Which of these Dijons cuts the mustard with chef Glenys Morgan: French’s, President’s Choice or Western Family?
The bright yellow condiment commonly used for hotdogs is too colourful (from the turmeric) and vinegary to cut the mustard with foodies. Mustard seed is grown in abundance in Canada and is even shipped to France, where they concoct the famous Dijon mustard using French wine vinegar. Dijon mustard needn’t be hot, but it can be.
Of our three samples, Western Family was relegated to the back of the fridge. Frankly, eyes closed, it tasted exactly like yellow ballpark mustard. The President’s Choice brand was a great bargain version of the simple and elegant Grey-Poupon but surprisingly with a bit more personality. But if I were tucking into classic bistro fare—a steak and pommes frîtes—I’d use the French’s Original Dijon. There’s a hint of heat and a complex whole grain mustard flavour but with a rich, smooth texture. Très bon.
Try This French Classic: Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
Lemon juice is a brighter but softer acid compared to robust vinegars and tames nicely with even a simple oil. This dressing is endlessly versatile on soft greens like tender butter lettuce, crisp-cooked green beans, asparagus or on a ripe avocado.
Juice of a large lemon
2 tsp sugar or honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
6 tbsp light flavoured olive oil (or grapeseed, canola, sunflower)
Salt and pepper
Whisk together the lemon juice, sugar and mustard, dissolving the sugar. Add the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Whisk again and adjust the salt, adding freshly milled pepper to taste. The dressing should have a lovely sweet and sour balance.
Some quick tips: For a richer olive oil flavour, substitute a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil; adjust the sweet or mustardy nuance to your taste or the salad your making; mince the white part of two green onions and blend into the mixture for a soft oniony flavour. Delicious.
French’s Original DijonMustard, $3.19 for 325ml at Safeway; President’s Choice Dijon Mustard, $5.79 for 500ml at Super Valu; Western Family Dijon Mustard, $3/99 for 375 ml at Save-On-Foods.
Photo: C. Phaisalakani