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Scene stealers: Preferring the condiment to the main ingredient?

tatamagouche Jan 30, 2008 04:37 PM

E.g., pancakes mean nothing to me except as a vehicle for an insane amount of very good butter & syrup.
You?

  1. ArikaDawn Jan 30, 2008 04:56 PM

    At one of my favorite restaurants I always order a particular grilled shrimp appetizer because the aioli that is served with it is out of this world good.
    I use baked tortilla chips simply as a means for consuming good pico de gallo.
    The primary reason I am fond of papadums is they do not detract from the copious amounts of onion chutney I pile on.

    1. im_nomad Jan 30, 2008 05:26 PM

      i suspect at times that this is primarily why i eat deep fried seafood....for the tartar sauce.

      3 Replies
      1. re: im_nomad
        c
        corgette Jan 30, 2008 05:32 PM

        I fully concur on the tartar sauce. It's the first thing that popped into my mind when I read the title of the post.

        1. re: corgette
          Cheflambo Feb 6, 2008 12:28 PM

          Whaaaat? Tartar sauce ISNT a side dish??

          1. re: Cheflambo
            Catskillgirl Feb 9, 2008 11:16 AM

            LOL! It certainly can be.

      2. Miss Needle Jan 30, 2008 06:15 PM

        The green aji sauce that accompanies Peruvian roast chicken at Pio Pio in NYC.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Miss Needle
          i
          irishnyc Mar 19, 2008 08:40 PM

          I concur! The food is merely a vehicle for the sauce.

        2. t
          torty Jan 30, 2008 06:23 PM

          I agree with the other posters that often it is the dip rather than the dipper I am lusting after. However, I definitely do not want to just spoon the stuff up naked. For me, the more accurate description is that the dip or sauce is primary, and the dipper is the tastiest vehicle.

          1 Reply
          1. re: torty
            j
            Jeters Jan 30, 2008 10:22 PM

            Isn't this why toast was invented?

          2. Emme Jan 30, 2008 11:54 PM

            this is precisely the principle behind my feelings about ordering pasta dishes over vegetables rather than noodles... if on the rare occasion i order a pasta dish (which is basically never due to my gluten intolerance), i find myself eating around the noodles and just eating up the sauce and contents... it's like that four cheese pasta at (*gulp* The Cheeecake Factory) where the pasta just makes a bed for the sauce and cheeses and heart attack to rest upon...

            Butter and syrup... who needs the pancake right?

            And my condiment... ketchup.

            Also love to make a "dip" from yellow mustard, balsamic vinegar, bragg's amino acids, and a little splenda.

            12 Replies
            1. re: Emme
              goodhealthgourmet Jan 31, 2008 08:13 PM

              emme...that's amazing - i make a really similar dip, with some minor differences - i sometimes use apple cider vinegar instead of balsamic, and i use stevia instead of splenda.

              add some nutritional yeast to it. that's my secret ingredient, and it brings a whole new dimension of flavor.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                Emme Jan 31, 2008 09:19 PM

                i use stevia when i have access to my friend's homegrown version... it has a milder flavor that i prefer as well.

                we really are culinarily and gastronomically well-suited... gluten intolerant and all.

                1. re: Emme
                  goodhealthgourmet Jan 31, 2008 10:48 PM

                  we sure are...although judging by some of your posts, you're less vigilant than i am about the gluten :)

                  try adding the nutritional yeast to your dip next time - i have a feeling you'll really like it. [btw, totally OT, but do you have any new NYC faves? i'm moving back there in 6 weeks.]

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                    Emme Feb 3, 2008 07:29 PM

                    i have a few fave spots in nyc... do you have an email addy? or... post on the nyc board?

                    1. re: Emme
                      goodhealthgourmet Feb 4, 2008 08:45 AM

                      i didn't want to post on the nyc board because i was just curious about your personal opinion - i trust your judgement :)

                      you can e-mail me at yahoo with my username.

                      thanks!

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                        Emme Feb 4, 2008 11:26 AM

                        will do!

                        1. re: Emme
                          goodhealthgourmet Feb 5, 2008 01:27 PM

                          thanks :)

                          in the meantime, i have a new twist on our "dip," or dressing, or whatever you want to call it. i hit it with a splash of frank's red hot last night...talk about good!

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                            Emme Feb 5, 2008 08:52 PM

                            don't know that i'll be trying that... im definitely not a fan of spicy! but... try a bit of lemon juice and a dash of garlic powder!

                            1. re: Emme
                              goodhealthgourmet Feb 5, 2008 09:13 PM

                              really? i had no idea you didn't do spicy. that makes me so sad...all this time i thought you were practically my palate twin ;)

                              i don't know what i'd do without spice.

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                Emme Feb 7, 2008 09:41 PM

                                not so much that i don't "do it," so much as i have a very sensitive palate, so a little spice is *spicy* to me.... im the opposite of my mother... she has like no taste buds and i got em all.

                2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                  k
                  karenfinan Feb 1, 2008 12:08 PM

                  I have been making a dressing with nutrional yeast, braggs and olive oil for years. on raw chopped kale ( yes I said raw) it is heaven.

                  1. re: karenfinan
                    goodhealthgourmet Feb 1, 2008 04:24 PM

                    love it raw! in fact, the "raw kale salad" is one of the very few things i'll ever buy from the prepared/specialty counter at WFM.

              2. HSBSteveM Jan 31, 2008 05:17 AM

                ..which raises the question, what is the ultimate platform for condiments or toppings? My top 3 would be: 1.) Hot dog, 2.) Cheeseburger 3.) baked Potato

                7 Replies
                1. re: HSBSteveM
                  b
                  bubbles4me Jan 31, 2008 05:23 AM

                  I'm going to throw Hot Wings on the pile...I love the spicy, vinegary sauce and to be honest I almost never even taste the chicken...I would just assume dip my fries in the sauce.

                  1. re: bubbles4me
                    b
                    babaoriley7 Jan 31, 2008 11:44 AM

                    If i get something with fries on the plate, I routinely ask for a side of buffalo sauce and a side of blue cheese. Best. Combination. Ever.

                    1. re: babaoriley7
                      goodhealthgourmet Jan 31, 2008 08:14 PM

                      hot sauce & blue cheese are the only reasons to eat wings!

                      1. re: babaoriley7
                        m
                        miss_bennet Jan 31, 2008 10:43 PM

                        My local pub has a burger with buffalo sauce and blue cheese dip. Not only is it a fantastic burger (juices dripping everywhere) but then I get to mop up the juices with the hand-cut fries. The taste is phenomenal.

                      2. re: bubbles4me
                        g
                        garfish Feb 5, 2008 02:49 PM

                        Wings definately belong on the pile

                        Our old wings sauce recipe is 1 stick butter, 4T of Franks Redhot and 2T Tabasco. I could lick it out of the mixing bowl.

                        Right now I'm wondering how that sauce would taste on boiled sweet corn and frustrated that I won't be able to find out for another six months.

                        1. re: garfish
                          m
                          miss_bennet Feb 6, 2008 04:12 PM

                          Oooh! I might try it tonight!

                          1. re: miss_bennet
                            g
                            garfish Feb 8, 2008 01:35 AM

                            Miss Bennet...please advise on the results

                    2. c
                      cimui Jan 31, 2008 05:51 AM

                      Santa Barbara fresh salsa. Tortilla chips are optional for me. I'm also happy to eat it straight.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: cimui
                        Emme Jan 31, 2008 09:14 AM

                        ahh!!! how could i forget salsa... i guess i don't really think of it as a "condiment" so much as a food group.... chips and anything else completely extraneous and gets in the way of salsa enjoyment... i actually took to making my own salsa recently with some interesting results... perhaps i'll hit up the 99 cent store later for the canned goods!

                        1. re: Emme
                          c
                          cimui Jan 31, 2008 09:19 AM

                          Interesting results? Do tell, do tell... Pico de gallo is remarkably easy to make and good!

                          You'd also like cachumbar, I think: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/dat...

                          Roast some cumin seeds in a pan, crush them slightly, and add to the above recipe for something even better.

                          The only salsa I've made that I didn't like was a version that involved banana.

