This winter, curiosity and a taste for the land guided my steps until Serigny. In this village of Lencloîtrais where the melon is king, stands the castle of Saint-Bonnet (16th century).
In 2019 when he had just bought the building, Alain Jomier discovers manuscripts dating from the end of the 19th century in a forgotten trunk in the attic. Among them: the history and recipe of Lencloître mustard. More than a hundred years after the disappearance of the condiment, the neo-Châtelain relaunches production and tells me about his entrepreneurial and culinary adventure.

It's a story !

It all begins at the Lencloître convent dependent on the neighboring Fontevrault Abbey. Mixed men and women, it is headed by the general abbess, as required by the Fontevrist order. In 1774, Marcelle Aimée de James de Longueville took the veil there at the age of 19.

A few years later, the young woman became an apothecary sister there. His knowledge of botany allows him to prepare herbal teas, ointments and potions.
It was in this context that around 1787 she imagined a “health mustard, good for body and mind”, from herbs and spices grown in the convent garden.

“At the end of the 18th century, now served at the inn the conventual set, Marcelle’s mustard acquired a solid reputation among pilgrims.”, Alain Jomier explains to me.

But on August 18, 1792, the Constituent Assembly promulgated a decree ordering the closure of all monasteries and convents. In September of the same year, the nuns left The cloister definitely.

Aimée de James rents a room from a merchant in the town. Very quickly running out of money, she ends up paying her rent by passing on her precious receipts. Its lessor decided to continue manufacturing it. From 1794, he sold “fine Lencloître mustard” in bulk on the days of fair in Lencloître.

Alain Jomier

The finest condiments

Around 1825, small stoneware pots appeared, which encouraged the spread of mustard outside the city.

The success will not be denied for generations of mustard makers. The last, François Naudin alias “heals everything”, even creates flavored variants (onion, sorrel, etc.).

In 1893, the Bricheteau de la Morandière couple, then owners of the Saint-Bonnet castle, bought the mustard manufacturing secrets from “Father Naudin”, with the ambition of giving it a national scope. But the husband died suddenly and the project never saw the light of day.

These are the recipes that have been waiting in the attic for 130 years!

A unique manufacturing method

Passionate about spices, neo-Châtelain Alain Jomier (opposite) decided to relaunch the artisanal production of Lencloître mustard, very different from classic mustard. To do this, the documentary director installed a production line in the former Belle Indienne school, with the help of the Sérigny town hall.

The first step is common to all mustards. From the rapeseed family, the seed is soaked in a liquid (usually a mixture of water, vinegar and salt) then crushed to make a bitter paste. Mr. Jomier uses a stone millstone so as not to heat the dough which would lose taste.

The rest time, necessary to remove the bitterness, varies from 72 hours for manufacturers to 6 months for artisans. Finally comes sieving to remove the skins and obtain fine mustard.

Did you know ?

“Old-fashioned” mustard is nothing more or less than unsifted mustard.

For classic condiments such as Dijon mustard, the operations stop there with potting. In Sérigny on the other hand, as in the convent of Lencloître at the time, the creation ofan electuary takes place in parallel until a thick syrup is obtained. Traditionally for this preparation, dried, pulverized and sifted medicinal plants are infused for 2 to 10 hours in honey heated to low temperature. Father Naudin replaced the plants with Lencloître onion or sorrel.

For a month, the mustard paste and the electuary mature, the first in a vat, the second in a pot. Finally comes the mixing stage, in precise proportions depending on the recipes. And here we go again for several months of final maturation.

The difference between Dijon mustard and Lencloître mustard is also due to the seeds used: only brown for the first, a mixture of yellow and brown for the second.

In order to acquire complete autonomy, Alain Jomier plans to relaunch the cultivation of plants in the region. A partnership has just been concluded with local farmers.


Currently, four recipes are marketed.

• The historic recipe of the convent sisters Alain Jomier’s advice: Versatile, this condiment is ideal for making mayonnaise or making a vinaigrette.

• François Naudin's recipe for honey-candied onions Alain Jomier’s advice: Goes perfectly with pork or white meats.

• La Belle Indienne’s contemporary curry recipe Alain Jomier’s advice: Serve with mussels marinière, yogurt and rice, or in mayonnaise with grilled chicken.

• The recipe for the bicentenary of Lencloître (2022) Alain Jomier's advice: Enriched with leeks, tomatoes and onions, this sweet and aromatic mustard goes perfectly with sauerkraut, stew, etc.

New recipes are regularly created, in collaboration and at the request of chefs.

In an environmental approach, the pots are reusable.
The original stoneware pot is reissued in a limited series the pottery workshop of the Benedictine sisters of Martigné Briand.

Taste Lencloître Mustard

Points of sale


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