Dijon is known for its importance to the French wine industry, but it’s also known for another culinary product – mustard. The region’s fertile land and abundant grapevines (pressing unripe grapes produces key ingredient verjuice) is prime for mustard production, By the 14th century, Dijon had acquired significant fame for its batches. So famed was Dijon mustard that the Burgundian court included the pungent condiment in all of its banquets. Like French wine, mustard production soon fell under appellation standards. In the 17th century, a vinegar-and-mustard-producers guild regulated quality, and the Dijon mustard industry soon boomed.
In the wake of World War II, however, Dijon’s mustard producers dropped from 38 to 12. In modern times, French mustard-makers number nine, but five of these are headquartered in or near Dijon.
Of course, Dijon mustard, at least in America, is synonymous with Grey Poupon, the world-famous mustard producer that associated the spicy sandwich spread with genteel characters lunching in Rolls Royces. However, the Musée de la Moutard (Museum of Mustard) is actually found in the Amora Mustard factory. The Amora Museum (as the Musée de la Moutard is better known), traces the city's links with mustard, paying particular attention to the Amora label and the innovative marketing campaigns have kept the brand alive today.
Tours of the Musée de la Moutarde are given on Wednesday and Saturday and it is recommended to book tours in advance. Mustard fans will also want to visit the Boutique Maille, an 18th-century mustard company store that offers mustards unavailable anywhere else in the world.