                          1. re: cimui
                            Emme Jan 31, 2008 10:12 AM

                            i did a cook then cool type of salsa... started with onions, sliced jalapenos, basil, cilantro, and oregano... sauteed til onions were translucent. added in a can of ground tomatoes and diced green chiles, vinegar, and checked seasoning along with salt and pepper... let it all cook together. added just a pinch of splenda at the end. let cool... the oregano was the interesting tweak, really.

                          2. re: Emme
                            goodhealthgourmet Jan 31, 2008 10:50 PM

                            love to eat it straight out of the jar. who needs chips?

                            guac is another one to be enjoyed by itself.

                            1. re: Emme
                              k
                              Kam7185 Mar 19, 2008 06:41 PM

                              I'm so delighted to see that others can eat salsa with only a spoon!! I only wish this acceptable at restuarants! haha!

                              Yes, nothing compares to homemade salsa. I have never found one in a jar that is worth my calories. However, in a pinch, the fresh ones in the grocery deli are ok!

                          3. JungMann Jan 31, 2008 05:51 AM

                            Guests have stared in wonderment at the ketchup-tabasco soup I make out of a plate of scrambled eggs. I don't particularly abuse ketchup on fries or burgers, but for some reason, when I have a plate of eggs in front of me, they have to be completely drowned in half a bottle of tomato sauce.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: JungMann
                              HSBSteveM Jan 31, 2008 06:02 AM

                              Ditto! I have been mixing ketchup & Tabasco and putting it on my breakfast for years!

                              1. re: JungMann
                                k
                                KevinB Feb 7, 2008 07:28 PM

                                Buddy... find a good grocery that has "HP Sauce" - a thick brown sauce made with molasses, tamarind, malt vinegar, and others. Try that with your eggs, and you'll never ask for ketchup again. (BTW, A1 Sauce is a poor, runny substitute for HP, but it's better than ketchup.)

                                1. re: KevinB
                                  c
                                  currymouth Feb 7, 2008 10:34 PM

                                  If you love HP sauce. try Picka a pepper sauce .

                                  1. re: KevinB
                                    tatamagouche Feb 9, 2008 07:09 PM

                                    OMG you just reminded me about LIZANO!!!! Thank you thank you thank you for the memories!

                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salsa_Li...

                                2. m
                                  missfunkysoul Jan 31, 2008 06:12 AM

                                  I could drink the aioli at Monk's in Philadelphia... the frites are just a crunchy vehicle for it. When they're gone, I *will* dip my fingers in it and lick it right off.....

                                  1. Suzy Q Jan 31, 2008 07:55 AM

                                    Hi, my name is Suzy Q, and I am a ranch dressing addict.

                                    I put it on veggies, potatoes, chicken...pretty much anything except dessert. I feel the same way about salsa.

                                    I also love pickles, especially sweet pickles. I have to evenly space my bites of turkey at Thanksgiving so I don't run out of one before the other, because it's heaven to eat them together!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Suzy Q
                                      ArikaDawn Jan 31, 2008 08:28 AM

                                      My sister is a ranch junkie as well. She has it with french fries, cheese fries, pizza, salad, chicken, egg rolls, fried shrimp, fried fish, spaghetti, EVERYTHING. I used to give her flack for it, then one time she shoved a bite of baked potato in my mouth that was drowned in the stuff. . .and it was good! It isn't something I do on my own, but now when I am in IN and eating with her, I always have a bite of whatever she has covered with ranch and have yet to find anything offensive.

                                    2. d
                                      drgnflychic Jan 31, 2008 08:30 AM

                                      French fries are just a ride for honey mustard to reach my mouth.

                                      1. amanda3571 Jan 31, 2008 08:43 AM

                                        I'm a fiend for dipping. It's a problem. Homemade hollandaise.....forget about it.

                                        1. l
                                          libgirl2 Jan 31, 2008 09:11 AM

                                          I dip McDonald's french fries in sweet and sour sauce, because yes it tastes good, but I would feel funny eating the sauce with a spoon, but I sometimes lick it out of the container.

                                          1. OCAnn Jan 31, 2008 09:19 AM

                                            Guacamole. A whopping tablespoon on a little chip.

                                            The garlic/tomato mix on a piece of toast (bruschetta).

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: OCAnn
                                              a
                                              adventuresinbaking Jan 31, 2008 11:51 AM

                                              I don't know why someone hasn't come up with the idea to put a big bowl of Guacamole on a plate and garnish it with chips. Cause thats how I eat it. (seriously don't leave me alone with the bowl at the party I have no control)

                                              1. re: adventuresinbaking
                                                Emme Jan 31, 2008 01:12 PM

                                                like the principle behind spinach-artichoke dip... why waste calories on chips or pita slices... cut back on calories, unnecessary stomach filler, and adulterating tastes--use a spoon, or a finger.

                                                1. re: Emme
                                                  alkapal Feb 1, 2008 08:23 AM

                                                  100% with emme --- why waste tummy space?

                                                  1. re: Emme
                                                    goodhealthgourmet Feb 1, 2008 04:25 PM

                                                    a fork is even better - you can dig out the good artichoke chunks ;)

                                              2. c
                                                crt Jan 31, 2008 10:03 AM

                                                But one might also think of it this way...what would one be without the other?

                                                I can't see myself just eating (a) condimtent(s). Yuck.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: crt
                                                  w
                                                  whackamole Jan 31, 2008 07:19 PM

                                                  Very true.
                                                  I agree.
                                                  I have to agree with the tartar sauce above. It's the only reason I like fish and chips.

                                                  1. re: crt
                                                    m
                                                    miss_bennet Jan 31, 2008 10:52 PM

                                                    Is this aversion due to flavour, or texture?

                                                    1. re: miss_bennet
                                                      c
                                                      crt Feb 1, 2008 06:21 AM

                                                      Aversion?

                                                      I don't have an aversion to condiments. And I think that there are many foods that can stand on their own. I don't think that condiments were/are meant to be 'scene stealers'. When I think of condiment, I also think of compliment. Condiments, in my view, are meant to compliment the foods with which they were made for. However it is a fun topic as it was presented.

                                                  2. mollyomormon Jan 31, 2008 10:17 AM

                                                    I am currently obsessed with TJ's habenero lime salsa to the point where I've started just eating it straight. I won't be surprised if there's a recall because it's laced with crack or something.

                                                    1. k
                                                      kali_MM Jan 31, 2008 10:34 AM

                                                      Yes - brussel sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables are merely carrying devices for a nice sharp cheddar sauce.

                                                      And I sometimes suspect that my sushi/sashimi habit is not only due to the deliciousness of the fish/rolls/etc, but also the soy wasabi mix that I dip it in (correctly or not).

                                                      1. s
                                                        sasha1 Jan 31, 2008 11:46 AM

                                                        Zankou garlic sauce (LA). Sour cream dips made with knorr's soup mix. Finally, hot fudge. It's the hot part that I love. When we had a soft serve bar in college, I'd just put the fudge (moderate amounts) into the cone. No ice cream.

                                                        17 Replies
                                                        1. re: sasha1
                                                          Emme Jan 31, 2008 01:15 PM

                                                          Garlicsauce is the bulbous savory version of applesauce, right?

                                                          With those sundae bars, all I care about is the rainbow sprinkles... so I dumb a snot-load of those in the cup, add a little ice cream/fro yo, so as not to look like a freak, then top with more sprinkles. I proceed to eat out the excess fro yo first, then enjoy my slightly moist sprinkles.

                                                          1. re: Emme
                                                            ArikaDawn Jan 31, 2008 01:19 PM

                                                            For me the sundae bar was about the strawberry topping. I'd get a small amount of soft serve then top with an obscene amount of the strawberry stuff. Once the soft serve melted I would mix it all up and have a slightly creamy strawberry soup. Talk about a calorie blowout with a sugar shock punch. Boy I miss wreckless eating...

                                                            1. re: ArikaDawn
                                                              goodhealthgourmet Feb 9, 2008 10:28 AM

                                                              i'm with emme on the sprinkles, only i did it with the chocolate ones. man, i haven't thought about that in years! but as i got older i started to prefer my ice cream & fro yo plain. i can't remember a time in the last decade or so that i ordered a topping.

