Mustard has been one of the symbols of the Burgundy region since Antiquity. In 2009, the “Mustard of Burgundy” received the “Protected Geographical Indication” designation (PGI). But what makes the “Mustard of Burgundy” so special?

The Origin of Mustard

The production of mustard started during Antiquity as an alternative to spices. At that time mustard was a mix between mustard seed and vinegar. This first texture exists today in the so-called mustard ”à l’ancienne”. In the Middle Ages, people from Burgundy were the official producers of the condiment for the royal court. During the XVIIth century, mustard producers organized themselves into two corporations in two towns of Burgundy (Dijon and Beaune). They established standards of quality and imposed fines on people who did not respect them.

Black mustard seeds

Black mustard seeds

Until the industrialization of the production process in 1850, mustard was made by artisans in small workshops and with very low productivity (39lb/man/day). The first industrial process was developed in 1931 by a French man who studied in the United States. In 1953, he also introduced the first glass packaging that could be re-used as drinking glasses.

What is the Fifference between Mustard of Dijon and Mustard of Burgundy

The “Mustard of Dijon” is a generic designation. It only describes a kind of product and a method of production. Whereas the “Mustard of Burgundy” is a “Protected Geographical Indication” designation; it assures that all the ingredients are from Burgundy and that the method of production is traditional.


Dijon mustard


The two main ingredients: white wine and mustard seeds have to be produced in Burgundy. To obtain a perfect mustard seed (a minimum weight of 0.078 oz, 9% of lipid, 24% of dry extract), the plant needs to receive at least 14,500 hours of sun, a little water and be cultivated on brown acid soil or podzolic soil. These conditions of production explain why the area of production is small (6,570,532 ac) and why the “Burgundy Mustard” is so special.


Panoramic view of the city of Dijon, France


What to Cook with Mustard? Rabbit in Mustard Sauce

  • 1 rabbit
  • 2.5 cups of white wine
  • Mustard of Burgundy
  • Crème fraiche
  • 2 carrots
  • Olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, 3 leaves of laurels, parsley, a fresh branch of thyme
  • salt, pepper, a cube of sugar

Cut the rabbit into pieces and cover it with mustard. Brown the pieces in a little oil.

Boil 2.5 cups of white wine with garlic cut into small pieces, laurel, thyme, sliced carrots and a cube of sugar.

Remove rabbit pieces and keep warm. Add a little oil and brown the sliced shallots. Add the rabbit and pour over warm white wine. Add salt and pepper and let simmer for 1 hour.

In a bowl, mix the cream, chopped parsley and a tablespoon of mustard. When cooked, place the rabbit pieces on a serving dish and sprinkle with parsley.

Strain the cooking juices and stir in the cream and mustard. Cook 1 minute without boiling and pour the sauce over the rabbit pieces.