It’s not a mustard and not a jam! So then what is it??
Mostardas are a Northern Italian condiment, combining the best of two worlds—candied fruit and mustard flavored syrup, to create a mouthwatering and versatile additions to your next recipes or cheese plates. Although the existence of mustard is slight in this prominently sweet topping, the presence of it adds to its unique flavor by contributing an extra kick. Traditionally served with meat, use of mostardas have now expanded often accompanying many cheeses and pastries as well.
The word mostarda derives from the French “moustarde”. This leads back to Mout Ardent, which was created by adding mustard seed to grape must and reducing it to a spreadable condiment. The fruits primarily used in making mostardas include mangoes, pears, apples, figs, plums, peaches, and dried fruits like apricots and cherries.
Although it is enjoyed year-round, the peak time to use mostardas are in the fall. Why? Because that is when we turn our attention away from light, summery snacks to heartier, meatier meals. A mostarda is the perfect pairing to roasted meats and game, taking the place of heavier gravies and sauces. However, this fun and fruity spread is not just reserved for meat! Mostardas are often enjoyed atop greens or a salad, combined with a light dressing such as aged Balsamic Vinegar. Additionally, mostardas can be enjoyed with appetizers such as a cheese plate consisting of, but not limited to Parmigiano- Reggiano and goat cheeses as well as your charcuterie of choice. Mangia!