                                                          2. re: sasha1
                                                            Cookiepants Feb 2, 2008 08:40 AM

                                                            Mmmm sour cream and knorrs is my favorite too. I eat so much of the cream of leek and veggie soup and sour cream mixes that I started substituting the sour cream with natural yogurt.
                                                            Its almost as good. I also eat hummus with a spoon and sometimes when no one is watching I squirt honey in my mouth out of the bear. I also like to get a nice jam full of strawberries and creep into the fridge late at night and eat all the strawberries out of the jam and then put it back in the fridge.

                                                            1. re: Cookiepants
                                                              s
                                                              sasha1 Feb 4, 2008 09:19 AM

                                                              I laughed at your last comment. I'll do the same thing with Ben & Jerry's - pick out the chunks, leave the rest. My husband gets annoyed with me for it.

                                                              1. re: Cookiepants
                                                                c
                                                                cimui Feb 4, 2008 10:03 AM

                                                                Oh wow, I used to do the exact same thing with strawberry jam. That drove my mother nuts! Apricot jam is pretty good for fruit mining, too.

                                                                And I still eat hummus by the spoon and honey squirts out of the bear. When the honey's down to the last dregs, I fill the bear with warm milk and drink it all out of the squirt bottle. Mmmm...

                                                                1. re: cimui
                                                                  OCAnn Feb 4, 2008 10:11 AM

                                                                  Not quite jam, but when i was little, I would eat/lick the chocolate & almonds off the almond roca and give the hard toffee center for my younger sister to finish.

                                                                  1. re: OCAnn
                                                                    alkapal Feb 6, 2008 05:40 AM

                                                                    i used to mine the fudge veins in my dad's fudge royale ice cream from winn dixie. my dad got annoyed --- a lot. my mom still remembers that --- and i would still do it, now with moose tracks ice cream. http://www.moosetracks.com/flavors/li...

                                                                    1. re: alkapal
                                                                      c
                                                                      cimui Feb 6, 2008 09:12 AM

                                                                      I think I remember that stuff. The fudge came in fat ribbons that made mining all the more fun.

                                                                      However, my favorite ice cream for mining: cookies & cream.

                                                                      1. re: cimui
                                                                        goodhealthgourmet Feb 6, 2008 12:58 PM

                                                                        ben & jerry's is the best for archaeological digs. some favorites:

                                                                        peanut butter cup
                                                                        chocolate chip cookie dough
                                                                        cherry garcia
                                                                        half baked
                                                                        chunky monkey
                                                                        NY superfudge chunk
                                                                        oatmeal cookie chunk
                                                                        chubby hubby
                                                                        s'mores

                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                          s
                                                                          sasha1 Feb 8, 2008 11:23 AM

                                                                          PB cup and superfudge chunk are 2 of mine too. A couple out-dated favorites include rainforest crunch and dilbert's dillemma (at least I think that was the name). Both nutty-caramelly goodness.

                                                                          1. re: sasha1
                                                                            goodhealthgourmet Feb 8, 2008 12:11 PM

                                                                            this ice cream discussion makes me think of something else slightly more on-topic in terms of the OP.

                                                                            when i went to DQ as a kid, i was much more concerned with the magic shell-like coating [butterscotch was my flavor of choice] than the actual ice cream.

                                                                    2. re: OCAnn
                                                                      c
                                                                      cimui Feb 6, 2008 09:09 AM

                                                                      You and your sister had a perfect, symbiotic relationship, OCAnn! My sister and I would've fought over the chocolate and/or toffee, depending on whichever one it was she wanted. Whatever she had was always more delicious. :)

                                                                      Maybe this belongs in another thread, but your post reminds me of how much I like to deconstruct most foods I eat. I eat Butterfingers by peeling off the chocolate layer, first, and then eating the center layer by later; trail mix by picking out the raisins, first, and then the peanuts, and then the chocolate chips, etc...; and Lasagna from the top layer to the bottom.

                                                                      1. re: cimui
                                                                        OCAnn Feb 6, 2008 03:29 PM

                                                                        Well, that was certainly before she knew better than to eat what had been already in my mouth! I've replaced her with two dogs who are very happy to eat whatever I don't finish. =)

                                                                    3. re: cimui
                                                                      goodhealthgourmet Feb 9, 2008 10:25 AM

                                                                      cimui: i still do it. in fact, last night i was craving just a bite of something sweet, so i grabbed the jar of apricot preserves and dug out the biggest chunk i could find.

                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                        c
                                                                        cimui Feb 9, 2008 11:15 AM

                                                                        heh, why stop at just one chunk? i'm all for strip mining. ;)

                                                                        1. re: cimui
                                                                          goodhealthgourmet Feb 9, 2008 12:21 PM

                                                                          i only wanted a bite - believe me, there have been times when i've mined every last morsel out of a jar ;)

                                                                2. diablo Jan 31, 2008 11:53 AM

                                                                  The very night you posted this I was eating Tzatziki sauce right out of the bowl. Gyro? What gyro? I did read somewhere that it could be served as a salad, though. So I felt *somewhat* redeemed. I'm also known to drink the Merlot sauce straight when I make it with steaks....mmmmm

                                                                  1. jnk Jan 31, 2008 12:01 PM

                                                                    In the old days, when Nathan's would have their condiment bar next tot he counter, I would buy a hot dog bun and go to the bar and load the bun with mustard and sauerkraut. Nowadays, I do the same thing at the Windmill since their hot dogs aren't as good and Nathan's no long has the condiment bar.

                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                    1. re: jnk
                                                                      c
                                                                      Cinnamom Feb 1, 2008 06:21 PM

                                                                      So glad someone mentioned hot dogs! While I could definitely go for a bun full of sauerkraut and mustard, my condiment choices are Chicago style: onions, relish, mustard, tomatoes, sport peppers, maybe a little celery salt and a pickle... (never ketchup)
                                                                      The snap of a good hot dog is good, but IMHO the dog itself is not entirely necessary!

                                                                      1. re: Cinnamom
                                                                        goodhealthgourmet Feb 1, 2008 07:46 PM

                                                                        i'm SO with you on the sauerkraut...nice & hot, no dog necessary.

                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                          s
                                                                          sasha1 Feb 4, 2008 09:20 AM

                                                                          If kraut counts, count me in. I think the sour buds on my tongue are more opinionated then the rest, because they are always clamoring for more. I would put a big glob of kraut on everything I ate a while ago. Stew, rice pilaf, you name it. Not as often anymore, but occasionally.

                                                                          1. re: sasha1
                                                                            cayjohan Feb 4, 2008 09:44 PM

                                                                            "I think the sour buds on my tongue are more opinionated then the rest"

                                                                            Thank you for articulating that sentiment so well.. I obviously agee. The vinegar note in any condiment or add-on is always the selling point for my palate. (my Hub calls me "Not Sweet. :-) )

                                                                            For this original post: yes, I love the vinegar-y condiment; to me it makes the dish. Mustards, vinegars, clever catsups, ad hoc dressings: the zing never fails to get my attention.

                                                                            I think this is not unique to our modern palates. Pickling and fermentation has a long history.

                                                                            Cay

                                                                            1. re: cayjohan
                                                                              alkapal Feb 6, 2008 05:45 AM

                                                                              cay, your post is right on cue with a theory i've been developing: people's taste preferences are either predominantly sour (mustards, kraut, capers, pickles, etc) or sweet (aka "sweet tooth"). the sour group would rather have an appetizer before dinner than a dessert after. typically, one does not have a sour AND sweet tooth -- although i am already creating an exception: thai food, which i simply adore. thoughts?

                                                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                                                danhole Feb 6, 2008 07:17 AM

                                                                                I like some sour, like pickles (garlic dills or zesty flavors), pickled olives, mustard, but I am really more about the salty flavors. Occasionally I like sweet, but I wouldn't say I have a sweet tooth (except peanut sauce!) And you are right on track with the appetizers. I would eat only appetizers given a choice, but it is a rare occasion that I get a dessert. I always look at them, but never get one.

                                                                                1. re: danhole
                                                                                  alkapal Feb 6, 2008 10:18 AM

                                                                                  thanks dani, you are right. i neglected adding the "salty" factor, which should have been in my "sour" group -- thus a "salty, sour" group: like preferring doritos to twinkies.

