Mayonnaise is America's most popular condiment, and a tremendously versatile sauce. Though it's a simple combination of oil, eggs, and vinegar, it can be frustrating to make at home, which may account for commercial mayo's $2bn in annual sales!
'pantry essential' on Serious Eats
Balsamic vinegar can sell for as much as $200 an ounce, or as cheaply as three dollars for a 16-ounce bottle. What's going on here? The answer is that there isn't just one balsamic vinegar. Here's everything you need to know about the condiment and its brethren.
The word "teriyaki" originally refers to meat or fish basted with a sweet and salty sauce and roasted on a grill. Today it also refers to the sauce itself, which comes in two different styles. So what is teriyaki sauce, and how should you use it?
It's more than just a pasta topping. Here's everything you need to know about the classic Italian sauce.
Wasabi is a condiment that many of us first encountered in the context of sushi — it was largely unknown outside of Japan until the North American sushi boom of the 1980s. That unfamiliarity may explain why most of us still haven't encountered real wasabi—but we've developed a taste for the thing we think is wasabi.
Chutney is a condiment with a confusing identity—something like relish, something like jam, and served with everything from Indian curries to grilled cheese. Here's what you need to know about the wide world of chutney.
Just as many of us can't face a sandwich without mayo, or can't imagine tacos without salsa, so too is ssämjang essential to the Korean equivalent, ssäm, a vegetable leaf wrapped around rice, vegetables, and protein. "Ssäm" means "wrapped," and ssämjang means "wrap paste" —that should give you an idea of just how essential it is!
Ketchup may be the king of all condiments. It's a ubiquitous presence on tables in just about every home in North America, and its sweet, tangy flavor is as familiar and reassuring as a hug. Ketchup seems quintessentially American, yet it's evolved dramatically from Asian roots into the product we know and love today. So what makes ketchup, well...ketchup?
Marmite has a well-earned love-it-or-hate-it reputation. One of the most well-known yeast extracts, it has an intense flavor: tangy, pungent, and very salty, with a hint of sweetness, too. Where did it come from, how did it get into our pantries, and what should we do with it? Our Pantry Essentials columnist set forth to find out.
You may know that mincemeat—the main ingredient in rich, buttery mince pies—is not actually made with meat, but it isn't necessarily vegetarian, either. So what exactly is this Christmastime staple?
Hot, creamy French-style Dijon mustard always deserves a place in the pantry because of its versatility, but what makes a mustard a Dijon, and what should you look out for when buying a jar?
Three-quarters of American homes serve store-bought cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving, and many people actually prefer it. It's useful to have on hand if you forget to make your own—and there are plenty of ways to use it!
Created in the late 19th century, liquid smoke replicates the flavor of smoke-curing without all the hassle of actually preparing the food that way. It's a widely used ingredient to this day.
There are a range of products in red and yellow bottles that are labelled as liquid seasoning - but what are they, what are they used for, and what makes them different?
Soy sauce is the standard salty/savory additive in Japanese cuisine, but anyone looking for an alternative that offers a citrusy twist will want to get familiar with ponzu.
Demystifying the origins and uses of salsa, the familiar spicy red sauce that isn't always spicy, isn't always red, and isn't always used as sauce.
The anchovy is not a universally loved fish, but it is the key ingredient in fish sauce, the delicious and essential seasoning that provides much of the saltiness in Southeast Asian cuisine.
Vinegar is one of the most versatile and ubiquitous ingredients in any kitchen. It's also an ingredient you could easily find yourself owning in half a dozen different varieties. How many types of vinegar do you really need in your cupboard?