If you thought buying Maille mustard was just about choosing between smooth Dijon or seeded, it’s time to think again. Last week the French, premium-mustard brand unveiled its first Sydney outlet as a boutique mustard stand inside Ritchies IGA in Mosman. One of only five Maille boutiques (you can find the others in Dijon and Paris in France, as well as London and Melbourne), the recent Sydney opening is what the brand calls a shop-in-shop experience.
For the opening, professional mustard sommelier Elodie Charlotte-Cleria was on hand to explain the history of Maille – including its beginnings as a cosmetic, medicinal and antiseptic vinegar purveyor in 1720 Versailles – and to share tasting notes and mustard advice beyond the usual pairing with red meat.
“There’s a way to taste mustard,” says Charlotte-Cleria. “Always start with the mildest one, the sweetest one and then work your way to the most powerful.” At the shop-in-shop Maille representatives offer advice and tastings of mustard flavours including blue cheese, blackcurrant liqueur, cognac and mango with Thai spice. But it’s the lever-style mustard pumps that take the mustard experience to the next level.
“It is never more than 15 days old,” says Charlotte-Cleria. “Mustard loses its pungency over time, so these ones [from the pump] are a lot more spicy, hot and alive.” On tap you will find Chablis and Sauternes Maille mustard, with stoneware pots of fresh mustard costing $24.99–$29.99, and you can bring your pot back for a $12.50–$14.99 refill depending on the mustard going in.
“The stoneware pot has special properties that help to keep the mustard fresh. It keeps out the light and keeps it cool,” says Charlotte-Cleria. You might even catch a glimpse of the exclusive black-truffle mustard … even if there are only six pots in Australia.
La Maison Maille Boutique
Ritchies IGA, Bridgepoint Shopping Centre, Brady Street, Spit Junction, Mosman
(02) 9968 1435
Mon to Fri 7am–9pm