Shortage of mustard: what is horseradish, this condiment that can replace it

Horseradish, this condiment that replaces mustard in your dishes. (©ML / Actu.fr )

On my left: it is often orange-yellow, sometimes green, can sting when you eat it and above all, is conspicuous by its temporary absence from stores. It’s here…. Mustard!

On my right: it is white, can sting when eaten, and is indeed available in the condiment and fresh food sections. It’s the… Horseradish !

This name may mean nothing to you. But did you know that it can easily replace mustard in your dishes ? Rather good to know, given the current shortages.

What is horseradish?

“It’s a very old vegetable,” explains news.fr Cédric Gassmann, spokesperson for the Alélor company, which produces and markets horseradish. From the Brassicaceae family, it is a cousin of wasabi and therefore… mustard.

Planted in March, this extremely hardy plant is harvested in mid-autumn. “From there, we store the roots, clean them and sort them by hand, then put them in a parmentière, which will take care of them. to grate “continues Cedric Gassmann.

Then we season what comes out and we get a paste very similar to mustard, except for the color.

This is what horseradish looks like when harvested.
This is what horseradish looks like when harvested. (©Alélor)

And if in France horseradish is very little known, it is omnipresent in Alsace, where Alélor is established. “There, when we have a vegetable garden, we have horseradish plants,” notes the spokesperson.

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Why is there no more mustard?

It is now common knowledge that global warming causes intense disturbances. In North America, for example, in 2021, huge heat waves took place. A record of 49.6°C was even recorded there.

The period was also marked by a glaring lack of precipitation. Beyond the terrible consequences that these events had on the humans and animals living there (huge fires had hit the continent), the combination of these two factors had been very bad for the crops.

However, France buys “80% of its mustard seeds” in Canada, according to the grand master of the brotherhood of Dijon mustard, contacted by actu.fr. Hence the shortage of the condiment, which is currently rife in France. “The mustard makers have never seen that,” he chokes.

Coupled with a poor French harvest, the result is what we know: “the shelves are empty, we notice it. And it’s the same hassle for restaurateurs and fast food, moreover, “says a spokesperson for Super U to actu.fr.

Perfect for mayos, perfect for fries

And in terms of taste, what does it give? “It’s a little different, even if the smells are similar”, comments tonews.frGontran Leroux, trained cook, manager of a food truck in Gironde.

But the spice is there. Horseradish can largely replace mustard. Whether in a dish, on the edge of the plate or in a sauce.

Gontran LerouxOwner of a food truck

Thus, horseradish can easily be used instead of mustard in preparations. Mayonnaise and house dressing did you miss? They are back.

In addition to supplementing the recipes of certain saucesthe condiment can be eaten on toast, in sandwiches, with surimi, fish, cold cuts, meat or vegetables.

The product is so practical that “many Japanese chefs use it in addition to wasabi in their restaurants in France”, assures Cédric Gassmann.

It is credited with many virtues

Beyond its taste, horseradish is credited with many virtues. The company Alélor claims in particular that this root “stimulates the digestive process, limits the proliferation of bacteria such as E. Coli, decongests the bronchi, relieves joint pain.”

Where to find it?

If the mustard jars missing from the shelves at the moment, horseradish is very present, on the fresh shelves or in condiments.

Mustard continues to be missing from the shelves.
Mustard continues to be missing from the shelves. (© SP / Actu.fr )

The only problem is its price. “Horseradish sells for about 3.50 euros per 200 grams when mustard costs a little less than 2 euros for the same quantity”, specifies Cedric Gassmann, the spokesperson for Alélor.

But at least we find some.

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