This is Highly Recommend, a column dedicated to what people in the food industry are obsessed with eating, drinking, and buying right now.
I’m a bit of a Goldilocks when it comes to mustard. I’ve always loved the notion of whole-grain mustard, but I find the texture to be slimy and off-putting. I adore the heat and spreadability of a uniformly smooth Dijon, but sometimes find it to be a bit…unnervingly smooth. But Maille Rich Country Dijon mustard? It’s juuuuust right: silky and soft, with just the right ratio of pungent mustard seeds peppered throughout. You could probably make your own, with a 75 percent smooth and 25 percent whole-grain ratio, which is probably exactly what the company does to make it. But you don’t have to! Because Maille did it for you, and put it in a jar, and gave it a sick name, and put it on shelves, and now I’m writing about how awesome it is, and you’re reading it.
But, yeah: I mostly love Rich Country because…it’s called Rich Country, which I’m sure you’ll agree is a pretty unnecessarily epic name for a condiment. It sounds like the next great Rick Ross album. Or a Keith Urban-themed Southern waterpark. Or a new bourbon endorsed by a retired pro-wrestler. But it’s not! It’s mustard. And it’s helped to clarify for me that I want my condiments to do more than simply enhance the taste of food I’m preparing—I want them to enhance my life, to spark joy every time I pull them out of the fridge. Indeed, every time I reach for my new favorite mustard, I can’t help but whisper the name aloud as if I were starring in a commercial for it—R-r-r-r-iiiiiiich Coooooountry—and laugh out loud while I’m making lunch. (This could be the quarantine brain talking, but still. It’s the little things, people.)
Anywho, this mustard is perfect—exactly what I want to perk up a salad dressing, lend some oomph to a turkey sandwich, or serve as a condiment alongside a dinner of sausages and sauerkraut. Sweet, salty, sour, and spicy, it’s already secured a coveted spot in my Desert Island Condiment Hall of Fame, right up there with Heinz ketchup and Hellmann’s mayo. And while I’m sure that the next time I go to the grocery store, I’ll probably find it surrounded by any number of comparable products, I refuse to accept any substitute. It’s Rich Country—R-r-r-r-iiiiiiich Coooooountry—or nothing for me from here on out.
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