Oh-oh, Di­jon mus­tard at risk

Toronto Sun - - NEWS -

Food­ies be­ware: the tiny brown seeds used to make high-end Di­jon mus­tard are in short sup­ply and get­ting more ex­pen­sive.

Canada, the world’s big­gest grower, has been rav­aged by drought in its south­ern Prairie prov­inces, cut­ting the har­vest of all mus­tard-crop va­ri­eties by half to the small­est in 11 years. Among the hard­est hit are brown mus­tard seeds, boost­ing the in­gre­di­ent cost of the spicy condi­ment favoured by chefs as well as shop­pers of brands like Grey Poupon or Maille Di­jon Orig­i­nale.

While Amer­i­cans eat a lot more yel­low mus­tard on hot dogs or mixed into salad dress­ings, Euro­pean coun­tries are big con­sumers of the brown va­ri­ety. Tighter sup­plies of seeds from Canada — also the world’s big­gest mus­tard-seed ex­porter — could hurt food mak­ers in the U.S., the top buyer, as well as ma­jor im­porters in­clud­ing Bel­gium, France, Ja­pan and Sene­gal.

“There is no sub­sti­tute for brown mus­tard in mak­ing Di­jon,” said Wal­ter Dyck, man­ager of the mus­tard seed di­vi­sion at Pleas­ant Prairie, Wis­con­sin-based Olds Prod­ucts Co., which is the sec­ond-largest man­u­fac­turer in North Amer­ica.

“The price — it can move higher quite quickly when sup­plies are tight,” Dyck said from Leth­bridge, Alta. “Ev­ery­body that needs it has to have it.”

Pro­duc­tion of all va­ri­eties of Cana­dian mus­tard seed tum­bled to 114,900 met­ric tons this sea­son from 235,600 tons in 2016.

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