More than mere mustard

We spent our day in the wonderful city of Dijon, a splendid collection of medieval, gothic and art nouveau architecture, and a living history lesson about the powerful Dukes of Burgundy.

This is a city that beautifully combines the past and the present, with great charm and ease. The medieval parts, dating from the 12th to the 15th centuries, were untouched during various wars, including WWII, so they are undamaged, at least by anything other than age.

And then there are the churches. Dijon has a large number , including Notre Dame de Dijon, St. Philibert, St. Michel, and Dijon Cathedral, dedicated to the legendary Saint Benignus, the crypt of which is over 1,000 years old. It was a thrill being in the crypt, seeing where the saint is believed to have been buried, and imagining it all lit by candles.

Then, of course, there is the mustard heritage, which can be seen in many shops. No, mustard is not a condiment you take for granted here. The tastings were wonderful, and the variety was extraordinary. One of my favorites used another local creation, crème de cassis, which makes an unusually tasty mustard. Add to that the ducal buildings which tower majestically over the main plaza, the colorful streets, and some wonderful lunch dishes – blanquette de veau and boeuf burguignon – and you have a very tasty town.

And amazingly, just as we were commenting on how marvelous the luncheon kir tasted today – and deciding we will take a kir habit home, this article appeared in The Wall Street Journal



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