                                                                                2. re: alkapal
                                                                                  cayjohan Feb 7, 2008 04:41 PM

                                                                                  alkapal, I'd have to camp onto your theory. I agree, given my own anecdotal experience with many friends who would eschew, say, a lox/onion/caper appetizer and wait for the gooey chocolate/caramel dessert, and the many friends who would do precisely the opposite. Very rare crossover, now that you mention it.

                                                                                  I will cop to this: I am a sweet-with-meat person. To wit: a tart applesauce with pork, or a tart/bitter cranberry-and-orange chutney with grilled or roasted fowl. I find the combination lovely, but the "sweet" isn't as much a factor as the "tart/bitter" in these combinations. And in keeping with the OP question, I generally prefer the sweet/tart or sweet/bitter condiments over the protein they accompany! (Perhaps I think of the pork or fowl as a foil.)

                                                                                  Cay

                                                                        2. re: jnk
                                                                          vvvindaloo Feb 5, 2008 06:27 PM

                                                                          nathan's no longer has the condimen bar??? that was the whole reason for going there (well, besides the huge video game arcade)! i was going to respond to this post with hot dogs getting my vote for condiment vehicle, and actually had nathan's condiment bar in mind. even as a kid, i went for all the mustard, ketchup and pickle relish i could balance on there.

                                                                        3. h
                                                                          heatcrave Jan 31, 2008 12:45 PM

                                                                          I can't get enough Guac or fresh salsa! A wedge of iceburg is merely a platform for blue cheese dressing in my book!

                                                                          1. p
                                                                            piccola Jan 31, 2008 07:01 PM

                                                                            Definitely, in some cases. Dips/sauces I can eat with a spoon:

                                                                            salsa
                                                                            refried beans
                                                                            hummus
                                                                            peanut sauce

                                                                            I also eat the pickled ginger that comes with sushi.

                                                                            But I disagree about pancakes - I eat them dry, because it's all about the fluffy doughy goodness.

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: piccola
                                                                              m
                                                                              Morticia Feb 4, 2008 09:59 PM

                                                                              Pickled ginger is great! I always finish off the pink kind that comes with sushi (especially because my dining companions aren't as crazy about it as I am!) - but even better is the RED picked ginger that comes inside (and sometimes on top) of my Okonomiyaki...it's sour, not sweet, and nicely salty, too. I get them to bring a little extra on the side...yum!

                                                                              1. re: Morticia
                                                                                p
                                                                                piccola Feb 5, 2008 05:02 PM

                                                                                We don't have any okonomiyaki places here, so I've never seen the red kind. But now I'll know what to look for.

                                                                              2. re: piccola
                                                                                vvvindaloo Feb 5, 2008 06:30 PM

                                                                                oh, good call on the peanut sauce. never is grilled chicken breast on a stick as eciting as when its slathered in peanut sauce.

                                                                                1. re: vvvindaloo
                                                                                  danhole Feb 6, 2008 07:01 AM

                                                                                  We had Vietnamese take out at my daughters and it came with peanut sauce for the spring rolls. I put that stuff on just about everything I ate, and when we were done I took the peanut sauce home with me. I have a leftover chicken breast, so you just gave me a great way to use that sauce! Thanks loo.

                                                                              3. purple goddess Jan 31, 2008 07:23 PM

                                                                                In the privacy of my own home I eat guac with a spoon.

                                                                                And tzatziki.

                                                                                And a curry, no matter how good, is really only a vehicle for green mango pickle. (which is lovely on white toast)

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: purple goddess
                                                                                  cayjohan Feb 7, 2008 08:17 PM

                                                                                  purple g : I firmly believe that guac SHOULD be eaten with a spoon! :-) Ummm...it's really a salad, no?

                                                                                  Tzatziki, the same. Truly: cucumber salad. Think about it. And make it with loads of cukes.

                                                                                  Cay

                                                                                2. pescatarian Jan 31, 2008 07:26 PM

                                                                                  There are so many instances where the condiment is the star of the show for me. Fixins on a hamburger, indian chutneys, the list is endless, because I love condiments.
                                                                                  However, the one that has stuck with me since childhood is Cross & Blackwell's Piccalilli Chow Chow: http://www.crosseandblackwell.com/pro.... I very rarely buy a jar (the little jar it comes in is usually over $4) because I will nosh on the whole jar. I might put some on bread or meat, but really, I just want the piccalilly.
                                                                                  Also, wasabi is a scene stealer for me a lot of the time with maki rolls.

                                                                                  1. m
                                                                                    MysticYoYo Jan 31, 2008 07:29 PM

                                                                                    Pesto
                                                                                    Mayo
                                                                                    Melted Cheese
                                                                                    Louisiana Hot Sauce
                                                                                    Barbecue Sauce (Yet I loathe ketchup)
                                                                                    Sriacha
                                                                                    Barbecue Sauce MIXED with Sriacha
                                                                                    Ranch Dressing

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: MysticYoYo
                                                                                      purple goddess Jan 31, 2008 08:01 PM

                                                                                      hell, I'd mix that whole list together, add some green mango pickle and eat THAT with a spoon!!

                                                                                      1. re: MysticYoYo
                                                                                        h
                                                                                        heatcrave Feb 1, 2008 07:13 AM

                                                                                        Anything mixed with sriracha is wonderful!

                                                                                        1. re: MysticYoYo
                                                                                          p
                                                                                          piccola Feb 1, 2008 05:04 PM

                                                                                          Really? Pesto? Seems too strong to eat on its own. Ditto the hot sauces.

                                                                                        2. goodhealthgourmet Jan 31, 2008 08:15 PM

                                                                                          peanut butter!

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                            ArikaDawn Feb 1, 2008 05:23 AM

                                                                                            Is PB a condiment? In my world it is a major food group. Yum.

                                                                                            1. re: ArikaDawn
                                                                                              k
                                                                                              kindofabigdeal Feb 1, 2008 11:36 AM

                                                                                              I had a roommate who would eat those nature valley bars with peanut butter, except, no lie, there was at least a 3:1 PB:granola bar ratio with each dip into the jar. It was a marvel to watch.

                                                                                              1. re: kindofabigdeal
                                                                                                ArikaDawn Feb 1, 2008 03:57 PM

                                                                                                My SO does the same thing with potato chips and PB. I can't criticize though. One of my favorite treats, PB and J, is a spoonful of PB with strawberry jelly squeezed on top. Non-condiments be damned!

                                                                                                1. re: kindofabigdeal
                                                                                                  goodhealthgourmet Feb 1, 2008 04:26 PM

                                                                                                  who needs the granola bar? just gimme the jar & a spoon...

                                                                                            2. k
                                                                                              kindofabigdeal Jan 31, 2008 09:59 PM

                                                                                              I never eat it alone, but I use awful amounts of ketchup with my fries.

                                                                                              1. m
                                                                                                miss_bennet Jan 31, 2008 10:50 PM

                                                                                                I think that the most important role of the "pancake" is the texture. Like chicken wings: without buffalo sauce and blue cheese, they're nothing. But I couldn't stand the sauces alone without the crunch; it just wouldnt be the same.

                                                                                                1. goodhealthgourmet Jan 31, 2008 10:52 PM

                                                                                                  anna mae's smoky mustard by rothschild farm. after i discovered it, i searched for ay excuse i could find to use it.

                                                                                                  1. BobB Feb 1, 2008 06:24 AM

                                                                                                    I would never eat gefilte fish if it weren't such a perfect vehicle for my blow-the-top-of-your-head-off homemade horseradish.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: BobB
                                                                                                      goodhealthgourmet Feb 1, 2008 04:30 PM

                                                                                                      you too? i load my gefilte fish with enough horseradish to bring most people to tears.

                                                                                                    2. alkapal Feb 1, 2008 07:11 AM

                                                                                                      two things jump to mind:

                                                                                                      roasted red pepper aioli (transported to my mouth via fried calamari)

                                                                                                      lebanese garlic sauce (carried on a platform of roasted chicken meat)

                                                                                                      a recipe: http://www.recipesource.com/ethnic/africa/middle-east/lebanese/00/rec0015.html

                                                                                                      and i see i am not alone in my wild desire for garlic sauce:

                                                                                                      http://www.chow.com/search?search%5Bq...

