Don't ask for Grey Poupon. Please.
On National Mustard Day today, let's celebrate our local moutarde — namely the rip-snorting French mustard our favorite French dip house, Philippe the Original, has been making since forever. Well, practically. The Big Dipper, as we like to call it, turns 106 this year.
Without that mustard, based on an old family recipe and made up in 40-pound batches twice a week, you cannot get the full Philippe French dip experience. Spread it, cautiously, on your roast beef or lamb sandwich.
The recipe is a secret, but we do surmise that mustard seeds, white vinegar and salt are involved in this smooth ochre mustard.
You can buy jars of it to take home from the old-fashioned candy counter at the back, or purchase a bottle or even a dozen jars online for $5 each.
No preservatives inside, so Philippe's suggests refrigerating the jar after opening. Not to worry. Around our sandwich making house, a jar doesn't last all that long.
I like buying it at Philippe's, though, giving me a handy excuse to indulge in a distinctly lamby French dip sandwich--followed by a slice of coconut cream pie. And while I'm at it, I'll stock up on the candy of my childhood, and quite possibly grab a few more jars of mustard. You don't ever want to run out. It's great with burgers and grilled sausages, too.