon, and their creamy Dijon is a lot more piquant than Grey Poupon. I also like to mix mustards. When I make a tomato tart, I mix whole grain Dijon with a local cherry mustard to brush on the tart shell after it has been blind-baked. Then I fill it with a simple custard of goat cheese, and egg, and some fresh herbs. Top with a confit of tomatoes, and it makes an excellent lunch or appetizer.

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added almost 4 years ago

Mmm, try Ray's Mustard, stone ground way down east in Eastport, Maine. There are all sorts of varieties to try. Zingerman's sells a few of them, as does Whole Foods. Ray's has a web site.

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sexyLAMBCHOPx

sexyLAMBCHOPx is a trusted home cook.

added almost 4 years ago

I'm game to try!

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added almost 4 years ago

very good question indeed! so will you be creating your own???

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added almost 4 years ago

I'm in the Maille camp. I think it exceeds Grey Poupon by miles. And I would also second the suggestion to try the grainier Maille variety, though the smooth stuff is my drug of choice.

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added almost 4 years ago

Because dijon mustard is an amazing taste. And it's very hard to sub it.

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added almost 4 years ago

Raye's. Made in Maine. Buy American.

http://www.rayesmustard...

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added almost 4 years ago

Thanks for all the insights. We are another family with mustards crowding out the food in the fridge, cupboards and pantry, mostly opened, used for a while and then abandoned. And when we were in business we sold many, including Raye's and Marne's Dutch Grained Mustard.
What I hear makes me feel that I have license to sub within wide bounds, and leave the yellow for the ballpark menu, as he already does.

C1aa93d7 c7a4 4560 aa6d 6dca74cc98ca  smokin tokyo
added almost 4 years ago

I have made this mustard from epicurious. After many dirty dishes and hours of prep, it did turn out wonderful--you could customize it. It was a very large batch, but it freezes well in an ice cube tray, so I have that homemade flavor whenever I want.

http://www.epicurious.com...

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sexyLAMBCHOPx

sexyLAMBCHOPx is a trusted home cook.

added almost 4 years ago

bet that would be great on soft baked pretzels...

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added almost 4 years ago

One interesting article I read (cooks illustrated?) mentioned that mustard ages rather rapidly on the store shelf. Its flavor profile is best when its newer. It ages poorly. So when you buy. Look for a date lot that is newest. It loses its pugency before you even open it.

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added almost 4 years ago

Yes, mustard is even more sensitive than dried herbs and spices. Best before 6 months, 1 year tops. Unless you like bland mustard…

C1aa93d7 c7a4 4560 aa6d 6dca74cc98ca  smokin tokyo
added almost 4 years ago

before you even OPEN it????

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added almost 4 years ago

From Cook's Illustrated:
When mustard seeds are ground, an enzyme called myrosinase is released. The myrosinase activates the mustard’s dormant heat-producing chemicals (called glucosinolates), but the addition of acid retards this reaction. So less acid produces a mustard with more heat-producing chemicals. These heat-producing chemicals, however, are volatile and will dissipate over time. For this reason, we recommend checking “use by” dates, buying fresher mustards when possible, and never storing Dijon for more than six months.

C1aa93d7 c7a4 4560 aa6d 6dca74cc98ca  smokin tokyo
added almost 4 years ago

Thank you ChefOno-- very interesting! I wonder if squeeze bottles where less mustard is exposed to air are also under the 6 month rule, seems to have a longer expiration date.

A9f88177 5a41 4b63 8669 9e72eb277c1a  waffle3
added almost 4 years ago


Out of curiosity, at the supermarket today I checked a dozen or more Best By dates on glass jars and plastic bottles over several different brands and could find no correlation between bottle type and dates. My guess is the plastic bottles are more popular therefore sell quicker and are thus fresher. I have every reason to believe CI is correct that it's the pH alone that determines how much heat a formula has and thus how long it's likely to last on the shelf.

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added almost 4 years ago

There actually is a chemistry side of dijon (or any mustard) when it comes to vinaigrettes -- mustard acts as an emulsifier and keeps the oil and acid from separating out. So in the case of a vinaigrette, you can use a different type of mustard than dijon, or you can use another type of emulsifier, which of course will greatly alter the taste: tomato paste, garlic, egg yolk, etc.

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pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 4 years ago

More on Dijon. The mustard is named after the city of Dijon, the capital of Burgandy. But it's not an AOC product. One would think that domestic labels would have to be called "dijonaisse" or something like that. But no. Grey Poupon is manufactured in the US (New Jersey, I think) and Maille is made in Canada. I'm perfectly content to buy the good stuff from the "cheese eating surrender monkeys" on the other side of the Atlantic.
Likewise there really is no such thing as California "champagne". Champagne is a specific region of France.