Beyond Ketchup: 10 Condiments You Need to Know About (Slideshow)
Achaar is a family of pickled fruits and vegetables popular in India, chopped into small pieces and cooked in oil and brine with lots of salt, turmeric, and other spices. They vary from region to region, but are usually made from mango and lime, and can also contain cauliflower, carrot, tomato, onion, and eggplant. It can be eaten as-is or served alongside just about any Indian dish; you can order it online at PickleMasti.
This Indonesian condiment is made primarily with chili peppers; other ingredients can include fish sauce, garlic, shallot, ginger, lime juice, sugar, and vinegar. It pairs perfectly with fried chicken and grilled or fried fish. Sambal oelek, a popular variation, is commonly used in cooking, and is a great way to spice up sauces, soups, and marinades. Dean & Deluca sells it online.
No English pantry is complete without some HP Sauce, and it’s a tragedy that it hasn’t caught on more in America. A “brown sauce” produced by Heinz and first introduced in 1895, it’s an umami-rich condiment made with malt vinegar, tamarind, tomatoes, dates, sugar, and spices. It pairs with everything from meat pies to fries to steak, and can also kick up soups and stews. It’s available at most major supermarkets nowadays, but HP Sauce (and its many variations) can be purchased at BritSuperstore.com.
Another British mainstay, Gentleman’s Relish is a pungent anchovy paste also known as Patum Peperium. Invented in 1821, it’s strong, salty, and slightly fishy, with 60 percent anchovies and the rest butter, herbs, and spices. The full recipe is a well-kept secret, but it pairs well with everything from baked potatoes to scrambled eggs and cottage pies, and can also be simply spread on buttered toast. This most English of condiments can also be purchased on BritSuperstore.com, along with its salmon- and mackerel-based cousins.
Popular in Russia, Ukraine, and other parts of the Caucasus including Georgia, ajika is a spicy sauce made with red peppers and other ingredients that vary regionally, including garlic, dill, and walnuts. Several different varieties can be purchased at RussianProducts.com.
Another major Georgian condiment, tkemali’s primary ingredient is sour plums. It’s pungent and tart, and is typically also made with garlic, dill, chili peppers, cilantro, and mint. It’s essentially the Georgian ketchup, and pairs well with grilled meats. It can also be purchased at RussianProducts.com.
This pungent paste is one of Korea’s most popular condiments, and is traditionally made with red chiles, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. It adds an umami and sweet and spicy pick to anything it comes in contact with; it’s most commonly used in rice dishes like bibimbap as well as soups, stews, and marinades, and goes great with a grilled steak. It can be found online at CrazyKoreanShopping.com.
This popular Italian condiment, typically associated with Christmas, has quite a unique flavor; it’s typically made with made with candied fruit and mustard oil, giving it a sweet, complex flavor. There are regional variations all over Italy, but it’s traditionally served with meats and the traditional stew known as bollito misto. Nowadays, it’s becoming more well-known as a great accompaniment to cheese. A well-known variety is available at iGourmet.com.
This Southern Italian condiment is made by combining lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, parsley, oregano, and salt and pepper, and is a perfect, bright and zingy accompaniment to grilled and roasted meats and seafood. We recommend you make your own; here’s a great recipe.
This spread is incredibly popular in Romania and other parts of the Balkans, and is catching on with vegetarians worldwide. It’s traditionally made with roasted eggplant or sautéed and chopped raw onions, tomatoes, and roasted red peppers, but some variations include carrots, celery, and mushrooms. It’s a popular breakfast condiment, simply spread on bread, but it can also be tossed with pasta or used in many other dishes. It’s not produced by any American companies, but you can make your own or buy some homemade zacuscă on Etsy.