“Mmm .. what a smell! Grandma ‘Nitta are you preparing the mustard right?” And immediately I left the games to see my grandmother “arriminari” (mix) the mustard with the wooden spoon, while waiting to taste it. “Caura Caura” (hot, hot)! I was ready to chop the almonds and the dark chocolate to sprinkle on top!
When grandma Lucia prepared mustard in October it was a real ceremony! In line waiting to be filled were the “furmi” (molds that were filled to give the mustard the desired shape). I personally liked it hot, very hot! And I was waiting for it to become thick to be able to taste it! With added cinnamon and almonds, it was a delight on the palate!
September is the time to harvest the grapes and October is the time to prepare the mustard! So here is the recipe for Sicilian mustard, the same as the one my grandmother prepared every year. Actually I’m talking about a family recipe, and surely there will be many variations, even if honestly I’ve never tasted a red grape mustard as good as my grandmother’s.
The starting ingredient is the must , to which a little white ash from olive wood, vine or almond wood is mixed to counteract the acidity and keep it sweet.
The juice mixed in this way is left to rest for 24 hours, after which it must be filtered a few times on linen cloths or cotton cloths, to ensure the complete removal of the ash particles. (At this point you can freeze it and melt it when you decide to prepare the mustard).
DOSES: For every liter of grape juice, add 90-100 grams of flour. Some use starch.
PREPARATION: This mixture of ingredients is put in a pot, then on a low heat stove, stirring often so that it slowly reaches the boiling point Mix the wort with the flour over low heat, until it thickens
When it boils, add a handful of coarsely chopped toasted almonds to the pan. When the liquid thickens sufficiently it is ready to be poured into molds or even simply into saucers to cool down. But it is also good lukewarm!
The mustard that is made , “mustata ri vinu cottu,” can be consumed within the day, or, if you want to keep it longer, you can adopt the same procedure that is used to preserve the recipe for a long time: let it dry in the sun and when it reaches the right degree of density keep it inside glass bowls.
This is Grandma Lucia’s recipe, but I know that there are several other versions that include the addition of other ingredients such as cloves, cinnamon, even sugar. In my opinion, in this way it loses its authenticity a bit, but if you want to share your recipes write me!
It seems that mustard was already known in the Middle Ages in some countries of northern Europe. While in Italy, especially in the north, it was already prepared in the year 1400.
The word ” mustard ” derives from the Latin “mustum ardens,” alluding to the ardent wine, made spicy by the addition of mustard grain flour. In this way it was once possible to preserve an easily perishable product such as fruit. From here, in French it became moût ardent (literally: “must that burns”) and finally mustard . It is a dessert belonging to that “poor” cuisine that does not throw anything away and, above all, manages to transform the simplest ingredients into something delicious. The grape must is obtained from fresh or mashed grapes (fresh pressed de-stemmed grapes), by pressing or pressing. It is a very tasty product , which also has some beneficial properties. It is a juice that has not yet undergone fermentation process: only after this step can wine be obtained. The alcohol content, therefore, is really low. The color is dark, very pleasant, and changes according to the grape variety from which it is obtained.