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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?

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  1. Here's my list of necessaties; mayo, mustard, ketchup, various hot sauces, sweet pickle relish and jalepeno (?) peppers.

    1. Muffuletta
      Hot chopped cherry peppers
      Pub style horseradish sauce
      Tarragon mustard

      All vital for sandwiches!

      1. Necessary - mayo, mustard, ketchup, horseradish, soy or teriyaki sauce, honey, salt & pepper.

        1. Necessary - I use these often:

          Anchovy Paste
          Dijon mustard
          Whole grain mustard
          Soy Sauce
          Worcestercire Sauce
          Chili and Garlic Sauce
          Thai Red Curry Paste
          Thai Green Curry Paste
          Thai Yellow Curry Paste
          Marischino Cherries (for Manhattans - a must)
          Capers

          Desirable:
          Black Bean Sauce
          Plum 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!!??)
          Horseradish
          Real Mayonnaise
          Roasted Red Peppers
          Kalamata Olives
          Fish Sauce (that stuff smells so bad, but it's useful)
          Hoisin Sauce
          Raspberry jam
          Apricot preserves
          Marmalade

          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...

          4 Replies
          1. re: Andiereid

            great list
            throw out the crappy gift condiments! I did a couple of months ago, and it felt great...

            1. re: Andiereid

              You should use the Oyster Sauce if you haven't opened it. It will go bad, I found out too late and ruined a meal. Believe me you'll know. But it makes great oyster beef or brocolli beef but my favorite is to stir fry cauliflower with green onion oyster sauce and garlic. Yum.

              1. re: chef chicklet

                You know what? That stuff is so old, I bet I can just throw it out. Yay! More space in the fridge!

                1. re: chef chicklet

                  Oyster sauce- secret ingredient for kick ass fried rice.

              2. 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.

                22 Replies
                1. re: niki rothman

                  You refrigerate your peanut butter? How come? I never have done. It lives in the pantry.

                  1. re: Andiereid

                    You may find a few other items, such as preserves, honey, and maple syrup which I choose to refrigerate - only because I have found mold at one time or another.

                    1. re: niki rothman

                      I have only had maple syrup go moldy. That gets refrigerated.

                    2. re: Andiereid

                      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.

                      1. re: Andiereid

                        Peanut butter that doesn't have any preservatives must be refrigerated. I buy Laura Scudder, no Jiffy for me, no matter how much my son whined for it. I'm gonna try Adams next, it's supposed to be very good (good enough for Steve Ballmer of Microsoft, I know for a fact).

                        1. re: Andiereid

                          If you haven't tried natural peanut butter, you really should, any brand, so wonderful. Stir the oil on top into it with one beater of your electric egg beater stuck right into the jar, very easy, refrigerate and it does not separate again. Yum.

                        2. re: niki rothman

                          I have never kept honey, fish sauce, tahini, vanilla extract, or peanut butter in the fridge. They do fine in a cabinet.

                          1. re: pikawicca

                            I keep my PB in the fridge because I like the kind that separates if it is kept at room temperature and I hate stirring it up.

                            1. re: mizinformation

                              I store natural peanut butter upside down and occasionallly flip the jat rightside up to keep the oil even in the jar. If there is a lot of oil floating on top when I buy it then it goes onteh shelf upside down vice versa

                          2. 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.

                            1. re: cambriahound

                              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!

                              1. re: sheiladeedee

                                A Miracle Whip/Hellman's compromise generally works, but there is actual legal precedent for discord leading to divorce:
                                http://www.court.state.nd.us/court/do...

                                1. re: sheiladeedee

                                  LOL - feel like you've looked in my fridge. Have to buy the small bottle of Miracle Whip though because he doesn't use as much and I pick the peanut chunks out of his PB if I run out of smooth.

                              2. re: niki rothman

                                How's TJs tomatillo salsa?? I guess it must be good if it's on your list...

                                1. re: prunefeet

                                  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.

                                  1. re: niki rothman

                                    Thanks, I'll be picking this up next time. This thread has given me too many ideas for even more condiments I MUST have.

                                2. 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.

                                  1. re: niki rothman

                                    It's actually not a good idea to refrigerate honey, there are living cultures in honey that make it especially healthful and refrigeration will kill them. Honey is a natural antibiotic. Sorry to get all crunchy/new wave/hippie on you all.

                                    1. re: ballulah

                                      Oh, I am with you 100 percent. The honey was firmly un-refrigerated until that day I noticed the mold.

                                      1. re: niki rothman

                                        Need to eat that honey faster! Haha. Or maybe you just had an unlucky jar.

                                      2. re: ballulah

                                        And then there is the natural botulism in honey too, but I would never refrigerate honey and I don't eat a lot of it so it can sit on my shelf a couple of years.

                                        1. re: Candy

                                          Anyway, it usually crystalizes a bit when refridgerated.