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Mostarda Mantovana {Northern Italy Candied Fruit Condiment}

Have you ever heard of Italian mustards? It’s not a conventional type of mustard, but rather a type of condiment in and of itself.

To make Italian Mustard, candied fruit such as quince apples, green apples, pears and more are cooked in mustard-flavored syrup.

Today we are making one of the most classic and one of the oldest mustards from Mantova (Lombardy region) – Mostarda Mantovana.

  • It pairs perfectly with boiled meat (Bollito typical to Northern Italy) and I assume it’ll be heaven on turkey meat as well!!
  • Delicious tasted with cheese and crostini!😋
  • Used as an ingredient in Pumpkin Tortelli (traditional Ravioli from Mantova)

The whole process takes 4 days, but requires very little hands-on time.

Mostarda Mantovana {Italian Candied Fruit Condiment with Mustard Flavor}

Full Recipe

Mostarda Mantovana {Italian Candied Fruit Condiment with Mustard Flavor}

Mostarda Mantovana

Traditional Northern Italy candied fruit condiment with mustard flavor.
Print Pin Rate / Comment
Course: Condiment, Preserves
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 25


  • 1 lb quince apples , approx 450 g, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup sugar , approx 225g
  • 8-10 drops mustard essence/oil , depending how strong you like the mustard flavor to be


Day 1

  • In a pot mix the quince apple slices with sugar and let macerate for 24 hours.
    Mostarda Mantovana -Step 1

Day 2

  • Remove fruit sliced from the syrup. On low heat bring the syrup to boil and cook for 10 minutes. Add fruit sliced to the syrup and let macerate for another 24 hours.
    Mostarda Mantovana -Step 2

Day 3

  • Repeat the process again.

Day 4

  • Bring fruit together with syrup to a boil and cook for a few minutes until lightly caramelized. Let cool completely.
  • Add mustard essence or mustard oil and stir.


If you don't have quince apples you can use slightly sour green apples that you have.
Weight fruit for the recipe AFTER peeling, corning and slicing.
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Mostarda Mantovana {Italian Candied Fruit Condiment with Mustard Flavor}

Buon Appetito!

Recipe Rating

Marge Rinaldi

Monday 9th of November 2020

The recipe says to use mustard essence/oil. I found both mustard oil and mustard essence. I'm not sure which one to use. I have read that they are very different. Thanks for any information.

Italian Recipe Book

Wednesday 11th of November 2020

Hello Marge, thank you for your question. You can actually use both. The difference is that essence is water based while oil is obviously oil. If you can get both I'd go with mustard oil since it has a wider range of use.

Tortelli Mantovani {Pumpkin Tortelli from Northern Italy} - Italian Recipe Book

Thursday 6th of December 2018

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