                                                                                                      gosh, my mouth is watering thinking about it....

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                        danhole Feb 1, 2008 08:58 AM

                                                                                                        Thanks for the link. That garlic sauce sounds too good.

                                                                                                        I do eat my guacamole with a spoon, no matter where I am. Occasionally I will use a chip, but not that often! And blue cheese dressing! I could eat that with a spoon, if it is really good, but so many brands are too runny. I like it thick with lots of chunks. I'll cut an avocado in half, fill it with blue cheese and go to town!

                                                                                                        Another favorite is shredded parmesan cheese. Sometimes I just grab a fistful and eat it. I also melt it in the micro and eat it like a chip.

                                                                                                      2. 2m8ohed Feb 1, 2008 12:31 PM

                                                                                                        I only eat Eggs Benedict (or Florentine) for the hollandaise sauce. And while I do love steak, a good bearnaise sauce takes it to another level.

                                                                                                        1. im_nomad Feb 1, 2008 12:31 PM

                                                                                                          do dipping oils count? while i love bread, the only purpose for it sometimes is to be a vehicle for wonderful fresh oil.

                                                                                                          1. k
                                                                                                            kindofabigdeal Feb 1, 2008 06:26 PM

                                                                                                            nutella

                                                                                                            1. j
                                                                                                              Judith Feb 1, 2008 07:02 PM

                                                                                                              I love the pickled ginger that comes with sushi almost as much as I love the sushi itself. There's a place in my neighborhood that puts a giant jar of it on every table.

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Judith
                                                                                                                goodhealthgourmet Feb 1, 2008 07:48 PM

                                                                                                                whenever i go out for sushi i always ask for extra...and more extra. and i typically finish off everyone else's at the table as well. my dining companions always marvel at the way i just inhale the stuff straight. i keep a jar in the fridge.

                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                  l
                                                                                                                  lpfaf Feb 2, 2008 03:30 AM

                                                                                                                  Gari, pink for sushi and red for garnishing other foods...I could eat this plain all day. Sweet, spicy, a bit salty, and very tart...perfect on everything. Hit an asian market, and you can get a tub of it for a couple of bucks. But it inspires me to make good Bento with a chicken or noodle dish to garnish with the shredded red form.

                                                                                                              2. ipsedixit Feb 1, 2008 08:12 PM

                                                                                                                Roasted garlic on melba toast.

                                                                                                                1. l
                                                                                                                  libgirl2 Feb 2, 2008 08:32 AM

                                                                                                                  I saw someone mentioned Hummus. I forgot that one. When I get the good stuff at a restaurant, the pita bread is used sparingly to scoop up mounds of hummus.

                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: libgirl2
                                                                                                                    ArikaDawn Feb 2, 2008 09:35 AM

                                                                                                                    For me it is the black bean hummus I get at my local organic grocer. Sooo good. I try to disguise the fact that I am eating a condiment straight by adding other condiments to, sour cream and sometimes salsa, but it is what it is.

                                                                                                                    1. re: libgirl2
                                                                                                                      goodhealthgourmet Feb 2, 2008 09:29 PM

                                                                                                                      always eat my bean dip straight. hummus, black bean, white bean...

                                                                                                                    2. Veggo Feb 2, 2008 09:43 AM

                                                                                                                      The Chimichurri sauce recipe I got from Chowhound (chimichurri is a south american sauce for grilled meat) is so good I spoon it on baked potatoes, bruchetta, black beans, hot or cold pasta, almost anything that no longer moves by itself.
                                                                                                                      The recipe, with recommended adjustments:

                                                                                                                      1 bunch flat parsley, leaves only
                                                                                                                      8 garlic cloves (that's a lot- I use 5)
                                                                                                                      3/4 cup olive oil (that's a lot -I use 1/2 cup)
                                                                                                                      1/4 cup wine vinegar (I substitute balsamic)
                                                                                                                      3 tablespoons lemon juice (I squeeze half a lime)
                                                                                                                      1 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                      1/2 teaspoon black pepper
                                                                                                                      1/2 teaspoon cayenne
                                                                                                                      It all fits in my handy little chopper. I whack the garlic first; then add everything alse.
                                                                                                                      I could eat it on a crepe. I could eat it on a cat turd. I could eat it on a ..........

                                                                                                                      1. chef chicklet Feb 2, 2008 02:50 PM

                                                                                                                        oooo has to be the au jus for the french dip sandwich..I wouldn't just eat the roast beef on a roll...

                                                                                                                        1. c
                                                                                                                          CPunches Feb 3, 2008 07:41 AM

                                                                                                                          this is probably going to sound really mean, but a friend of mine makes breaded calamari with a peppercorn dipping sauce... she doesn't flavor the calamari well at all, and it turns out bland most of the time (which is too bad, because i love calamari) ... but her peppercorn dipping sauce? oh my gosh. i would eat it on crackers if i could. she said she stole the idea from an Olive Garden, and tweaked it. its so good.

                                                                                                                          1. danhole Feb 4, 2008 11:32 AM

                                                                                                                            Over the weekend I ate at my daughters and she had Ruffles chips and Kraft French Onion dip. I had forgotten that the chip was just and excuse to shovel the dip into my mouth. I could have eaten it with a spoon. So bad, yet so good!

                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: danhole
                                                                                                                              Suzy Q Feb 5, 2008 06:46 PM

                                                                                                                              dan, you have hit upon my secret guilty pleasure snack - I'm not generally a potato chip fan, but there's something about the combo of Ruffles and french onion dip. Although I prefer Dean's to Kraft. :-)

                                                                                                                              1. re: Suzy Q
                                                                                                                                danhole Feb 6, 2008 06:58 AM

                                                                                                                                suzy, does the Dean's brand have the french onion that is brown, or is it like other brands where it says french onion and then it tastes like green onions?

                                                                                                                                I am like you in that I don't generally go for potato chips (except for a certain 3 cheese jalapeno kind) so if I get a bag of Ruffles you can be sure I'm going to get french onion dip! And the dip will be gone before the chips are.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Suzy Q
                                                                                                                                  goodhealthgourmet Feb 9, 2008 10:35 AM

                                                                                                                                  ok, most of you would probably think this is vile, but i remember a period of time back in junior high when my friends & i used to dunk pretzels & potato chips in cream cheese.

                                                                                                                                  my mother would get so irritated - she'd open the container to spread some on a bagel and find it perilously close to empty, the gummy remains studded with snack chip crumbs.

                                                                                                                                  sorry, mom!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                    k
                                                                                                                                    kindofabigdeal Feb 9, 2008 12:57 PM

                                                                                                                                    how does one get a chip through cream cheese?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                      c
                                                                                                                                      cimui Feb 9, 2008 01:11 PM

                                                                                                                                      nuts. what is it about the confluence in our secret, sorta disgusting snacking fetishes, ghg? i also did (ok, fine, do) this!

                                                                                                                                      it helps if you nuke cream cheese for a bit for dunking purposes, kindofabigdeal. and you can make sure you go straight down into the the block of cream cheese at a perpendicular angle.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: cimui
                                                                                                                                        goodhealthgourmet Feb 9, 2008 01:29 PM

                                                                                                                                        i don't know what is is cimui, but it's comforting to know i'm not alone in my bizarre fetishes ;)

                                                                                                                                        i'm in big trouble when i move back to NY next month. i can see it now...i'll be bribing the people at pommes frites and PB&Co to let me just order condiments...

                                                                                                                                        kindofabigdeal: sturdy, thick-cut potato chips and whipped cream cheese work very well together. then again, flimsy chips are the conveyance of choice for those who just really want the cream cheese. when they break you have no choice but to dig them out...and end up with a finger full of cream cheese to lick. definitely not for the germ-phobic or anti- double-dipping crowd. [i know, it's truly sick & twisted.]

                                                                                                                                2. revsharkie Feb 4, 2008 04:10 PM

                                                                                                                                  Shrimp cocktail...if the cocktail sauce is good the shrimps are just a convenient way to shovel the sauce in. And prime rib is a (very expensive) vehicle for mass quantities of horseradish.

