We are smitten with this Italian mostarda with hand-cut pieces of candied pears. It is a perfect blend of sweet, tart, and heat. We suggest pairing it with a sharp pecorino, Parmigiano Reggiano, or prosciutto.
Mostardas originated in the 17th century, in Italy, when farming families prepared a special flour, mustard, vinegar, candied fruit, and wine must dressing (wine must is how the recipe adopted the name mostarda) for their holiday celebrations. Modern mostarda is made from fruit, sugar and mustard oil. Though often paired with cheese, they also work well with roasted meats and charcuterie.
Paola Calciolari began her career as a pharmacist but her true passion was food. She took a gamble, leaving her secure job in order to produce typical condiments from Mantova (Emilia Romagna), often employing her grandmother’s recipes. She makes her exceptional mostardas and compotes by sourcing locally harvested fruit and slicing and candying them in their juices, it is a highly labor intensive process. They are extraordinarily fresh, flavorful and chunky.