Condiment Varieties

You have learned about herbs and spices and how they affect the flavor of foods, but what about the condiments, nuts, and seeds that can be served with food to enhance flavor? You will need to know which foods they enhance.

A condiment is traditionally served as an accompaniment to foods. An accompaniment is something that goes well with something else. Condiments' purpose is to complement, or go together well with, food flavors. They vary from sweet and tart to hot and spicy, or sour. Condiments can be purchased ready to use or can be created in the kitchen.


Sauces can be used as a condiment for many foods. Many sauces can enhance foods:

• A salsa ('s6l-ss) is a fresh or cooked mixture of chopped chiles, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. Unopened, cooked salsas can be stored at room temperature for up to six months. Opened salsas should always be tightly covered and refrigerated. Fresh salsas can be refrigerated for seven days.

• Ketchup is a tomato-based sauce used throughout the world as a flavoring. Ketchup has a tangy, sweet-and-sour taste. Some ketchups have a flavoring added, such as jalapeno. As ketchup ages, it can taste stale.

• Steak sauce is a sauce that is tangier than ketchup. Steak sauce is used with grilled and broiled meats.

Prepared Mustards

A prepared mustard contains a combination of ground white, black, and brown mustard seeds, vinegar, salt, and spices. Prepared mustards have a variety of textures, from smooth to coarse to chunky. They also have a variety of flavors, from mild to hot. Prepared mustards are often served with pork, beef, vegetables, sandwiches, and salads. Prepared mustards can also be used in dips for vegetables, or as part of a sauce. As mustards age, they lose flavor.

Pickled Condiments

Some condiments have pickled ingredients. Pickles are made from vegetables that are fermented (Qfsr-'men-ted), or chemically changed in brines or vinegars flavored and seasoned with dill, garlic, sugar, peppers, or salt. Cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers are commonly pickled. A coarsely chopped or ground pickled item is called a relish. The most common flavors are sweet and dill.


Vinegar is a sour, acidic liquid used in cooking, marinades, and salad dressings. Some common vinegars are white vinegar, red wine vinegar, balsamic (bol-'sa-mik) vinegar, and cider vinegar. Discard vinegars three months after they are opened.

Flavored Oils

A flavored oil has been enhanced with ingredients such as herbs, spices, and garlic. The oils of these ingredients are extracted and then poured into olive or canola oil. Some flavored oils are created by simply adding the flavor enhancer itself, such as garlic, to olive or canola oil. Prepare only enough to use for one day to avoid foodborne illness.

Sometimes different vegetable oils are combined to create a unique taste. For example, Szechwan-flavored oil combines sunflower oil, canola oil, and sesame seed oil.

Condiment Storage

Unopened condiments should be stored in cool and dry areas. Temperatures should be between 50°F (10°C) and 70°F (21°C). Most opened condiments should be stored in the refrigerator.

Once opened, remove canned condiments from the cans and transfer them into airtight plastic containers. Store condiments in the refrigerator once they have been opened.

kind of foods would you use hot sauce?

Continue reading here: Nuts and Seeds

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