                                                                                                                                  1. m
                                                                                                                                    Morticia Feb 4, 2008 09:50 PM

                                                                                                                                    I had a funny experience once: a friend and I from cooking class decided to make snacks for his friend's party, and I (being half-Indian) made samosas (with my special mint chutney) and my friend, being Filippino, made lumpia. The host kept dipping ALL of the snacks into the chutney, ignoring my friend's lumpia sauce, and then even went so far as to declare that ALL of the food was "just a vehicle for the mint sauce." Then he tried to BUY the leftover sauce off me for $50. My friend was annoyed, but I thought it was funny!

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Morticia
                                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                                      Solstice444 Feb 6, 2008 02:37 PM

                                                                                                                                      Haha, that's very amusing! I love mint chutney, and tamarind sauce as well. Although I like to dip my samosas and nan in tamarind sauce, they have enough flavor to be enjoyable without the tamarind. But they just taste so much better with it. :-)

                                                                                                                                    2. invinotheresverde Feb 5, 2008 10:00 AM

                                                                                                                                      I know it's traditionally a salad, but in the US it's eaten as more of a dip: tabbouleh. Oh my good God, I could eat a solid pound of tabbouleh before someone could get the bowl away from me. I smell a 12-step in the near future...

                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: invinotheresverde
                                                                                                                                        k
                                                                                                                                        kindofabigdeal Feb 5, 2008 10:29 AM

                                                                                                                                        I've never seen it as a dip, and I would reject it if i did. Like with a chip? I would just use the chip to pile it on the plate, and then if it was lucky, use the chip as a tool to remove the parsley from between my teeth.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: kindofabigdeal
                                                                                                                                          invinotheresverde Feb 5, 2008 10:34 AM

                                                                                                                                          I've seen it scooped with tortilla chips, pita and romaine leaves. Just give me a (big) fork.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: invinotheresverde
                                                                                                                                            goodhealthgourmet Feb 5, 2008 01:22 PM

                                                                                                                                            same goes for most middle eastern appetizer spreads...baba ghannouj, hummus, ajvar...

                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                              tatamagouche Jul 2, 2008 11:47 AM

                                                                                                                                              I'm reviving this thread because I haven't been able to stop eating malidjano, which is essentially baba ghanoush, straight from the jar with a spoon. I go through a jar in a sitting. The only other thing I do that with is peanut butter.

                                                                                                                                              Is there anything else you can do with baba g. besides serve it on pita? Seems like it could be added to casseroles or egg dishes in interesting ways maybe.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                Emme Jul 2, 2008 09:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                use baba in omelettes

                                                                                                                                                use as a spread on a sandwich with rotisserie chicken, tomatoes, parsley, onions.

                                                                                                                                                cut roma tomatoes or cherry tomatoes in half, then fill with baba and broil ... you can also stuff tomatoes

                                                                                                                                                add baba to yolks for eggplanty, baba-y deviled eggs.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Emme
                                                                                                                                                  tatamagouche Jul 3, 2008 07:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Nice! Esp. the deviled eggs...good idea.
                                                                                                                                                  Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                    Emme Jul 4, 2008 12:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                    no prob... and i meant to say "you can also stuff *mushrooms* "

                                                                                                                                                    also stir into mashed potatoes, or mashed cauliflower, or mashed turnips or parsnips...

                                                                                                                                      2. i
                                                                                                                                        inagail Feb 5, 2008 02:30 PM

                                                                                                                                        Mint jelly with lamb, chutney with curry, spicy cocktail sauce with shrimp and mayonnaise with artichokes!

                                                                                                                                        1. t
                                                                                                                                          thinks too much Feb 5, 2008 02:54 PM

                                                                                                                                          Galaxie's peanut sauce for their nime chow. (Cranston, RI) I do, in fact, eat it with a spoon when I think no one (well, except my boyfriend) is watching.

                                                                                                                                          1. ArikaDawn Feb 5, 2008 03:10 PM

                                                                                                                                            Tonight for dinner we had penne with a roasted garlic, tomato, and mushroom sauce. I made the sauce super chunky with leftover grilled portabellos and a ridiculous amount of stewed tomatoes. It was so delicious and hearty I ended up skipping the pasta altogether. My guy thinks I'm crazy, but I liked it AND it was much lower in carbs =) I am already planning on having the leftover sauce over artichoke hearts for lunch tomorrow. Again, non-condiments be damned=)

                                                                                                                                            1. Chinon00 Feb 6, 2008 10:29 AM

                                                                                                                                              For those who have apparently eschewed the pasta and just enjoy the sauce, do you eat this way when served homemade pasta as well?

                                                                                                                                              Thanks

                                                                                                                                              11 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chinon00
                                                                                                                                                danhole Feb 6, 2008 10:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                When I make spaghetti sauce I have to make extra so that I have enough to go with the pasta. This is because my DH sneaks in the kitchen, gets a bowl of sauce and eats it like pudding. He claims that he is just making sure it is seasoned correctly, but when he goes for a second bowl, I know better ;-)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: danhole
                                                                                                                                                  Chinon00 Feb 6, 2008 10:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Well I guess my point was that as a child I grew up eating San Giorgio and Mueller’s with spaghetti sauce. And the flavor of both was pretty bland. Then in college I was introduced to brands like Barilla, DeCecco and even homemade pasta (which had interesting flavor and more “bite” for added textural contrast). So could this interest in eating condiments alone be a function of sub par pasta or other sub par main components of the meal?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chinon00
                                                                                                                                                    danhole Feb 6, 2008 11:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                    As far as pasta dishes go, I live for the sauces on them, because I am really not that crazy about pasta in the first place. And I have had homemade pasta, which is the very best ever, but I like that without sauce. So, you may have a valid point with the sub par main components when it comes to pastas. Even so, I think a lot of the other condiments that have been mentioned, it's the condiment that makes the meal, even if the main component is exceptional. One example I can think of is rice paper spring rolls with peanut sauce. When I eat them I love the spring rolls, but I take very small bites so I can get more peanut sauce into my mouth. And I could just chug that sauce down, as is, but I refrain, or wait until no one else is around!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: danhole
                                                                                                                                                      Chinon00 Feb 6, 2008 11:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Not to belabor the pasta sauce point but I think that it is a matter of balance. Molto Mario always emphasized on his show that with pasta dishes the PASTA is the main attraction and that it should be modestly dressed in sauce. Again, growing up and having pasta both at home and in restaurants this idea was turned on its head often with far too much sauce being poured over really inconsequential pasta noodles. And if that was the standard for many of us growing up then it was a short jump to the elimination of pasta altogether for some of us.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chinon00
                                                                                                                                                        danhole Feb 6, 2008 12:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Actually, Chinon, I am not one of the people that would eat the sauces with a spoon (like my DH does). I like a good sauce, though, but I agree that it has to have a balance. Too much sauce is unappetizing, and too little is boring. I love a good alfredo, but if there wasn't pasta with it, I wouldn't want to eat it! But I don't think of it the same way that Mario does. For me the pasta isn't the main attraction, it is a combo of the pasta and the sauce. Then again I don't really like Mario and have only watched his show a couple times.

                                                                                                                                                        And growing up, my mom used the cheapest elbow macaroni for all her pasta dishes, except spaghetti, and I grew to loathe elbow macaroni. Imagine my delight to grow up and find out about angel hair and other great non gummy pastas. Not thick, not pasty, not elbow shaped.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: danhole
                                                                                                                                                          Cheflambo Feb 6, 2008 01:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                          danhole, did we grow up in the same family? I have the very same aversion to elbow macaroni, and for the very same reason!! When I first tasted "fresh" pasta I was blown away -- so THAT is what it is supposed to taste like! Wow!

                                                                                                                                                          I'm like your DH on the sauce thing -- I make a big batch of meatballs with sauce, then cook spaghetti for Mr. Cheflambo and eat my balls 'n sauce from a bowl with crusty bread. The shredded parmesan is the side dish....... mmmmmmm!

