For months, we’ve been scouring the supermarket shelves in search of something, anything, that bears a faint resemblance to French mustard. But where the jars and tubes used to sit – between the mayonnaise and the ketchup – there is nothing but empty shelves. La pénurie is a word we hear a lot now: shortage. And so, we whisk our salad vinaigrette, eat our baguette ham sandwiches and grilled sausages sans moutarde, but it’s just not the same. France is the largest consumer of mustard in the world.
What’s going on in Dijon?, was my first enquiry. Are the mustard workers on strike?
It turns out that Canada, which supplies 80 per cent of mustard seeds processed in France, was faced with a major drought last year in the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.