Condiment-aholics, listen up! The Condiment Police are here to help....
The thread about fridge organization contains many comments by condiment-aholics, their storage problems & addiction. So: Condiment Police, do tell which condiments are a) necessary... b) desirable... c) you kidding me?
Here's my list of necessaties; mayo, mustard, ketchup, various hot sauces, sweet pickle relish and jalepeno (?) peppers.
Hot chopped cherry peppers
Pub style horseradish sauce
All vital for sandwiches!
Necessary - I use these often:
Whole grain mustard
Chili and Garlic Sauce
Thai Red Curry Paste
Thai Green Curry Paste
Thai Yellow Curry Paste
Marischino Cherries (for Manhattans - a must)
Black Bean Sauce
Oyster Sauce (Although I have a HUGE bottle someone gave me and I keep looking at it, thinking "Dear God, will it EVER go AWAY!!??)
Roasted Red Peppers
Fish Sauce (that stuff smells so bad, but it's useful)
and in the WHY DO I HAVE THIS category
Honey Mustard Dip ? (gift from someone)
Some kind of ancient preserves
Hot chinese mustard
Something crusty that the label has fallen off of.
Someone please make me throw these things in the trash. Just because it comes in a glass jar does not mean I have to keep it until the End of Time...
A lot of you chowhounds are including condiments which must be refrigerated after opening with those that do not require refrigeration, such as ketchup and mustard. The original question involves refrigerator door space, which is much more limited compared to kitchen shelf space in general.
So, my list is only going to include those items which must be kept in the fridge.
That fridge space is precious, and my condiments that make the cut include: honey, maple syrup. Bon Maman: strawberry, raspberry, marmalade, apricot. Green curry paste, fish sauce, capers, mayo., tahini, pepperoncini, sweet pickle relish (so hard to find without dye), kalamata olives, home-made Pace Picante style salsa, tomatillo salsa verde from TJ's, home-made beet horseradish, Better than Bullion: chicken and veg., pickled jalapenos, marzipan, sliced pickled ginger, plum sauce, Annie's Goddess dressing, TJ's BBQ sauce, Soy Vay Island Teriyaki sauce, Newman's Own Honey Mustard dressing, vanilla extract, kim chee (difficult to find sans sodium benzoate), Costco basil pesto, TJ's Cuban mojito sauce, Skippy super chunk PB, pickled beets, anchovies, hoisin sauce, black bean sauce, oyster sauce, pickled tomatoes, half sour pickles (also hard to find minus benzoate), AND...miso paste.
Whew! That was fun.
My uncle got food poisoning from eating unrefrigerated peanut butter in a jar that had been opened for a while. His doctor told him to always refrigerate the peanut butter within a week or so of opening the jar, otherwise bacteria accumulates.. I would assume this goes double for the natural peanut butter.
re: niki rothman
Thank god, I don't feel alone anymore - take so much flack from friends and spouse re multiple flavors of the same thing - don't they understand the need for subtle variation?? I have to admit also that my condimentia has extended to the freezer, where I keep dates and figs which need to be wrapped in bacon, baked crisp and dipped in a kaluha cream with spiced with Thai Chili.
On the flip side, I find that I have to keep multiple kinds of things because I like chunky peanut butter, my husband only likes smooth. He was raised on Miracle Whip so I have to keep that on hand even though I only use Hellman's. We like different catsups, mustards, salad dressings, kinds of olives, cheese spreads and so on. Wasteful, but cheaper than divorce!
Yes, TJ's tomatillo salsa verde in the jar is really good. As is TJ's general rule it has no additives. I'm pretty sure it's just tomatillos with little charry bits (nice touch), finely minced onions, vinegar, maybe garlic - I'm out of it right now otherwise I'd check (er...out of it in both senses - not quite awake yet - 7 a.m. & no salsa verde in the fridge at this moment). It goes great with just about anything Mex. Also fine on an omelet, on chicken or meats you want to serve with tortillas, salad, beans & rice type of meal. It's not hot, just a nice hearty taste. It's the only salsa I buy. The Pace Picante cooked red type and the pico de gallo/salsa crudo raw salsa with cilantro are so very easy to make in the Cuisinart there's no reason to buy them. And when you make them fresh they taste so much better than what sits on the shelf at the store - and of course no chemicals. But that TJ's tomatillo salsa verde keeps a very long time in the fridge (couple of months - I'm embarrassed to admit)) without losing quality - probably because of the vinegar.
re: niki rothman
Funny you should mention what you keep in the fridge and what you don't (ketchup & mustard). I've always kept those 2 in the fridge, but have always kept honey on the shelf. Maple syrup if it's the mass produced kind with 2% maple syrup goes on the shelf, if it's real 100% maple syrup, it goes in the fridge.