How about some lovely Tuber melanosporum on that hot dog?

Posted on Fri Feb 13 2009


A company with the memorable (if slightly pestiferous-sounding) name of FungusAmongUs has just introduced Truffle Mustard to domestic grocery shelves. And hats off (or is it socks off?) to them; our bet is that the indulgent, earthy taste of truffles—an exotic and highly prized subterranean cousin of the mushroom—is indeed a fine complement to the flavor of mustard. Lest it feel a bit gimmicky to dress up workaday mustard with an high-class ingredient, let the record reflect that this is not the first time it's been done. The Grey Poupon folks pulled it off famously back in the 1980s.
  Aw, c'mon, you remember those commercials. The two chauffeur-driven Rolls Royces stopped at the intersection with one ascot-wearing snoot inquiring of the other, "Pardon me, but do you have any Grey Poupon?" (Answer: "But of course.") Grey Poupon, a unit of Kraft Foods since 2000, is reportedly now the top-selling Dijon mustard brand in the U.S., and it all started with a simple line from those old ads: "Grey Poupon is so fine," said the commentator (his name was probably Alastair), "it's even made with white wine." Never mind that there are white wines cheap enough to wash your car with, the idea of splashing a little Sauvignon blanc into mustard felt impossibly exotic at the time.
  It's anyone's guess whether truffles will work the same kind of marketing magic for mustard, but their culinary cachet is beyond question. In 2007, a 3.3-pound truffle, among the largest unearthed to date, sold at auction for $330,000. That's a pricey fungus. Meanwhile, a 3.15-ounce bottle of Truffle Mustard can be yours for just $16.75.

—Posted by Robert Klara



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