What are fish and chips without the seaside scent of salt and vinegar? Bangers and mash is made the dish it is with the addition of a splodge of brown sauce, and no bacon sandwich is complete without tomato ketchup. To make our favourite foods the tastiest that they can be, condiments are key. Here is a list of our favourites:
Salt and Vinegar – The pairing of these kings of condiments was genius, the saltiness mixed with the acid of vinegar makes their inclusion on fried potatoes essential; and place them firmly in the centre of the dinner table at all times.
Tomato sauce – Tomato Sauce or ketchup as North America calls it, is the condiment of choice the world over. There are varying levels of quality of ketchup, but it is widely agreed that Heinz is perceived as the best. Thick and tomato-y it is perfect on burgers, with fries, fish fingers, next to steak, in fact ketchup compliments almost any savoury food.
Brown Sauce – The more mature choice to ketchup, brown sauce is a bit fruitier and a bit spicier. Perfect with meats, cheeses and even on plain crisps, the HP variety, bearing Parliament on its label, is famous all over the world.
Salad Cream – Known as the poor man’s mayonnaise, salad cream has experienced something of a resurgence in the last few years. Used as mayonnaise is, with tuna or prawns for sandwiches or on the side of a salad plate, it is proving to have developed quite a cult following.
Olive Oil – Once considered posh and exotic, olive oil is commonplace in the common kitchen. It can be used for dipping bread, and makes a wonderful salad dressing. It is also an essential base for homemade mayonnaise and sauces.
Mint Sauce – Serve mint sauce with lamb for the very best results to tantalise your taste buds. Mint compliments the meat perfectly; and home made mint sauce can be easily made by grinding fresh mint in a bowl and adding balsamic vinegar.
Mustard – Perfect on hotdogs or with steak, mustard comes in many guises. French or Dijon mustard is mild and creamy; some mustard’s have whole grains of the plant in them; and English mustard has that hot bite that if not properly monitored can go up your nose and burn your eyes.
Horseradish Sauce – This can be bought, or if you are lucky enough to hunt out wild horseradish root made at home. It is the traditional accompaniment to roast beef, matched by none.
Mayonnaise – Mayonnaise can be used on salads and to make sandwich fillings such as tuna mayo, prawn mayo and even coronation chicken. This creamy delight made from eggs should be used sparingly because of its fat content, but is particularly tasty on salads.
Truffle Oil – Truffle oil is an unusual synthetic oil that mimics the scent and taste of the world’s most expensive fungi. Add this to risotto’s and pasta dishes to evoke the taste of decadent Italy in your cooking.
Wasabi – A green Japanese mustard-tasting condiment, served with Sushi. This is peppery hot and should be used sparingly and with caution.