Originally published at Dope Magazine
BY SHWA LAYTART - SEPTEMBER 11, 2018
Grounded, cracked and bruised, much like our soul. Mix with water, lemon juice, vinegar, wine, even beer. Mustard dates back to the Greeks, but it was a French female warrior named Joan of Arc that made it popular.
We Earthlings consume 700 million pounds of mustard each year. It’s used as a condiment in Africa, India, Asia, Bangladesh, the Mediterranean, all of Europe and the Americas.
It is one of the most popular and widely used condiments in the world. It’s used on meats and cheeses, sandwiches, deviled eggs, lamb, pig, burgers, hot dogs, corn dogs, potato salad, chicken salad, dressing, dipping sauce, glazes, soups and marinades.
And even though the Greeks used it, it didn’t gain major popularity until Joan of Arc used it in battle.
As the story goes …
At the end of the Middle Ages, a bastard child raised by Saint-Germain Paris Monks learned the fine art of mustard making.
Etie, as he would be called, was lucky enough to be taken in by monks and learned the art of horticulture, spices, marinades and fermentation, as well as health and philosophy. He would later take these skills to the battlefield, where he rose up the ranks while fighting in the Hundred Years’ War.
Although he was known as Etie to the monks, he would later go by the name “La Hire.” This nickname, meaning “Wrath of God,” was bestowed upon him by the English soldiers he had been fighting.
It was on the battlefield of the Siege of Orléans in 1429 where La Hire met his comrade and friend, Joan of Arc. She was not only an inspiration to La Hire, she was an inspiration to all the troops.
It is here that we begin the story of mustard. Mustard will survive the apocalypse (something to flavor the cockroaches and marmots with when you’re being hunted by A.I., perhaps) because of its antibacterial properties. Even though La Hire knew it could be used to enhance the flavor of food, he used it on the battlefield as a disinfectant on wounds.
It was Joan who fell in love with mustard, and it was said she put it on everything. She was also known to be a great eater. This could be attributed to her being one kick-ass warrior on the battlefield, but it could also be contributed to her other love: cannabis. La Hire was known for his brewing skills and produced a lager that could put your pud-in-the-mud. Joan herself had no use for strong ale, as it made her slow and weak. However, La Hire was also known for his gardening skills, and the Monks produced the best indica this side of Turkey.
Joan commended cannabis’ ability to ease her discomfort during her monthly cycle, but also enjoyed a pre-meal smoke session, introduced to her by La Hire. They, along with many of their soldiers, would return from battle and spark up before dinner. Not only did this make each bite of food even more enjoyable, but it also helped soothe their aching muscles and battered souls.
It was here that the men would witness Joan smother her deer and boar meats and just about anything else … with mustard.
Now, because Joan was such a fierce soldier and unstoppable commander, the soldiers that fought alongside her began smothering their food with mustard, too.
They believed this “golden paste” gave them the same strength and power bestowed upon Joan.
This love of mustard by the troops traveled to other command posts and battles in France and became the creme of commanders and soldiers alike.
Joan of Arc was captured in 1430 and charged with cross-dressing, which she said was not only for battle but also to deter would-be rapists. This, of course, was still hearsay, and pissed off the church. Like many things, her trial was politically motivated to crush a woman of power.
She would be found guilty (twice, in fact) and burned alive at the stake. She was 19 years old.
Joan died before the end of the Hundred Years’ War, but it was said that France would never have beat the English if it were not for Joan of Arc. La Hire went on to fight many more battles, and every evening when he would sit down with his troops to dinner he would pass around a pipe, smother his meal with mustard, and tell the tale of the cross-dressing warrior woman who absolutely loved her mustard and cannabis.
A handful of years after her death, the Pope proclaimed Joan innocent and declared her a martyr and a patron saint of France.
After the war, a group of soldiers, some of whom had fought alongside Joan, moved to Dijon, France. In her honor, they began making mustard.
Vive la mustard! Now, go out and make your own!
The Golden Joan of Arc Mustard
1/4 cup mustard powder (seeds can also be used, but best if soaked for a day in vinegar)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp horseradish powder
2 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1 tbsp infused cannabis oil of your choice
2-4 tbsp warm water, if necessary
Makes about 1.5 cups
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a stick blender or in a mixer. Heat in microwave for one minute or simmer in a pot on the stove top until it thickens, constantly stirring. You can always add a little warm water to thin out the mix or cornstarch to thicken.