Fisherman’s Mustard

Moutarde du Pêcheur

My parents took a short vacation to Brittany a few weeks ago, to Carnac-Of-The-Many-Happy-Childhood-Memories, and to Belle-Île, a breathtakingly beautiful island (or so I’m told) a few miles off the Atlantic coast, where a dear friend of theirs now lives.

Brittany, as I’ve mentioned before, is home to dozens of yummilicious food specialties, and one of the souvenirs they ever-so-kindly brought me back is this little jar of Moutarde du Pêcheur (translated on the label into a straightforward “The Mustard of the Fisherman”), a mustard flavored with seaweed and salicornes from Guérande.

Salicornes (glasswort in English) are these wild little plants that grow in salt marshes. They are hand-picked at the beginning of the summer, to be pickled in vinegar and enjoyed as a condiment or in salads. They look like tiny branches of an army green shade, and their texture and taste are a bit like those of seaweed, but they belong in fact to the succulent plant category.

I was happy to learn on this occasion that before it got to mean “tasty”, the word succulent simply meant “full of juice”, or in the case of a plant “having fleshy tissues that conserve moisture”. So next time, before you say “Hmm, that roast chicken is succulent!”, think for a moment and maybe opt to say instead “Hmm, that roast chicken has fleshy tissues that conserve moisture!”. See how pleased your mother-in-law will be.

So far this pretty freckled mustard, chock-full of iodine flavors, has successfully served as a condiment with fish (well of course) and also mixed with tuna for a quick yet fabulous sandwich spread. The label’s other suggestions include using it with grilled meats, in papillottes, in salads or to make mayonnaise.

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