7/28/2012

The Wild World of Condiments

When you bite into that burger, what's on top of it?  Ketchup, mustard, salsa, relish, onions, cheese? All of the above? None?  I love condiments of all kinds, all ethnic persuasions, colors, textures. They add the zing to whatever I'm eating. As a kid, ketchup was my number one favorite. It goes well on most anything. Ask my Aunt Nita who was a real rebel back in the day and put it on her eggs. I was mildly shocked at this as a child, but followed her example and found it to be pretty tasty. Now I prefer salsa and cheese on scrambled eggs, but nothing can replace ketchup on a myriad of foods.

So what's a condiment? It comes from the Latin word "condimentum" which means seasoning. I can see my Latin teacher standing to cheer on this one. I should try to decline the noun, but I'm not sure if I'd make it. All good words come from the Latin, which is common knowledge, sort of like "all words come from the Greek" (My Big Fat Greek Wedding).  Dictionary.com defines it as "something used to give a special flavor to food, as mustard, ketchup, salt, or spices."

There are a lot of choices to give food special flavor these days.  Everything from the standbys such as mustard, mayo, relish, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce to pesto, hummus, wasabi, hoisin--you name it, it's available. It's like the entire world has come to your dinner table. There's been a lot of talk about the number one condiment in America, whether it's ketchup or salsa. Now salsa has made great strides in the last 10 years or so.  According to All Recipes.com, ketchup still squeaks by with a win. We love the sweet red sauce so much you can spell it two ways--ketchup or catsup. Salsa and mayo tie for an extremely close second.

Everyone has their favorite and one that they especially hate. Enter our daughter, Megan. From an early age she began to despise mayonnaise. I'm not really sure how it all began, but by the time she was a teenager the hatred of mayo reached epic proportions and remains to this day.  There was always a lot of drama about no mayo on a sandwich, in a salad, in a whatever. Even now, I'm instructed  not to let mayo anywhere near her or any food she might consume. She keeps it for her husband though, stashed in the bottom rack of the refrigerator door, nowhere near her condiments. My son-in-law and I have the same philosophy on condiments--bring 'em on.  I do have to tell you that Megan ate homemade chocolate cake that was made with the evil white stuff. She never suspected.  It's moist, rich, and downright delicious. It's the twisted sense of humor mothers develop over time.  Now she knows and I'll hear about it.

So what's in your refrigerator door?  Do you have the classics along with fish sauce and Tamari? Maple syrup--the real stuff? Liquid Smoke, horseradish, Dijon mustard?  Stop by and comment about your favorite and your most hated. Or your strangest combination. Isn't it wonderful we have so many to choose from?

Now, should I put salsa and Dijon on the burger or maybe aioli with fresh grated Parmesan?

5 comments:

Trish said...

Here in Ottawa we have a hamburger joint called The Works. Talk about your crazy combos on Burgers. One of my favorites to order there has a sweet & spicy sauce, hot peppers, and cream cheese! It tastes like a jalepeno popper! Delish. Check out their other flavors here: http://www.worksburger.com/Menus/OurMenu

Harry said...

Most people know of Elvis's favorite peanut butter and banana sandwich, but how many know about one of mine, peanut butter and pickle sandwich. You can make it with either sweet or dill pickle slices, and it tastes just as good.
I know it sounds terrible, but "try it-you'll like it."

Alana said...

My new favourite spice is sweet smoked paprika. I use it in all kinds of dishes and just a little brings out a lot of flavour.

JD said...

My frig was FULL of condiments of all kinds, from jerk sauce to liquid smoke. Bill was the one who loved them all! I finally had to get rid of them, especially since many had been there "longer than the average condiment"! As for me, I'm happy with Dijon mustard on meat sandwiches and burgers, and if available, add salsa to burgers.

Yvonne Hoyt said...

I love to dip my pizza in Ranch and Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce. If eating a sandwich it has to be slathered in Miracle Whip. I never run out of these, I always buy in bulk at Sam's.

