The Finer Things in Life

When the New Year started, I’ve asked myself a simple yet deep question: Is there something that I’ve meant to try but just haven’t gotten around to it yet? For some very odd reason, my synapses immediately thought of something “highly exciting”. It’s fancy, got a luxurious flair and would fit with the sausages we’ve just bought. I finally wanted to try “Grey Poupon”! The mustard!!!

If you haven’t heard about “Grey Poupon” before, don’t worry.

Look no further. I got you covered. For me “Grey Poupon” was something I’ve associated with “luxury” but I never tried it actually. Somehow it’s not highly popular at all. After some research I figured “Grey Poupon” mustard had a genius marketing campaign in the 1980’s and that’s why it got featured by several rap artists in their songs and videos. I learned about it from rap songs… The name “Grey Poupon” sounds fancy and I can’t imagine of anything better to rhyme with “Evian”, “Dom Pérignon” or “Filet Mignon” than… “Grey Poupon”!

How could a mustard become THAT famous you may wonder? Well, have a look at the following commercial from the 1980’s first:

This was their first attempt only by the way. Better ones followed shortly thereafter.

It must be a cultural thing to introduce mustard this way. I love how they say it’s “affordable” and made with “real white wine”. But of course, it’s mustard – I thought. What else could they say about it?

Off I went to the supermarket!

Target acquired: 100g of Grey Poupon for CHF 1.60 (US$ 1.85)

To my surprise I found “Grey Poupon” mustard for only CHF 1.60 (US$ 1.85) in Switzerland. If you like, you can order it directly from here. Truly affordable for such a luxurious item one could argue. I loved the idea of striking such a bargain behind going for “the Finer Things in Life” after all. Furthermore, I was truly fascinated by how a corporate marketing effort of a mustard company got to influence my purchasing decision and me writing this blog post now – four decades later!

Isn’t it amazing!?

Must-ard be great marketing!

That’s what got me to check out more “Grey Poupon” commercials online. I found the following compilation (3 x 30 secs) to be one of the “finer entertainment choices in life”, trust me, you’ll enjoy this as much as I did:

Apologies, I just realized this video has to be watched on Youtube directly – it’s worth it!

I later understood it was these three very well-made commercials that “grey pouponed” this condiment into the luxury stratosphere. It truly got turned into one of the “The Finer Things in Life”.

In my life so far I’ve tried different mustards and have developed a preference for Maille Dijon Mustard.

Hence, it was the first time since many, many years for me to become “unfaithful” to Maille.

Today would be the day to see who’s truly the “mustard king”.

The sausages entered the pan…

High anticipation for Grey Poupon!

Yes, these are sausages, not “Filet Mignons”, would that be a problem for you?

Too low class?

My main lesson for this blog post is:

Enjoying “the Finer Things in Life” doesn’t have to be related with spending tons of money!

As per this very example, you already get a very decent exposure to “exquisite delicacies” for surprisingly little money.

But of course,… as the sausages where sizzling, I found instant feedback on the “do-you-poupon” sausages online:

Well, since my sausages were almost ready now, there was no going back anymore.

My kids got super excited by all these commercials and couldn’t wait to try the real “Grey Poupon”.

My daughter has become an excellent actor dropping “pardon me” and “but of course” in the finest posh accent possible as I served dinner.

It was testing time!

The real deal!

My kids loved the food and asked for several extra servings of “Grey Poupon” to go with it. While my wife and I prefer the stronger mustards of Maille, our kids appreciate “Grey Poupon”  as a genuinely nice alternative to other mild mustards. They have asked me to buy it again. And yes, maybe I helped them get brainwashed myself with this whole exercise.

Pardon me.

Test passed.

Let me conclude!

A good Dijon mustard has its place in any kitchen. Dijon mustard got its name from the French town of Dijon with a long history of producing mustards with ground mustard seeds and wine, making for a distinct hot, bold flavor rather unlike more “industrialized” mustards that are made with vinegar and water. A great Dijon is bold and thick with a dominating mustard flavor, a hint of salt and acid, and a pleasant wasabi-horseradish kind of finish in the nose. It should be bright and pungent, with a pleasant, nose-tingling heat. You can apply it to anything that needs a wake-up kick, be it meat, sausages, marinades, sandwiches, salad dressings, sauces, or dips. Once you’ve tried and compared different mustards, you’ll be easily able to compare to normal mustards.

In short:

Elevating your dinner and giving it a luxury spin for less than $2 is possible. In my view it’s a very good investment and worth the money. Show your loved ones the videos on this post and you will magically level-up any of your home cooked food.

But of course!

Now, put the pedal to the metal and you too might land in heaven:

While I’m not associated with the mustard producer – at all, not yet for what I know – I do find this story around this fine mustard highly entertaining and if it inspired you to get some “Grey Poupon” yourself, I’d be happy if you “spread the good taste” with your friends!

Spread good taste!

One of life’s finer pleasures!


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