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Mostarda Mantovana

I’ve already mentioned several times that I’m not really a big fan of Italian cuisine. I would say that 80% of it does not match my taste for food. However, the other 20% is a truelove. Mostarda Mantovana is one of those love recipes. Mostarda is a spicy sauce made of fruits, syrup and mustard essence, sometimes they call it fruit mustard. This mustard is typical for northern Italy. There are dozens of recipes, but the most popular is Mostarda Cremona, which is made of different fruits (I will post the recipe for it a bit later). Mostarda Veneta, which is made with white wine (mostarda from Venice region) is no less popular. Mostarda Mantovana (mostarda from Mantova town) is a mostarda from the quince. This mostarda is often called “la madre di tutte le mostarde” – the mother of all mostardas, rightly so, as the first found recipe dates back to XIV century (Anonimo della corte Angioina - LIBER DE COQUINA - prima meta del 1300). At the beginning this mostarda was made of reduced grape juice mosto di uva, later the recipe was changed many times. When I lived in Italy I never made my own mostarda, there was no need for it, you could buy any type of a very good quality in any shop. And only when I moved to the Canary Islands I decided to make it myself, as you cannot buy it here. I was quite happy with the final result, will write the original recipe and give my adjustment in the comments.

Mostarda Mantovana

  • 1 kg fresh quince
  • 500 g sugar
  • 6-15 drops mustard essence
  • Peel and cork the quinces, cut into 0,4 in slices
  • Transfer the quince slices into a bowl, add sugar, stir gently and leave at room temperature for 24 hours
  • Drain the liquid from the quince into a sauce pan, bring the liquid to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5-7 min
  • Pour the syrup over the quince and leave for another 24 hours
  • Drain the liquid again, bring it to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 min
  • Pour the hot syrup over the quince again and leave for 24 hours
  • Bring the syrup with the quinces to the boil and simmer for 3 min
  • Remove from the heat, cool down completely, add the mustard essence, stir thoroughly and pour into the air tight jars. Leave to stay for 1 month before serving

I did 1/3 of the given portion. The quince didn’t produce enough juice, so I had to add sugar syrup (1 part sugar - 2 parts water). The amount of the mustard essence depends on how hot you want your mustard, I would recommend to add the essence drop by drop, trying the mostarda.
You can buy the mustard essence in the pharmacy or bio-shop. Alternately, you can take 50 g of white mustard powder (per each kilo of the fruits) and mixed it in a bit of white wine.
The mostarda is eaten with the boiled meat, freshwater fish, some people eat it with the cheeses. Traditionally mostarda is a part of the Christmas table.

Mостарда из Мантовы - Mostarda Mantovana