The sauce includes mustard oil, vinegar and a sweet sauce made either from honey, sugar or grape must (“mosto” in Italian) boiled down. The mustard is white, not yellow, as no turmeric is added for colouring. Its pungency comes from the mustard oil. Commercial versions are less pungent than homemade versions.
It is served with meats (cooked and cold cuts) and cheeses. Versions of Mostarda di Cremona with finely chopped fruit are used as an ingredient in pumpkin ravioli.
The fruits can be whole, sliced or chopped, but they are peeled first, then simmered in sugar water.
There are many types:
- Mostarda di Cremona Agrumi is made from whole citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and tangerines;
- Mostarda di Cremona Frutta Mista is made from mixed fruits such as apples, lemons, oranges, pears and tangerines;
- Mostarda di Mantova is made with apples
- Mostarda di Milano is made with citrus fruit and cherries
Other types use fruits such as strawberries, figs, etc.
1 part candied peel, 1 part honey, ½ part whole grain mustard
Some people feel that the taste combination of sweet, sour and spicy may date this condiment back to Roman days. Given that the same taste combination was popular in the Middle Ages, it doesn’t seem immediately necessary to go back any further than that.