ITALIAN MUSTARD AND HOT SAUCE? THE STORY OF MOSTO ARDENTE
I always wondered why Italians didn’t seem to eat a lot of mustard and also why it wasn’t so commonly planted in the vineyards like it is in Napa and Sonoma. I love mustard so I was so happy to find this couple, Elisa and Paolo who are making their own local Piemontese mustard.
To eat spicy in Italy you have to go South. Piemontese generally stay away from anything spicy so it was with great excitement that I also discovered their hot sauce at a local spice festival last year!
ABOUT ELISA & PAOLO
Elisa and Paolo met on a volunteer trip in Haiti and next thing you know, they started living together in Alta Langa. Elisa, an architect by trade from Pavia and Paolo, a local salesman, were eating mustard one day during lockdown and started asking themselves about the nature of this product. To make a long story short, they started cultivating local mustard seeds, which is very uncommon in Italy.
But why not? Famous wine areas like Burgundy (Dijon) and Napa grow and produce gourmet mustards, so why can’t the Langhe? The seeds can’t be heated so they grind them with a small stone mill and even add local Barbera wine vinegar to the mustards which adds an extra expression of the territory.
THE LABEL MOSTO ARDENTE
The label is exciting with a rock n roll attitude. The mustard is fun, it’s a new project! The picture on the labels is of the Macedonian king, Alessandro Magno with the modern day sunglasses representing the young couple. During the Battle of Gaugamela, the legendary Magno fought against Dario III’s Persian army.
Legend has it that Dario threatened and challenged Alessandro by sending him a bag of sesame seeds to represent how many soldiers he had, clearly outnumbering his adversary. Alessandro’s response was with a sack of mustard seeds because even though there were less of them, they were stronger. The Macedonians actually won the battle!
THAT’S NOT ALL, Hot Chili Peppers in Langhe!
For passion and a challenge, Paolo and Elisa also planted what looks like a small heroic vineyard of chili peppers in Alta Langa including Jalapenos, Habaneros, Scorpion and Carolina Reapers! The sauces come in cute little tins, easy to ship.
If you would like to try some of their products you can find them in our shop here!