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Mostarda Mantovana Recipe


There are many kinds of mostarda. Mostarda Mantovana is made with fruit simmered in syrup, and is excellent with boiled meats, or even cheeses.


  • 1 1/3 pounds (600 g) tart apples
  • 1 1/3 pounds (600 g) tart pears
  • 1 pound 2 ounces (500 g) sugar
  • 3 to 6 drops of mustard essence (an oil; you may have to visit a
  • spice shop for this) per pound (500 g) of mostarda obtained


Peel and core the fruit, then slice it finely and put it in a bowl, sprinkling sugar over the slices as you go. Cover the fruit with the remaining sugar and let it macerate for 48 hours, covered, in a cool dark place. At the end of this interval you'll find a syrup in the bottom of the bowl.

Transfer the syrup to a pot, bring it to a bowl for a couple of minutes, then pour it back over the fruit. Let the fruit rest 24 hours more, repeat the process, and then do so again the day after.

The day after the final boiling of the syrup, transfer everything to a pot and simmer the mixture gently to drive off most of the liquid. When it has thickened, let it cool, stir in the mustard essence, and transfer it to sterile jars. It's perfect with boiled meats.

Note: Purists simply concentrate the syrup, without cooking the fruit.

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