November 2nd, 2010

My favourite condiments (numbered list)

So Stuart at Create Me This has created me the ability to make properly formatted lists on Rose-coloured. I am celebrating this gift by making a list of my favourite condiments, which I realize some will say is a truly inane thing to do.

Fair ’nuff. But I think about condiments all the time, and like them far more than most foods they go on. I even have theories of condimentality, and I’m dying to share, and the list is such a handy format (I’ve learned from the list-making greats, after all).

First thing you will notice: this list does not contain ketchup, a condiment that I do respect very much for it’s endurance and cheerful colour and ability to get an enormous amount of sugar into a non-dessert food. However, I don’t put it in the top ten due to lack of versitility–I can put ketchup on hot dogs, hamburgers, fries and, in certain moods, eggs. That’s it. Ketchup on chicken or fish just sounds disgusting to me, and on a melted cheese product=beyond abhorrent (I have a gooey-on-gooey horror–melted cheese *is* the condiment). Also, ketchup can’t be in my condiment hall of fame because I have never had any desire to eat it unaccompanied (unlike the items listed below, which all pass the spoon test). So ketchup loses points, and I guess I am slightly more mature than we thought. Who knew?

Onward!

  1. Hoisin sauce just got even better in my eyes because when I went to that Wikipedia article linked above, i found out it contains sweet potatoes, another one of my favourite (non-condiment) foods. It tastes like a sweet, sticky soy sauce and goes well on basically anything Asian or just plain meat and vegetables. Or a spoon.
  2. Everyone knows what soy sauce is, but that doesn’t stop it from being awesome. It is like liquid salt, but with a dilute and slightly smokey taste. It is also one of the few condiments that can be accessorized well with another–delicious delicious wasabi paste can blend into soy sauce, disappearing while making it delightfully spicy.
  3. Balsamic vinegar is dark and sweet, yet tangy and definitely vinegar–some of the fruity vinegars have a lot of sugar in them and taste a bit like Koolaid, but balsamic is the real deal. Delicious on sliced tomatoes or any kind of salad, especially green bean, plus on all kinds of unexpected foods like perogies and bread (as a provincial kid, I was thrilled when a waiter in an Italian restaurant suggested we put oil and vinegar on our plates and dip our bread into it–I skipped the oil).
  4. I’m a little torn about peanut butter, because in some contexts it’s actually a food, not a condiment–ie., in a peanut butter and jam sandwich, the peanut butter is clearly the dress and jam’s the accessory, but in ants on a log, it’s the peanut butter that accessorizes (if you make ants on a log with Cheez Whiz I can’t talk to you). In all honestly, I like my peanut butter unadulterated–on a spoon or maybe licked off a cracker. Sorry, was that too much info? Anyway, I find it safer not the keep peanut butter in the house except for special occasions–it’s kind of protein heroin.
  5. Swiss Chalet sauce doesn’t sound like a multi-use condiment, but it is. You can pretty much put it on everything available at Swiss Chalet except the desserts and salads–in fact, I’ve tried it on the occasional radish and it’s not bad. I’ve never had Swiss Chalet sauce outside of the restaurant, but I imagine it would go nicely on most meats and potatoes, plus steamed or boiled vegetables. I know, there’s such a thing as powdered Swiss Chalet sauce that I could buy at the grocery store, but it scares me–what if it’s not as good?
  6. Barbeque sauce is the bomb! I like it on everything–makes a good salad dressing in a pinch. My dad makes a really good one, but if he’s not available, most of the bottled sauces in the store are just fine. Not for the *Fast Food Nation* faint of heart, but I actually really like the McNugget BBQ sauce. Even better is to eat some of the BBQ sauce, then once there’s space in the little tub, pour in a bit of the McNugget sweet-n-sour sauce. You can stir it with a fry!
  7. Honey mustard also makes a good emergency salad dressing. For a mad condiment lover, I don’t really like most salad dressings–they are too greasy for me. Even the totally fake non-oil dressings are starting to squick me a bit, and in the sugar versus fat contest, I MUCH prefer sugar. Honey mustard has a nice little hit of sugar, while still being slightly spicy. Mix it with a little soy and some sriracha sauce (not on this list because it’s too spicy to pass the spoon test) and you have yourself an awesome stir-fry sauce! Also, by far my favourite condiment option at Subway.
  8. Marinara sauce is not strictly a condiment–if you have it on pasta I guess it’s sort of part of the meal. But if you have it in a little plastic cup for dipping pizza crust or bread sticks or vegetables (I’m an extrapolator), it’s definitely a condiment, and a delightful one. Just watch out for chain pizzerias that dump a lot of sugar in their marinara, I think in an effort to remind children of ketchup. Marinara should be savoury, and a little spicy! That is all.
  9. Frosting. Obiviously.

9 Responses to “My favourite condiments (numbered list)”

  • AMT says:

    this list makes you adorable and me happy.


  • August says:

    I’m with you right up until Chalet Sauce, which is quite possibly the most disgusting foodstuff ever devised.


  • Brenda Schmidt says:

    What a lovely list! Number 4 seems to be my favourite these days. But I’m a recent convert to crunchy, so hey.


  • Rebecca says:

    August, that makes you my ideal Swiss Chalet dining companion–I’ll eat your sauce for you. I humbly offer to trade you my dinner roll.

    Brenda, you know, crunchy and smooth peanut butter seem almost like different foods to me–they go with entirely different moods.


  • Amy Jones says:

    The condiment of choice in my house is Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. In keeping true to the commercial, we put that shit on everything. PS, one of my favourite memories of you is watching you put barbecue sauce on your salad at Wendy’s in wherever that place we were was.


  • August says:

    Unfortunately I would not be an ideal Swiss Chalet companion, as I simply won’t eat there (I’ve never had a good meal at one, and even walked away with food poisoning once, as did my stepfather).

    My go to condiment is Worcestershire Sauce. It is also the active ingredient in any fine homemade barbecue sauce.

    I am also a huge fan of black bean and garlic sauce, deli-style mustard (actually, a whole variety of mustards, but French’s Bold Deli-Style is my current fave), Miracle Whip, and the peanut sauce they make fresh on premises at Walk In, Wok Out on Bloor St.


  • Rebecca says:

    I like everything everyone’s mentioned so far except Miracle Whip. I loved it as a child, a little too much, and somehow I od’d–now even the smell alarms me.


  • Nathalie says:

    I have been known to eat an HP sandwich.


  • Rebecca says:

    Nathalie, that strikes me as a good idea. I have not fully explored HP sauce, because I don’t eat steak, which is of course a silly reason. A new horizon opens up!


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