Mostarda – or mostarda di frutta to give it its full name – is a traditional Italian preserve with a unique combination of sweet and spicy flavour.
Originating from Northern Italy, it is made by candying fruit – most commonly quinces, pears, or cherries – in a syrup that is infused with mustard.
Many varieties are available, including mostarda di zenzero – candied ginger mustard paste. Whatever ingredients it’s based on, it has a delightful juxtaposition of fruity sweetness, sharpness, and pungent heat.
Mostarda has a vibrantly coloured appearance and complex taste profile. It serves as an excellent counterpoint to rich meats like ham, offering a burst of tangy, spicy sweetness. Additionally, it pairs beautifully with aged cheeses.