French mustard sommelier travels to prairies 'spreading the love' of the yellow paste

To some its a tasty, tangy add to a hotdog, but to one man, mustard is a delicacy that is so often overlooked and underrated, perhaps even misunderstood.

'A sommelier means someone who holds the knowledge, so I hold the knowledge for mustard.'

Homestretch host Doug Dirks is led through a mustard tasting by mustard sommelier Harry Lalousis. 2:24

To some its a tasty, tangy add to a hotdog, but to one man, mustard is a delicacy that is so often overlooked and underrated, perhaps even misunderstood. 

Harry Lalousis is a mustard sommelier – yes, you read that right – a connoisseur of the yellow paste yielded from mustard seeds. 

"A sommelier means someone who holds the knowledge, so I hold the knowledge for mustard," Lalousis told CBC Calgary's The Homestretch

Lalousis works for Maille, based in France, but relishes the chance to visit Canada, especially southern Alberta, because the Canadian Prairies region is the world's largest exporter of mustard seeds.

Canada's mustard seeds represent in about 90 per cent of the global supply, Lalousis said. 

He says he's here "spreading the love for mustard."

An accidental career path

Lalousis ended up in his role quite by accident at first, he said. It began when he became intrigued by the number of "amazing" mustard flavours, then by the time he started making his own recipes to bring out specific tastes he'd accumulated so much knowledge about mustard. 

"When I was introduced to the different flavours, I was really, really inspired," he said. 

From four core kinds of mustard Lalousis is now working with 38 different flavours. 

"Mustard sounds mundane, but once they try my mustard, they really get what I'm on about and how they can intensify flavours."


With files from CBC's The Homestretch