Between the museum tour and an interactive workshop, the Muerbelsmillen (Mohrfels Mill) spices up children’s mornings with educational activity on Luxembourg mustard. For two hours, little gourmands make their own mustard, following the secret recipe of the Moschterfabrick (mustard factory).
The only mill in Luxembourg City in working order, the Muerbelsmillen has brought a breath of vibrancy to the Pfaffenthal district since its renovation was completed last year. The former mustard factory, located along the Alzette river, is now home to a museum. It features the mill’s old machinery (the mill wheel will be back in service soon), an exhibition that traces the history of the mill (which dates back to 1083), offices for the Pfaffenthal-Siechenhof neighbourhood association, and also student accommodation.
Since October 2017, thousands of mustard seeds have been crushed by the hands of curious children within the national monument. Every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:15am to 12:15pm, the Muerbelsmillen offers a handmade mustard workshop for schools. Other children can also participate during holidays, by reservation, for a €5 fee. Workshops are held in English during the summer.
Upon their arrival, children, teachers and families are introduced to the history of the mill with a tour, which includes a documentary featuring the late René Flohr, the last person who made mustard in the building.
After learning about traditional Luxembourg mustard fabrication, which differs from the French by omitting wine, children move to a room where a long table full of ingredients and utensils awaits. Following brief instructions, the excited youngsters share the ingredients and start frenetically grinding the mustard seeds using pestles and mortars.
After obtaining a smooth texture made out of the basic ingredients--white and/or grey mustard seeds, water, vinegar, sugar and salt--the children are free to add extra condiments such as turmeric for a more vibrant colour, pepper, fennel, chili and wasabi. Once the children are satisfied with their mixture, they put it in a small container and decorate them with colourful paper and basket weave. The more ambitious kids get to do a second round.
After their hard work, children can proudly exhibit their creations to their families. Léa and Louis merrily showed their mustard jars to their grandmother.
Satisfied with the engaging experience, the siblings already plan on reproducing what they have learned today, “Daddy said we’ll do it. He will buy seeds and we will make it,” Louis told Delano during the workshop held on 10 April.
Conscious of her little brother’s choice of adding extra spoons of wasabi, Léa prepared a smoother mustard for her parents: “I made one with turmeric and other ingredients that are not too strong for us.”
The museum is located at 47 rue Mohrfels, Luxembourg-Pfaffenthal.