                                                                                                                                                2. re: Chinon00
                                                                                                                                                  ArikaDawn Feb 6, 2008 12:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Generally, no. The few times I have had homemade pasta, it was dressed only with butter/oil, garlic, and parmesan. The pasta was definitively the main attraction and did not need much to highlight it. I very much enjoyed it on these few occasions, but homemade pasta is not something I have on a regular basis.
                                                                                                                                                  The pasta I typically prepare is not of the homemade variety, and though there are some decent dried boxed pastas available, when I make them at home it is generally more about the sauce, to the point of me forgoing the pasta altogether, as I mentioned up-thread.
                                                                                                                                                  As far as when I am in restaurants, whether or not it is more about the pasta or sauce is hard to say. Unless I am in an establishment that is known for some genius pasta, it is not something I usually order. Years of being served overcooked limp noodles of all kinds has given me an aversion.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ArikaDawn
                                                                                                                                                    Chinon00 Feb 6, 2008 12:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Overcooked pasta is another excellent point.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Chinon00
                                                                                                                                                    k
                                                                                                                                                    KevinB Feb 7, 2008 09:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                    OK, it's not exactly giving up the pasta, but I have on many times eaten a "spaghetti sauce" sandwich - two slices of nice crusty bread with cold spag sauce. It has to be a meaty sauce to be good, but when it is, it's the bomb!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: KevinB
                                                                                                                                                      Catskillgirl Feb 9, 2008 11:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                      On a similar note, I've been known to skip the crust and just eat the toppings off a slice of pizza. :-)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Catskillgirl
                                                                                                                                                        Chinon00 Feb 9, 2008 01:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                        What pizza place do you think has the best crust?

                                                                                                                                                        Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                  3. s
                                                                                                                                                    Solstice444 Feb 6, 2008 02:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                    I adore condiments and dips. One of my friends hates all condiments. How can you live without condiments?!?! One of the best condiments I've ever had was when I was in Vieques, at a little food stand at Sun Bay. I had a beef empanada and they had squeeze bottle on the counter full of a spicy sauce. I put some on the empanada and it was so incredible. The blend of the flavors was amazing, but I think the spicy sauce added alot more than the empanada did. I would love to know what was in that sauce! Also, you can't beat a really good salad dressing, some of the house dressings at various restaurants have been so delicious that I've been tempted to drink them. Lettuce is just a vehicle to carry the delicious dressing! And I agree with tons of the other posts on here such as salsa, guacamole, horseradish, tartar/cocktail sauce, etc.!

                                                                                                                                                    1. j
                                                                                                                                                      jeanmarieok Feb 8, 2008 01:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                      It took me years to figure out that I wasn't craving french fries, but ketchup.

                                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jeanmarieok
                                                                                                                                                        Chinon00 Feb 8, 2008 03:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                        You might just be craving sugar. Ketchup contains lots of sugar.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chinon00
                                                                                                                                                          k
                                                                                                                                                          kindofabigdeal Feb 8, 2008 06:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                          I can't eat ketchup alone, but i definitely have an outrageous ketchup to fry ratio.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kindofabigdeal
                                                                                                                                                            Chinon00 Feb 8, 2008 06:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Give me your best place for fries and why (judged with little to no ketchup).

                                                                                                                                                            Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chinon00
                                                                                                                                                              goodhealthgourmet Feb 8, 2008 06:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                              any good jersey diner...because with all that cheese & gravy, who needs ketchup? ;)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                Chinon00 Feb 8, 2008 07:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                ok, to be clear, give me your best "naked" fries. My top three:
                                                                                                                                                                1) Monk's Cafe Belgian frites (Philadelphia)
                                                                                                                                                                2) Dock Street Brewpub Trio Fries "White and Sweet Potatoes and Leeks"
                                                                                                                                                                3) McDonald's (even after they ceased using palm oil)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chinon00
                                                                                                                                                                  goodhealthgourmet Feb 8, 2008 07:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  oh, i understood your question, i was just being cheeky :)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chinon00
                                                                                                                                                                    j
                                                                                                                                                                    jeanmarieok Mar 18, 2008 04:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Yep, I'm with you on Monk's
                                                                                                                                                                    I also like the fries at Vintage (Philadelphia)
                                                                                                                                                                    and the shoestring fries at Tap (Atlanta)

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Chinon00
                                                                                                                                                                  k
                                                                                                                                                                  kindofabigdeal Feb 8, 2008 09:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  1. My house
                                                                                                                                                                  2. In-N-Out, ordered well-done (my 2nd fave fast food fry is Wendy's because the taste like potatoes, surprisingly)
                                                                                                                                                                  3. I've never had real belgian frites, so I'll just leave a spot for any place here.

                                                                                                                                                          2. Nancy816 Feb 8, 2008 12:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                            OMG, all of you people are my soulmates. Fyi my favorite condiment is eggs. I call it nature's condiment. Because get serious, a fried egg is an amazing condiment. Growing up I wanted to open up a restaurant called sauces, and have a bunch of sauce choices for whatever you order. I also wanted to be a boxer, so take it with a grain of salt. Now I'm trying to start my own home made sauce company. Anyway, I friggin love you people.

                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Nancy816
                                                                                                                                                              goodhealthgourmet Feb 8, 2008 03:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                              nancy...we should talk. i'm moving back to the NYC area next month to launch a gourmet health food company. e-mail me on yahoo - my username is the same.

                                                                                                                                                            2. c
                                                                                                                                                              corgette Feb 8, 2008 06:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Also a note for those in NY: Pommes Frites is the ultimate restaurant devoted to mass consumption of dipping sauces. It almost doesn't count for this thread since I personally find the fries tasty in themselves, but it's why one heads over there.

                                                                                                                                                              Pineapple terriyaki? Curry? Horseradish mayo? All there, waiting to be shoveled in.

                                                                                                                                                              1. Catskillgirl Feb 9, 2008 12:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Victory Cafe in NYC (I don't know if it's still there, but hope so) served roast chicken with the most amazing herbed creamy gravy. I could bathe in the stuff. The chicken was fine, but oh, that gravy! My other favorites are oyster sauce (hubby and I used to make the staff frantic in Chinatown by ordering big bowls of the stuff with our meal), tartar sauce, and the sinful onion dip made with just sour cream and dried onion soup. Oh, and tahini sauce. And Frank's hot sauce. I grew up on Buffalo wings and just can't live without 'em. Although I now make a dish with the same sauce, but use shredded cooked breast meat mixed in with bleu cheese dressing and some cream cheese - slightly less sinful but almost as tasty.
                                                                                                                                                                Oh, and cocktail sauce! How I adore cocktail sauce - very spicy and loaded with horseradish.
                                                                                                                                                                Confession - it's good for the soul. *G*

                                                                                                                                                                1. c
                                                                                                                                                                  Canthespam Mar 18, 2008 01:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  This really grosses my husband out... I use a tub of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter as a dip with corn chips. I love butter all by itself - who needs the chips. A woman at Weight Watchers told me years ago that she 'would leave her husband for butter'!

                                                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Canthespam
                                                                                                                                                                    k
                                                                                                                                                                    kindofabigdeal Mar 18, 2008 11:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    That's truly hideous. If it had been genuine butter that would be one thing, but I CAN believe it's not butter. However, I can see the appeal with corn chips. Actually, I'm getting inspired now. I'm thinking honey butter on corn chips. Mmmmm... Sweet/salty/.... um... corny.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kindofabigdeal
                                                                                                                                                                      c
                                                                                                                                                                      Canthespam Mar 18, 2008 04:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Actually, I do do it with real butter too - probably more than my cholestoral wants to admit. Only real butter is real butter - no chemical substitutes are the same. In the tub of the phoney junk (which my husband uses, not me), it is a quick fix - no softening needed.

                                                                                                                                                                      Hey, these aren't exactly gourmet dips that we're talking about here! I too am a tartar sauce junkie, along with peanut butter, guacamole and to save calories and carbs, I stand by the freezer eating Hagen Daz straight out of the container. When you eat it sitting down from a bowl, like a human being, it goes directly to your hips - standing up and the bad stuff drops down to the floor. ;-) and is swept away. Also if no one sees you doing these gross things, again, no carbs or calories.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Canthespam
                                                                                                                                                                        c
                                                                                                                                                                        Canthespam Mar 18, 2008 04:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        I don't think that syrup falls into the condiment catagory ... warm syrup is a drink - best followed by a huge glass of ice cold milk.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Canthespam
                                                                                                                                                                          hill food Mar 18, 2008 04:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Can:

                                                                                                                                                                          we think you may be in denial and using justification as a tool. We want to help you and will be there through your struggle.

