Can I Substitute Mustard for Moutarde de Meaux?

by Tricia Ballad

Yellow mustard is not a good substitute for Moutarde de Meaux.

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Moutarde de Meaux is the flagship mustard manufactured and sold by Pommery, a French food company. While it is widely available in France and some parts of the world, it can be difficult to find outside the large metropolitan areas in the United States. If you cannot get true Pommery Moutarde de Meaux, there are several mustards that mimic the flavors and textures of this classic French mustard.

Characteristics of Moutarde de Meaux

Moutarde de Meaux is a minimally processed mustard made from brown or black mustard seeds, wine or vinegar, spices and salt. The seeds and spices are ground very roughly, leaving some of the whole mustard seeds intact. The finished product is slightly spicy, with a rustic, chewy texture.

Mustard Substitutes

If you cannot find true Pommery Moutarde de Meaux, you can perform a quick substitute any whole grain dijon-style mustard. It will not have the exact flavor profile of the original, but it will have the same texture.

Avoid German whole grain mustards. They are significantly spicier than Moutarde de Meaux and will overwhelm a recipe designed for the milder French mustard.

Homemade Substitutes

Moutarde de Meaux is a simple condiment that does not require specialized equipment or ingredients to replicate. Submerge equal parts brown and black mustard seeds in a mixture of one part dry white wine and one part white wine vinegar. Let the seeds soak for two days to soften and absorb the flavors of the liquid.

Pour the mixture into a food processor or a blender and process until it forms a thick paste, leaving a few seeds whole. Season to taste with salt. Store the finished mustard in the refrigerator for two days before use.

It Doesn't Cut the Mustard

Mustard is a very general term that encompasses several very different condiments. Ballpark, or yellow, mustard is tart, spicy and creamy. Its flavor profile is very different from the mellow crunchiness of Moutarde de Meaux, making it a poor substitute.

Regular dijon mustard has a similar heat level and wine flavors as Moutarde de Meaux, but it lacks the whole grain texture of the original. You could use dijon mustard in a sauce recipe if you added a small handful of whole mustard seeds for texture.

German whole grain mustards have the correct texture, but are far more robust than Moutarde de Meaux. They would overwhelm most recipes that call for the French mustard, although you could substitute a German mustard for dipping, sandwiches, or as a seasoning on a roast. Use this only on dishes that can stand up to the stronger flavor.

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About the Author

Tricia Ballad is a writer, author and project geek. She has written several books including two novels, teaches classes on goal setting and project planning for writers, and loves to cook in her spare time. She is living proof that you can earn a living with a degree in creative writing.