Word of Mouth: Mostarda

Mostarda, noun: A traditional northern Italian sauce or condiment made of candied fruits flavored and preserved with mustard seed.

Mustard seeds?! Fruit and mustard might sound like a strange duo, but wait until you hear how it's used!Mostarda isn't really a sweet dish. Think of it more like a relish or a chutney, and it makes sense that you'd pair its sweet-sour flavor with boiled and roasted meats, cheese platters, and other savory dishes.

Any number of fruits can be used to make mostarda. Most often, you'll find grapes, small green apples, quince, pears, and oranges. These are boiled together with sugar and mustard until the fruits break down into soft preserves and the liquid becomes jelly-like. At this point, mostarda can be canned or it can be stored in the fridge for several weeks.

If you don't want to make it yourself, look for jars at any gourmet food shop that imports Italian products.

Here are a few recipes to tempt you!

Traditional Mostarda from the Boston Globe
Dried Apricot and Cherry Mostarda from Food & Wine
Roasted Pork with Mostarda from The Bitten Word
Escarole and Bean Crostini with Mostarda from Epicurious

Have you ever had mostarda?

Related: Which Edible Souvenirs Travel Well?

(Image: iGourmet)

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