When we think of condiments, we think of ketchup to dip your fries in and mayonnaise on your burgers. In fact, it is easy to overlook just how versatile many of these everyday condiments are and the role they can play in creating tasty, home-cooked food. So just which cupboard condiments should be in every kitchen, and how can you get the best out of them?
One of the biggest sellers in the condiment industry, there’s rarely a cupboard that doesn’t have this excellent staple! However, when we think of tomato ketchup, we think of dipping your dinner rather than culinary invention. The beauty of tomato sauce is that it is actually an incredibly flexible product that can be used in a number of ways, such as in marinades (it is particularly popular in Korean marinades), rubs, homemade sauces and simply to flavor simple ingredients.
By adding just a few ingredients to this much-loved condiment, you can really maximize its potential, with favorites including jerk seasoned ketchup. A must-have for the kitchen cupboard!
Arguably the biggest rival to ketchup, mayonnaise loyally serves households all over the world, providing an excellent accompaniment to many popular dishes, but its use does not stop there! Mayonnaise is perfect as a base for salad dressings and alternative homemade sauces, and can even be used in baking. Any cupboard with mayonnaise is the best kind of cupboard.
Soy sauce is far less common than the aforementioned condiments but equally as important, in particular, if you’re an aspiring home-cook looking to explore different cuisines. An integral base ingredient for a huge array of recipes, particularly within Asian cuisine, it has several uses.
It is both perfect for adding to raw ingredients to create a tasty marinade, as well as being used to flavor cooked ingredients such as noodles. In fact, you’ll rarely encounter an Asian dish that does not use soy sauce in some form. For those who haven’t already gotten it in their cupboard, this is definitely the condiment you want to go out and buy.
Another incredibly popular staple condiment, we often think of mustard as the perfect accompaniment to beef. However, mustard’s use extends far beyond a small dab on the side of your plate, and it can be used to flavor a number of salad dressings, marinades, and rubs, such as honey-mustard dressing.
The best thing about it is that it comes in many different types such as Dijon and English mustard, meaning that it can be used in a variety of different cuisines.
Depending on whether you get fresh sour cream from the chiller or long-life cupboard sour cream, this does not always go in the cupboard, but it is an essential condiment for the aspiring cook. It acts as a fantastic accompaniment to almost any spicy food, as it serves as a cooling condiment and is particularly common in Mexican cuisine.
Further reading: Our ultimate seasoning guide
However, you can actually use sour cream for so much more than this, such as to elevate salads and pasta dishes, in sandwiches, and even in baking!
Hot sauce has really made a name for itself in recent years as more and more types are tried, tested, and sold to the public. However, hot sauce has been an essential staple condiment for a long time, as it provides that much sought-after kick to a variety of dishes. It is fantastically versatile and can be used to flavor existing sauces or add a spicy kick to any dish, as well as forming the perfect marinade for those all-important hot wings.
BBQ sauce is another popular choice for many households, with many opting to use it as a dip for their dinner, much like as with ketchup and mayonnaise. But like those mentioned previously, BBQ sauce can be used for so much more. Particularly popular as a staple in American BBQ, it works perfectly when used within marinades and rubs.
Further reading: Easy chicken breast recipes for busy people
It also forms the base of hoisin sauce, making it an incredibly useful condiment for those who enjoy Asian cuisine. There’s no doubt that it is the perfect fit for anyone’s cupboard.
Although a less common staple in European cupboards, maple syrup should not fly under the radar due to its incredibly versatile nature. While it is, of course, a fantastic addition to pancakes and French toast, it can also be combined with other ingredients to create super tasty recipes. It is particularly great on foods such as sweet potatoes or pork, or combined with butter and poured onto vegetables before they are roasted.
There are so many amazing condiments that we can utilize in a variety of ways. Sauces such as ketchup, mayonnaise, and BBQ sauce can be found in most cupboards, but they often go underutilized. The more home-cooked recipes are explored, the more uses can be found for these condiments as they continue to flavor recipes from all over the world.