Know-how, craftsmanship and the human touch contribute to the character and quality of products La Maison Maille has been producing for more than 270 years. The tradition is kept alive by the team of experts who create the products today, preserving the excellence that defines La Maison Maille in a continual quest for innovation and perfection. It is the attention to detail that sets La Maison Maille apart - the carefully selected ingredients, the nuances of the recipes, the expertise in the methods used and the elegant black and gold packaging.
La Maison Maille firmly believes that the right condiment can truly define a meal. Fundamental to the character and quality of La Maison Maille mustards are the unique recipes on which the products are based, developed by their expert team together with a culinary chef. In creating new products each year, the team explores the subtle combination of ingredients in order to achieve a complex taste profile, an appealing aroma, the desired texture, the right color. These are then tested and validated against different criteria before being approved for production.
There is no single method used at La Maison Maille, and the process is adapted to each product. For example the Dijon mustards are made using a special process where the mustard grains are cut, not crushed, resulting in its fine texture. Maille’s production operations are led by "Maitres Moutardiers" (Master Mustard-Makers) and "Maitres Vinaigriers" (Master Vinegar Makers), experts who may alter the process and adjust equipment according to the individual product and circumstances.
The same scrupulous care given to mustards is also applied to La Maison Maille vinegars, where red wine vinegars age in a large storehouse. Here big oak barrels store the vinegars for a minimum of one year. The wood performs a similar role in vinegar-making as it does in the ageing of wines. Components, including phenols within the vinegar, interact with the wood to produce richer flavors, creating a rounded, balanced product.
La Maison Maille also brings its attentive approach to product presentation. From the 18th-century stoneware pot, the iconic black-and-gold coat of arms created by Jean-Herbout in 1931, the Fleur de Lys jar, readily recognized from its shoulder-shaped neck to the recently re-introduced sandstone jars, the presentation of products is indicative of the high quality La Maison Maille stands for.
La Maison Maille is heir to an enduring legacy left by Antoine-Claude Maille and his 84 sublime mustards and 120 vinegars. Today specialists at La Maison Maille continually explore, select and combine the finest ingredients, creating tastes and textures that result from centuries of expertise.
Essential to the finesse and balance of La Maison Maille products are the basic raw ingredients and how they combine with other ingredients. In the heart of Burgundy, the mustard seed ‘brassica juncea’ is selected which offers a high level of pungency and quality of texture, ideal for condiments. The mustard seeds are cultivated to Maille's standards of excellence, with only the best grade selected from its suppliers.
For food connoisseurs, Dijon is synonymous with the finest mustard you can buy. In 1937 Dijon was granted the right to an Appellation Controlee, subjecting it to regulations similar to high quality regional wines. Mustard must be made in the prescribed method for it to be called a Dijon mustard.
Crucial to the character of La Maison Maille's vinegar range is the quality of the base wines used, with particular characteristics sought for individual vinegars. The base wines are tasted and selected by a panel of experts, recognizing that a good quality base wine will result in a high quality vinegar. The quality of the vinegars added to the mustard seed during the process is of utmost importance and these vinegars are made on La Maison Maille premises.
La Maison Maille maintains its reputation for producing an extraordinary range of condiments, featuring unexpected ingredients, such as mango, red berries, tarragon and Cognac. Many of these depend not only on the ingredients themselves but also the way they are combined in secret recipes developed over many years.
IN 1996 Maille introduced limited-edition mustards delivered on tap from porcelain pumps, each based on a signature ingredient such as Chablis. Especially sought after is the Black Truffle and Chablis Mustard served in sandstone jars, available only when in season. In the run-up to Christmas, the arrival in La Maison Maille boutiques of freshly pumped truffle mustard has excited queues of discerning food lovers, eager to buy a pot for their own table or as a special gift.
La Maison Maille cherishes the resource which makes excellence possible. The land, the people, the know-how: everything that contributes to making the creative products La Maison Maille has been producing for over 270 years is safeguarded and passed on to future generations.
La Maison Maille continually strives to minimize its environmental impact by sourcing its agricultural raw materials sustainably. Dijon is synonymous with the finest mustard you can buy and has its own system of regulations, which means Dijon mustard must be made to a prescribed method.
The vinegars used in the mustards are made in-house at La Maison Maille. Where possible, a sustainable approach to waste material is adopted during production. For example, the husks of the mustard seeds, removed during the straining process, are re-used as animal feed or sold as ingredients for other industries.
La Maison Maille's mission is also to increase the positive social impact, which means enhancing people's livelihoods. Preserving tradition has a big role to play. La Maison Maille supports and has reinvigorated the local mustard seed growing industry in Burgundy. Re-introducing the sandstone jars for fresh mustards, which are crafted locally and are refillable in any La Maison Maille boutique, are a key part of the fresh mustard experience.