Colombias Mustard Lovers Grow Desperate Amid Dijon Shortage

Logo The New York TimesThe New York Times
2023-06-10 09:01:07  • 6 mins

In Colombia, a new illicit product is on the rise. Desperate consumers are sneaking it in suitcases from abroad, hoarding it in their homes, paying outrageous prices online and lining up at clandestine locations to buy it.

The contraband? Dijon mustard.

A new health law intended to improve Colombians diets which are heavy on meat and fried food has led to the disappearanceof a host of fare from market shelves, including the French delicacy of the condiment world.

Its just pitiful, said Sylvre Belliot, who owns a bakery in Bogot, the capital.

Mustard is part of being a French person, he said. It is essential for enjoying food.

Inspired by a push by the Pan American Health Organization to address high rates of cardiovascular disease in the region, Colombias Health Ministry in 2020 imposed limits on high-sodium products, with the measure taking effect last November.

The rule caps sodium for 59 products, including cereals, meats, nuts, breads and cheeses. Mustard must have less than 817 milligrams of sodium per 100 grams. A jar of Grey Poupon Dijon mustard has nearly three times that ratio.

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