Over the years, cooking for friends and family, reviewing restaurants and spending a ton of time in professional kitchens, I've come to realize that quality ingredients make all the difference.
This might seem obvious, but how many times have you reached for a no name product because you hadn't tried the name brand version, so who's to say it's better than the other? And sometimes you take a leap of faith and the brand doesn't live up to your expectations or the hype.
But sometimes you come across a brand that you can count on, no matter what they make. You just know it's going to be top-notch.
I'm here to tell you that Maille is one such brand. It's funny that I'd never tried it before at home. Maybe I thought it was too One of the oldest and well-known brands in France is available at most major Canadian supermarkets, retail stores and fine grocery stores across Canada, all at a price that you can afford.
Their dijon mustards, made from an ancient family recipe, are still crafted in Dijon, Burgundy. The difference between theirs and most commercials mustards? They take the time to cut, not crush, the mustard seeds, which creates not only a better texture, but better flavour, both on the plate and palate. You'll notice the difference whether you're simply topping your hot dog or doing something a little more refines like Maille Dijon Sauce Over Lamb Chops.
I love adding mustard to my vinaigrettes and sauces and if you haven't already, add it to your tuna and potato salads and see how it completely transforms the dish. I recommend keeping both Maille A l'Ancienne Old Style Mustard and Maille Dijon Originale Mustard on hand, so that you've always got a smooth and grainy one to choose from (At home, I use the grainy one on my salmon or steak and in my potato salads, the smooth one in dressings and sauces).
But perhaps what surprised me the most about the brand were the Maille Mini & Crunchy Gherkins. Not only are they addictive, they come with a tiny little plastic basket that you raise. This allows you to get the cornichons without having to dip your fingers into the brine. Taking the innovative design one step further, there is a little hook that allows you to hinge it onto the rim of the jar, so that you and your guests can enjoy them, while the seeds and liquid remain at the bottom. Amazing. You'd better believe these are now a pantry staple of mine. In fact, I think I'll get two next time I'm at the store. They're so delicious, who am I kidding when I tell myself they'll last all week.
Go get yourself a bunch of Maille. Barbecue season just got a little more exciting.