“Condiments are like old friends-highly thought of, but often taken for granted.” Marilyn Kaytor
When we eat soup in Thailand, it’s not unusual to add four or five condiments before even tasting it. I’ve developed a new appreciation for condiments. Seeing taco sauce choices in verde, mild, and fire made me feel right at home.
Condiments, according to Webster Dictionary, are used to enhance flavor. Some of our most used condiments might differ from yours.
Peppers – Even our hottest pepper called “pricky nuu” cannot top The World’s Hottest Hot Sauce, according to my Thai friend who sampled it at our house. Still, it’s hard to beat the tiny red and green peppers if you live in Thailand. The other day, I got just a gnat-sized piece in my mouth and my lips were on fire. Needless to say, hot pepper is not my favorite condiment, but you will find it at most vendors’ stalls here.
Bean Sprouts – Though they basically have little to no taste, I do like bean sprouts. They go great with practically any main rice and noodle dish. Bean sprouts can be seen along with long green beans and several herbal leaves at many roadside stands here in Thailand. These condiments say much about the importance of presentation and food. Each of these stands are quite photogenic.
Corn – When I first moved to Asia, I was quite surprised at the use of corn as a dessert condiment. I often see the ice cream truck serving ice cream on a hot dog bun with corn and red beans on top. It doesn’t compare to Dairy Queen, but it did strike my interest. There is even a Table of Condiments I found on the internet on which element 46 Wc (Whipped cream) would have been my ice cream condiment preference.
The next time you reach for a condiment, think of how it enhances the flavor of your own food. What are your favorites?