We spent two days in June 2020 in Dijon, France. Dijon is known for its local gastronomy and we made sure to try the local dishes of the area. In addition to dijon mustard, it’s also very well known for its wine and pain d’epices (gingerbread). During our stay, we stayed in the heart of the city and were able to walk everywhere. One of the highlights of our trip was going on “the owl’s trail” through the city. It’s an easy walk that twists and turns you throughout the city to see around 20 major sights. There are gold arrows along the streets that guide your way from one stop to another. The owl’s trail takes you to “the magic owl”, a owl carved in the stone of the Notre Dame church in Dijon. Legend has it, if you rub its belly with your left hand (the hand closest to your heart) and make a wish, it will come true!
The local dishes of the Bourgogne area that we tried included jambon persillé, escargot de bourgogne, bœuf bourguignon, and la Volaille de Bresse. When I first read about la Volaille de Bresse, I read that it was the chicken that still had its head attached to it. I’m pretty sure something got lost in translation! Jordan was so freaked out by what I told him that he was going to refuse to order something that had its head attached. Luckily, I was wrong, and the chicken came out in a delicious bowl, without its head! The most surprising part of our trip to Dijon is that Jordan tried the escargot. He is somewhat of a picky eater and didn’t like it, which was fine because then there was more for me!
When we first got there, we stopped in a local bar and art gallery that no longer had art. What they did have were posters all along a wall for shows that never happened between March – May. It was eerie seeing all these posters still up for cancelled events due to COVID-19. Since Jordan likes beer more than wine, we found a store that sold local beer that was brewed with mustard seeds to bring home with us.
We had planned to go taste the local mustard made at La Moutarderie Edmond Fallot, but due to COVID-19 they removed all their sampling stations. They offered small containers of mustard that were one euro each, so we bought a sample pack of eight different kinds so we could do our own tasting! Some of the flavors included tarragon dijon mustard, cassis dijon mustard, burgundy mustard, and moutarde au pain d’epices. My favorite flavor that we purchased was honey and balsamic dijon mustard.
We also stopped in Mulot & Petitjean, a store that has been making pain d’epices for over 200 years. This isn’t the gingerbread that you are familiar with in the US, but is a thick loaf that you slice into like bread. Unfortunately, no tastings were allowed here either so we purchased a couple of different things to try at home. We bought a traditional loaf and then one filled with jelly. When we got back to Lyon we tried the traditional loaf, and I would describe it as moyanne. We tried it plain, but then immediately added jam to it and it tasted so much better.