Condiments offer dishes a wide array of new and unique flavours. Plus, they make it unbelievably easy to add a cultural twist to your mealtime in moments. Have you stocked up on these delicious condiments yet?
Cultural cuisine in a flash
If you’ve been using the typical neon-yellow mustard on your sandwiches and meats, it’s time for an exciting and flavourful change. Dijon mustard originated in Dijon, France and is traditionally made of white wine, brown or black mustard seeds, salt and spices. It’s spicier and has more of a kick than your usual yellow mustard, which might be a bit of a surprise the first time you try it. But once your taste buds adjust, it won’t take long to get hooked. Try it in this easy French salad dressing, and see what you think.
If you can’t get enough of hot and spicy dishes, then sriracha is a must-have for your kitchen. It was originally discovered in Si Racha, Thailand and has been adding a touch of sweet and spice to sauces, marinades, dressings and more ever since. It is slightly thicker than many other common hot sauces and is made of sun-ripened chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, sugar and salt. It’s easy to find at your local grocery store, so there’s no excuse to not stock up. Test it out for yourself by whipping up these Thai chicken lettuce wraps.
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Worcestershire sauce is named after the British county Worcester, where it was first made. It is a mysterious blend of vinegar and seasonings that is then fermented for a long period to give it its strong, bold flavour. Dashes of the liquid are often tossed into stews, stir-fries, marinades and other meat dishes, and it can also be enjoyed in a refreshing Bloody Caesar.
Chutney, made of fresh fruits and spices, originated as a relish in India and quickly spread around the world from there. Unlike other condiments that tend to be pretty standard, chutneys are highly diverse. They can be fresh or cooked, sweet or sour, spicy or mild and made of vegetables or fruits or both. Many herbs and spices are also incorporated to achieve an array of flavours. This sweet mango chutney, for example, will be a delicious addition to your next meal of grilled fish or baked chicken.
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Tzatziki first appeared in countries near the Mediterranean, such as Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Iraq. It is primarily made of plain yogourt and sliced cucumber, along with other herbs and spices, such as garlic, dill and salt. It is often served cold as a dip for vegetables or pita pieces, but it’s also excellent as a sandwich spread or as a sauce for meat dishes. Rather than testing out a store-bought variety, whip up your very own homemade tzatziki.
Soy sauce might very well be the oldest condiment out there, seeing as the characters for soy sauce first appeared in the Japanese language in 1597, and evidence suggests it might have existed long before that. It has played a prominent role in the kitchens of Asian countries, such as China, Japan and Korea, for centuries, and its popularity continues to grow. Soy sauce is made primarily of fermented soya beans, water and salt, along with other ingredients, depending on the brand. It adds wonderful flavour to stir-fries such as this chicken, shrimp and vegetable udon noodle dish.
What other fun condiments are your favourites? Let us know in the comment section below!