Mustard used to be really big in the 90s. (Or was it just me?) My favorite was honey mustard. Honey mustard pretzels, honey mustard dressing, honey mustard ham. Mustard possesses a volatile pungency that tickles you in the nose, while honey plays the foil. Honey lingers when mustard lifts, smooths when mustard prickles.
We all have our flavor crutches and nowadays I'm more prone to using fermented tofu, fish sauce, chipotle, or 5-spice powder than mustard in my foods. But mustard still has a soft and spicy place in my heart. It is essential with braised leeks or rabbit. Lavishly spread on salmon, it makes an easy dinner for a drop-in guest. It plays a silent role in vinagrettes, binding with its secret emulsifying properties.
So, 15 years after my mustard hey-day, I decided to revisit the condiment of my youth. Here, maple syrup subs in for honey. You must use a heady Grade B maple syrup, or the soul (of not the sweetness) will be obliterated. I also used the Vitamix on the highest of high speeds, to take advantage of mustard's champion emulification abilities. If you whip it hard enough, a mustard can be light, more towards the feathery qualities of a mayonnaise or meringue.
The resulting condiment is exotic and luxurious, though of course it is in fact neither of those.
Soak 3 1/2 ounces of mustard seeds in 1/2 cup white wine vinegar overnight. I used 75% black mustard because my aunt Emilienne gave me a lot. But white mustard seeds are fine and in fact have more mucilage in their seedcoat for greater stabilization and emulisification potential.
Vitamix the seeds with 2 teaspoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon Grade B maple Syrup. Transfer to jar or serve right away.