They are the things that you find hidden at the back of the fridge or cupboards: you don’t want to throw them out but you have no idea what to do with them.
Well, I think you should mix them up.
There is no reason why you can’t serve mint sauce with beef or salad cream with pork instead of apple sauce.
Take some mint sauce and mayonnaise and mix them together to create sauce paloise (I didn’t make that name up!). Mint and mayo is a magnificent combo that works really well.
There’s also no reason why you can’t serve Branston pickle with mayonnaise and orange zest. Take a tub of coleslaw and add some pickled ginger.
If you’re having haggis, forget the neeps and tatties and have beetroot and soy sauce or pears and neeps instead. Add worcestershire sauce to your mashed potatoes and serve it with fish.
Peanut butter and yoghurt is awesome and there are a tonne of things that you can put on your fish and chips instead of salt and vinegar. When I was a kid I used to crumble Oxo cubes over them.
There’s also no reason why you can’t serve horseradish with fish and why not have apple sauce and salad cream with your burger?
It’s all about exciting the palette. Beetroot and coleslaw are the staples but take a pork sausage and there’s nothing you can’t do with it with condiments and adding mustard will make a good dish great.
The British love their condiments. Everyone knows about tomato ketchup and the king that is salad cream but you should also try piccalilli, which is a top ingredient, smoked sea salt, vinegars or nut oils, which can add a real kick to your cooking.
These are Gods, they are a mainstay and when I see them all lined up it makes me think of the war as these are the things that you had to have in your cupboard to keep you safe.
They fascinate me and each one works in its own balance.
So go condiment crazy. If you mix them around a bit you are guaranteed to come up with something special.
Condiments are used to improve and heighten food flavours but did you know that the term usually refers to flavourings that are added at the table rather than during cooking?
Here are 10 more fascinating facts that you might not know about condiments.
1 The name mustard comes from the Latin words ‘mustum ardens’ , meaning ‘burning wine’.
2 In January 2011, a woman in Idaho was sentenced to 27 days in jail after she plead guilty to dumping condiments into a library book-drop. She put the condiments, which included maple syrup, ketchup and mayonnaise, into the drop because she was upset that she had been banned from the library.
3 Pope John Paul XXII loved mustard so much that in the early 1300s he created the position of mustard-maker to the Pope (grand moutardier du pape) at the Vatican.
4 The vinegar in ketchup makes it perfect for cleaning copper utensils.
5 Mustard was first cultivated in India around 3,000BC and was later taken to Britain by the Romans who used it as a condiment and pickling spice.
6 Storing opened ketchup in direct sunlight or a hot kitchen allows it to ferment and can cause small explosions when the bottle is opened.
7 Mustard was used by the Greeks to treat toothache, muscular pain, stimulate appetite and digestion, clear sinuses and increase blood circulation.
8 It is believed that sprinkling mustard powder in your socks can help prevent frostbite.
9 Eating Worcestershire sauce can cheer you up as the sauce is made of fermented fish which contain glutamates that help improve your mood.
10 In Indonesia, Worcestershire sauce is called ‘kecap inggris’, which translates as ‘English ketchup’.
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