Friday, January 27, 2017

Mostarda Ala Stefano (Mustard Relish)

This recipe was inspired by a picture appearing in the Cooking of Italy of a Cremona factory Mostarda, a Lombardy relish resembling chutney that is flavored with mustard oil. This flavor, however, was adapted from my Mango-jalapeno chutney. This is a very colorful eye-appealing mixture that can perk up a plate nicely.

Italian Mostarda is fruit with grapes preserved in syrup that gains quite a kick from a healthy jolt of powdered mustard seed, and is one of the standard condiments served with boiled meats in northern Italy. Found all over Northern Italy, the best known variation is that from Cremona (Mostarda di Cremona), which is also produced commercially. The true Mostarda is made from the grape "must" in the late fall and is characterized by the presence of candied fruit in a spicy syrup. This is somewhat different but delicious.

1 cup water
1/3 cup fine red wine vinegar
½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Molasses
1/3 cup Dark Karo syrup
Powdered ginger
1 tablespoon dry hot mustard
White pepper
Pinch of salt
Ground cloves
Small pinch cinnamon
Chopped Dried apricots
Golden raisins
Black Raisins
Dried cranberries
Small boiled white onions (fork tender)
Oil cured pitted black olives (optional)
White grapes
Black grapes
Red grapes
Lemon juice for one lemon
Maraschino Cherries

Add liquid ingredients and spices to a saucepan. Bring to boil. Then cool to warm before combining with ingredients.

Toss in stainless steel bowl. Toss well. Wait ½ hour. Taste for seasonings. If not spicy, salty, hot, sweet, sour enough, correct seasoning accordingly. This needs to be tossed for three or more hours (overnight is good) and should be best served warm. If preparing a day ahead refrigerate but remove and return to room temperature several hours before serving with main course.

Serve at the table in decorative Italian dish. Let everybody help themselves. Goes well with paella, Italian style cured meats, steak, lamb, or pork.

  1. I have seen recipes that claim the right ingredients or amounts are such-and-such. I venture there are no "correct" or "exact" anything when it comes to recipes that are handed down for decades or more. It is made from one or more available seasonal fruits. Mostarda di Cremona is a fruited mustard, like a chutney. It is made in Cremona, Lombardy on the River Po.
  2. The fruits can be whole, sliced or chopped, but they are usually peeled first, then simmered in sugar water.
  3. Types include: Agrumi is made from whole citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and tangerines;
  4. Mostarda di Cremona Frutta Mista is made from mixed fruits such as apples, lemons, oranges, pears and tangerines;
  5. Mostarda di Mantova is made with apples
  6. Mostarda di Milano is made with citrus fruit and cherries. Mostarda di Milano is made with citrus fruit and cherries
  7. The taste combination of sweet, sour and spicy may date this back to Romans.

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