Urchfont Mustard, Wiltshire
The story of how Urchfont Mustard came into being is heart-warming, like the product itself. William Tullberg was working as a food tester in 1970, and needed a relish to pep up the various sausages and pies he was monitoring. He decided to make his own, a chilli enhanced wholegrain mustard (at a time when no English wholegrain mustards were available). Some friends got to taste it, and one who begged a jar took it to the local pub to share, an order for a dozen from the landlord resulting. Mr Tullberg and family still run the business - The Tracklement Company - that grew from this tiny acorn.
They use top quality fresh organic ingredients produced locally wherever possible, and avoid artificial additives, a simple enough philosophy that too few industrial food producers ever grasp. And as natural ingredients vary from day to day in water content, ripeness, and strength of flavour, the company is keen to stress how much it relies on the skill of its people in taking such factors into account in making the product. The result is not cheap, but it is excellent.
Urchfont Mustard is named for the village where it originated, though it is now made between Sherston and Malmesbury in Wiltshire . Naturally coloured, it has the pleasant feel of mustard seeds in every nibble, and though the mustard flavour is more of a gentle but firm nudge than a kick, following up is an aggressive shove of chilli, balanced by a vinegary sharpness.