The Grand Moutardier of His Holiness.
Pope John XXII (1316 - 34), ruling in Avignone, missed mustard so much that he created
a special post of "the Great Moutardier of His Holiness" ("grand moutardier du pape") at his court. The job of the moutardier was to produce and supply the Pope's court with the highest quality of mustard, the favorite condiment of the Pope. Some bitter people said that it was simply a position created for a relative who was so dumb that he could not be nominated for the position of
a Cardinal. From this time, a bighead, a dumb person with connections, was called "The Popes Moutardier".
The white mustard plant (Sinapis alba, Brassica nigra ), from which mustard is produced is a small
annual plant with golden flowers that has been known for thousands of years. The seeds of the white mustard, which contain the valuable oil as well as glycosides with a sharp taste, have been found in excavations from the Summer times, and were well known in
Ancient India and Greece. In Medieval Europe there were traveling moutardiers as well as
residents, who produced mustard for sale and closely guarded the secrets and recipes of the profession.
Traveling moutardiers carried with them (on them) all that was required for the production of mustard, as can be seen in the attached illustration. In Poland, in the XX century, mustard ( and vinegar) was bought from the moutardier or
from publications of