                                                                                                                                                                          Besides shouldn't the syrup be chocolate and mixed directly into the milk? get some perspective.

                                                                                                                                                                          It's a much more efficient delivery system..

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: hill food
                                                                                                                                                                            c
                                                                                                                                                                            Canthespam Mar 18, 2008 05:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Hill,

                                                                                                                                                                            One of the few things that I am NOT addicted to, is chocolate. Yes I will eat or drink it occasionally, but it is not my thing. No I don't drink warm syrup from a glass (ugh even for me). I pour extra on my pancakes or waffles and spoon it off of the plate.

                                                                                                                                                                            Even to me, it sounds horrible to actually pour syrup into milk. I like to indulge in my sins separately. You are welcome to join me in one of my disgusting pig-out moods - just bring napkins and an an open mind, and of course whatever your downfalls may be. And some ungummed cream cheese wouldn't hurt.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Canthespam
                                                                                                                                                                              hill food Mar 18, 2008 05:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              I prefer wet-naps myself. best reason to hit Vegas or ATL City. they're gratis.

                                                                                                                                                                              funny you'd think they'd keep, but they do have a shelf life.

                                                                                                                                                                              Does that count as a gambling condiment?

                                                                                                                                                                              ps. try cream cheese on your next PBJ.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Canthespam
                                                                                                                                                                      k
                                                                                                                                                                      kindofabigdeal Mar 18, 2008 07:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      find the present edition of saveur. It's devoted to butter!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kindofabigdeal
                                                                                                                                                                        c
                                                                                                                                                                        Canthespam Mar 18, 2008 07:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        I got it, but I've eaten it already!

                                                                                                                                                                    3. b
                                                                                                                                                                      burritobelle Mar 18, 2008 08:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      I'll order anything that comes with sour cream. I eat it straight out of the container. Love it.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. k
                                                                                                                                                                        Kam7185 Mar 19, 2008 06:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        People always think I'm crazy for doing this.......

                                                                                                                                                                        I am truly not a big eater, I usually can fill up on simply an appetizer or a salad. However, the first thing I do is skim the sauces on the entrees. I will always order a side of demi-glace, mushroom wine sauce, or the like to dip my bread into. I also love salad dressings and get multiple on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                        Sauces are definitely my favorite food, dishes would be so bland without them!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. b
                                                                                                                                                                          Beach Chick Mar 19, 2008 06:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          I am such a Condiment Queen...
                                                                                                                                                                          I think there is a country song about me.. ;)
                                                                                                                                                                          What would a turkey sandwich be without lots of mayo..Best Foods!

                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Beach Chick
                                                                                                                                                                            Cheflambo Mar 20, 2008 07:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            Condiment Queen! I love it ... I call myself a Sauce Junkie. As a kid, when no one was looking, I was doing spoonfuls of A1 sauce straight from the bottle. and scraping it off the plate after steak (rude to lick the plate, I was told). Considering how mom cooked the dayllights out of every piece of meat, the A1 was the best part of the meal. Another by-the-spoonful favorite was Marie's Chunky Blue Cheese dressing. Im sure mom wondered how this disappeared so fast. Now I make a lot of my own sauces, especially remoulade. Perhaps I'll whip up a bowl this afternoon (I guess I should get something out of the freezer to thaw. grill and serve it on too ....)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Cheflambo
                                                                                                                                                                              b
                                                                                                                                                                              Beach Chick Mar 20, 2008 11:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              We are cut from the same sauce!!!
                                                                                                                                                                              I order extra sauce on everything..
                                                                                                                                                                              I live for this stuff...glad there are more 'sauce freaks' out there...

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Beach Chick
                                                                                                                                                                              tatamagouche Mar 23, 2008 03:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Hah, that's exactly what I've long called myself! Precisely why I started the thread! I've always had so many more condiments in the fridge than stuff to put them on.

                                                                                                                                                                            3. alkapal Mar 19, 2008 07:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              ihop's butter pecan syrup. i could (almost) swig it from the little pitcher. BUT if i must, i eat it on the quite tasty harvest grain and nuts pancakes -- with hearty grains, oatmeal, almonds and walnuts. pour syrup generously all over, let soak in. pour again. be sure middle of pancake stack is thoroughly soaked, and start digging a hole to eat out the syrupy insides. edges of pancakes come last, after more syrup is added to sop. always entertains my friend.

                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                k
                                                                                                                                                                                kindofabigdeal Mar 20, 2008 11:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                If you ask them nicely they'll bring you out some of it warmed up, like they do the maple flavored syrup.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kindofabigdeal
                                                                                                                                                                                  alkapal Mar 22, 2008 03:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  i wish they would sell bottles of it for take-away.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                    k
                                                                                                                                                                                    kindofabigdeal Mar 23, 2008 04:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm not quite that enamored by it. I think part of the appeal of tasty condiments at restaurants is the illusion that its free. If they'd fill up a to go container with it, then we'd be in business.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. vvvindaloo Mar 20, 2008 12:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                I'd probably rather have the bun with cheddar, pickles, red onion and ketchup than have the burger patty!
                                                                                                                                                                                I also prefer hot fudge to ice cream, mariniere broth to mussels, and port wine reduction to any type of meat you could possibly serve it with :)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. j
                                                                                                                                                                                  jcattles Mar 23, 2008 08:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  The sauce from Indian Butter Chicken. Just give me a bowl of sauce and naan and I'm a happy girl. Chimichurri made with cilantro. The chile sauce served at P F Changs. Any kind of homemade gravy. My daughter will literally grab a glass and pour the sauce from lemon chicken in it and drink it. (i usually just use a spoon, LOL). Roasted red pepper mayo with blue cheese (perfect for dipping thin sliced steak in)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jcattles
                                                                                                                                                                                    alkapal Mar 23, 2008 09:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    me too on the butter chicken. sauce and naan or rice. mmmmmm good! at my fave buffet, i pick out the good slightly charred chicken tikka pieces, and add them also to the butter chicken gravy. oh yes indeedy!

                                                                                                                                                                                    oh: som tom sauce (thai green papaya salad). slurp like a fool!

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. r
                                                                                                                                                                                    RGC1982 Mar 23, 2008 09:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Nigeri sushi for Wasabi.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: RGC1982
                                                                                                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                                                                                                      tastelikechicken Mar 23, 2008 09:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      For me, sushi is the vehicle for large amounts of pickled ginger. I can never get enuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. PaulaT Jul 3, 2008 07:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      I am confused - pico de galo isn't a main?
                                                                                                                                                                                      the hot sauce for wings that isn't the main idea?
                                                                                                                                                                                      and I though you were supose to drink pancake syrup in a glass!
                                                                                                                                                                                      yes the condiment is very important!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. c
                                                                                                                                                                                        CeeBee Jul 3, 2008 11:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        The onions that go on top of hotdogs. Not raw, not fried, the ones in a some kind of reddish orange spice mix.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. jo_jo_ba Mar 27, 2009 07:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm a rediculous sucker for mustard... literally, I'll eat it on anything. plain lettuce, cucumber slices, plain bread, you name it.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. m
                                                                                                                                                                                            mordacity Mar 29, 2009 08:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Not a condiment, but whenever I roast a chicken I'm REALLY doing it for the potato/onion/carrot mix that roasts in the drippings. The chicken is fine and all, but chicken-dripped potatoes are AMAZING.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. shaogo Dec 6, 2009 04:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Each year, particularly around the holiday season, my catering customers will order a roasted red pepper aioli that I make from scratch. It's a lot of work to roast the red peppers, mellow the garlic, make the mayonnaise, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I serve the aioli with tiny, miniature chicken fritters, corn fritters and calamari fritters.

                                                                                                                                                                                              What's happened over the years is that I have to make twice the amount of aioli that I used to -- people were ripping apart the bread display and dipping in the aioli! Of course, I could never "sell" that as a purchased option ("bread display with aioli for dipping?" -- on first glance that seems kinda crude) so we just keep making extra. And we watch as people by-pass the homemade mini-fritters -- for the bread basket.

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