Impossible to tour Burgundy and miss out on its jewel : Dijon. Like a good tourist I walked the cobbled streets ; admired the imposing old medieval houses ; crossed the clean squares lined with gastro-restaurants, the handsome Palais des Ducs de Bourgogne and the Musée des Beaux-Arts ; bought my lunch in Les Halles (gigantic indoor market) ; shopped in the two renowned Maisons de la moutarde (Maille and Fallot) and even stroked la chouette (the howl) for good luck!
Apart from accompanying most meat dishes, mustard is said to help digestion…. and became a very fashionable item at the French table in the Middle-Ages. In the Dijon region it evolved with a twist when le verjus (verjuice/ the juice of green grapes, plentyful in the Bourgogne vineyards!) was used instead of plain vinegar, giving it a smoother taste. Today most sénevé seeds (wild mustard) come from abroad, but le verjus is still a key ingredient, and two ancient manufactures remain in town : Maille and Fallot. In their beautiful flagship shops, one can sample mustards with variations on aromas and even refill previously bought pots with a pump. Or buy a pretty new one!
Incidentally, I visited last year the pretty Maison Maille shop in central London (Piccadilly Arcade), small but still smart version of the Dijon one. https://www.maille.com/en_GB/boutiques?sid=london
With my tum full of good mustard and yummy Burgundy cheeses from the market – l’Époisses, le Soumaintrain, le Brillat-Savarin – I had a little drive along the Route des Grands Crus, which goes from Dijon to Santenay ; around 60 kms of vineyards, as far as the eye can see, peppered with the odd demeures (domains) and quaint, as well as impeccably maintained, old villages. I might have had a little dégustation (wine tasting) or two along the way…..