Shopping at the Maille boutique in Paris: Is it caviar or mustard?

"Caviar or mustard?" Fall/Winter Maille's limited edition collection 2011/2012

Normally the thought of shopping for condiments doesn't excite me, but when Stephane mentioned that we were out of mustard I jumped on the task of replenishing our supply because it meant that I finally had a reason to visit the Maille boutique near the Madeleine Church. Even though I've peeked through the window when the store was closed, I had no idea that the shelves would be stocked with such an overwhelming array. Pistachio and orange, dried apricot and curry, grilled onion and wild thyme -- who knew that mustard could come in so many enticing flavors? Evidently the American woman behind me in line felt the same way because when an unintentional "Wow!" escaped from her lips, I turned and agreed that I had never imagined such a wealth of mustard. For someone who grew up in the land where French's ruled supreme, this was a culinary revelation.



After sampling the three different types of mustard that are "on tap" and sold in refillable pots, I took 200 grams of white wine vinegar and the traditional Burgundy Chardonnay whole grain mustard. When the pots are empty, I'll simply wash them and take them back to the Maille boutique for a refill. I love it when something is delicious and environmentally friendly, too!


Deciding on the two types of mustard in the pots was easy because I could taste them. Choosing four small jars to to put in gift boxes turned out to be more of a challenge, so I asked the saleswoman for some help in selecting from amongst the more than 30 different flavors. When I asked for their most popular ones, she proposed the fig and coriander with lamb chops and pork dishes, the dried tomato and Espelette pepper with red meat and fish, the green herbs with fish, and the blue cheese with red meat.

Gift boxes for the mustard lover in your life.

In addition to more than 30 different kinds of mustard, the boutique also has a large selection of their other products, including oil, vinegar and pickles.

Maille Boutique
6 place de la Madeleine
75008 Paris
Metro: Madeleine


Comments

  1. First, is Paris that warm right now? People are in short sleeves!

    The caviar vs mustard display is very clever, and I like how your photo gives us a quizzical look at the imagery.

    Doesn't Maille produce a honey also? Oh, and interesting that the same mustard is recommended for both red meat and fish.

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  2. Joseph - it's more than warm right now - it's hot, at least for Paris. It was 82 F today and I felt like I was melting in town this afternoon. People were sunbathing in the Jardin du Palais Royale.

    I agree that the "caviar or mustard" is a clever marketing campaign, although it took me a couple of minutes to figure out why the mustard was on ice.

    And Maille has something even better than honey mustard. They have "Gingerbread and Chestnut Honey" that they say "contrasts sharply with the mustard to form an ideal accompaniment to salmon, tender pork cuts, etc."

    I also thought that it's interesting that the Dried Tomato and Espelette Pepper is used on red meat and on fish but they say it's "To enjoy red on red (beef skewers), red on white (grilled fish) or simply red (as a marinade)". I think that you would like reading all of the different descriptions and the corresponding recommendations.

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  3. Honestly, if I didn't have commitments, I'd be on a plane to Paris this weekend. Your blog has just created an itch, and this one--the weather, the culinary adventure, I'm ready.

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  4. Mary Kay, check out this link.

    http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/27/lumiere-the-louvre-less-traveled/#preview

    Have you done a Louvre story?

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  5. But which one do they recommend for hot dogs?

    :-D

    Really, I want that pistachio mustard. Must buy some when I am there in December!
    -Maddietravel

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  6. Joseph, What are commitments when you could be enjoying the sun and sipping wine at a cafe in Paris. And did I mention that it's the start of fashion week?

    Thanks for the link for the NYT article. I haven't done a Louvre story because I haven't ever been inside. (I know! Hard to believe, isn't it!). I've been saving it for the rainy days which haven't arrived yet.

    Did you recognize the author's name? Elaine Sciolino wrote the book that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago about La Seduction: How the French Play the Game of Life. Click on her name on the NYT website and you'll see other articles that she has written about Paris.

    Maddie, LOL! Hmmm, I just looked at the Maille brochure and didn't see any recommendations for "le hot dog" - it seems as if French's is still THE way to go, unless you want to jazz it up with a Coconut and Colombo Spices or a Prune Armagnac mustard! Doesn't that sound appetizing, especially when topped with pickle relish, onions and ketchup! ;-)

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  7. Ketchup? On a hot dog? In Chicago that will get you removed from the premises. REally.

    I didn't catch the connection with E. Sciolino. I have to get her book, don't I?

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  8. I have fond memories of Chicago hot dogs, but I must have been going to the wrong place because I never got kicked out when I asked for ketchup. Maybe they realized that I didn't know any better! Hot dogs are one of THE foods that I always have to eat while I'm in the States.

    We should both get the E. Sciolino book.

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