Mostarda di mele (apple mustard)
by Camilla - foodaroundblog
In the beginning was the Apple. Then came the mustard and Apple turned into Mustard.
It looks like a play on words but the word in Italian “Mustard” has a totally different meaning from the same term in English.
This can cause misunderstanding: if I say mustard in Italian I refer to the product, typical of some areas of northern Italy, made with fruit, sugar and mustard. But why did the same word bounce from Italy, France (moutarde) and England?
The word mustard comes from the Latin, mustum ardens, which means hot wort. An expression that dates back to 1288 to indicate a type of culinary preparation which, thanks to the use of mustard seeds, allows to better preserve perishable products such as fruit. Initially these conserves cheered the tables of noble families, then, in 1600, also farming families began to make extensive use of this preparation, especially around the Christmas period.
In Mantua, the city where I come from, Apple Mostarda is very famous and used as an accompaniment in cold cuts or in combination with cheese.
The preparation is not difficult even though a little laborious as it requires a long time to rest between a step and the other before putting in to jars. In Italy you buy the essence of mustard in the pharmacy but I saw that, being a product also used in Indian cuisine, you can also find it in stores specialized in these products.
1 kg of peeled apples
500 grams of sugar
12-14 drops of essence of mustard
The fruit is washed, peeled, sliced and macerated for 24 hours with lemon and sugar. During maceration, a syrup is formed and then filtered, collected, brought to a boil and poured, again, on the fruit. This operation must be repeated for 2/3 consecutive days. Once finished the steps you should boil the fruit and juice together, for about 20 minutes.
Left to cool, add the mustard oil and put the product in glass jars. The aromatic intensity given by mustard decreases naturally with the passage of time even without opening the jar. A constant in this recipe is rest. The fruit always rests between a step and the other and also the mustard in jars will need a period of rest before being consumed.