Positively encouraging

7/28/2012

The Wild World of Condiments

When you bite into that burger, what's on top of it?  Ketchup, mustard, salsa, relish, onions, cheese? All of the above? None?  I love condiments of all kinds, all ethnic persuasions, colors, textures. They add the zing to whatever I'm eating. As a kid, ketchup was my number one favorite. It goes well on most anything. Ask my Aunt Nita who was a real rebel back in the day and put it on her eggs. I was mildly shocked at this as a child, but followed her example and found it to be pretty tasty. Now I prefer salsa and cheese on scrambled eggs, but nothing can replace ketchup on a myriad of foods.

So what's a condiment? It comes from the Latin word "condimentum" which means seasoning. I can see my Latin teacher standing to cheer on this one. I should try to decline the noun, but I'm not sure if I'd make it. All good words come from the Latin, which is common knowledge, sort of like "all words come from the Greek" (My Big Fat Greek Wedding).  Dictionary.com defines it as "something used to give a special flavor to food, as mustard, ketchup, salt, or spices."

There are a lot of choices to give food special flavor these days.  Everything from the standbys such as mustard, mayo, relish, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce to pesto, hummus, wasabi, hoisin--you name it, it's available. It's like the entire world has come to your dinner table. There's been a lot of talk about the number one condiment in America, whether it's ketchup or salsa. Now salsa has made great strides in the last 10 years or so.  According to All Recipes.com, ketchup still squeaks by with a win. We love the sweet red sauce so much you can spell it two ways--ketchup or catsup. Salsa and mayo tie for an extremely close second.

Everyone has their favorite and one that they especially hate. Enter our daughter, Megan. From an early age she began to despise mayonnaise. I'm not really sure how it all began, but by the time she was a teenager the hatred of mayo reached epic proportions and remains to this day.  There was always a lot of drama about no mayo on a sandwich, in a salad, in a whatever. Even now, I'm instructed  not to let mayo anywhere near her or any food she might consume. She keeps it for her husband though, stashed in the bottom rack of the refrigerator door, nowhere near her condiments. My son-in-law and I have the same philosophy on condiments--bring 'em on.  I do have to tell you that Megan ate homemade chocolate cake that was made with the evil white stuff. She never suspected.  It's moist, rich, and downright delicious. It's the twisted sense of humor mothers develop over time.  Now she knows and I'll hear about it.

So what's in your refrigerator door?  Do you have the classics along with fish sauce and Tamari? Maple syrup--the real stuff? Liquid Smoke, horseradish, Dijon mustard?  Stop by and comment about your favorite and your most hated. Or your strangest combination. Isn't it wonderful we have so many to choose from?

Now, should I put salsa and Dijon on the burger or maybe aioli with fresh grated Parmesan?

5 comments:

Trish said...

Here in Ottawa we have a hamburger joint called The Works. Talk about your crazy combos on Burgers. One of my favorites to order there has a sweet & spicy sauce, hot peppers, and cream cheese! It tastes like a jalepeno popper! Delish. Check out their other flavors here: http://www.worksburger.com/Menus/OurMenu

Harry said...

Most people know of Elvis's favorite peanut butter and banana sandwich, but how many know about one of mine, peanut butter and pickle sandwich. You can make it with either sweet or dill pickle slices, and it tastes just as good.
I know it sounds terrible, but "try it-you'll like it."

Alana said...

My new favourite spice is sweet smoked paprika. I use it in all kinds of dishes and just a little brings out a lot of flavour.

JD said...

My frig was FULL of condiments of all kinds, from jerk sauce to liquid smoke. Bill was the one who loved them all! I finally had to get rid of them, especially since many had been there "longer than the average condiment"! As for me, I'm happy with Dijon mustard on meat sandwiches and burgers, and if available, add salsa to burgers.

Yvonne Hoyt said...

I love to dip my pizza in Ranch and Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce. If eating a sandwich it has to be slathered in Miracle Whip. I never run out of these, I always buy in bulk at Sam's.