Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Jan 28, 2013 05:29 PM

Etiquette regarding guests' choice of condiments

If I serve a mildly seasoned one dish meal, is hot sauce considered a condiment?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. the title and the question don't seem to be related?

    IMHO, regardless of how a dish is seasoned hot sauce is a condiment.


    A substance, such as a relish, vinegar, or spice, used to flavor or complement food.

      1. re: carolinadawg

        Once upon a time it was consideed declasse to havhe a "label on the table" and it was a source of much mirth and derision when Wialliam Randopl Hearst's "picnics' were photographed with ketchup _in the bottle_ on the tables.

        In much of New Orleans, however, bottles of hot sauce, Lea & Perrins (and ONLY L&P), pepper vingear &c have always been part of the table. Used to be that the outer, tan paper wrapper on Lea & Perrins was always left on. Nowadays some restrauteurs think that this is wrong.

        1. re: hazelhurst

          Yes I remember an internet discussion with people who had grown up with decanted Coke at the table for this reason. Of course my mom would have considered the Coke itself the problem but everyone has different customs.

      2. Well, you should serve your dish the way you made it. (whatever spicy you like); not all hot-sauce go with all spicy-enable dishes.

        If it is your custom to normally have hot-sauce on the table (along with salt and pepper) then it is ok for your guests to add some if they like.

        On the other hand, It _could_ be bad manners for a guest to ask for hot sauce or any other non-usual condiments if they are not already on the table or available.


        1. Sounds like you have someone in your life that is a hot sauce fanatic and probably puts it on everything and you are trying to ask us if it is ok when you are providing the meal. Correct?

          1. Make the meal as YOU would eat it, and let others season it to their taste. I have no problem with people putting extra salt/pepper/hot sauce etc on food that I've cooked for them.

            Eat, drink and be merry.

            2 Replies
            1. re: pdxgastro

              I cook with low amounts of salt because we have a sodium problem in the family. I have no problem whatsoever if someone thinks I undersalted for their taste. I probably did. We also keep Tabasco on the table normally because we all have varying tolerances to heat. What's the big deal? You want your guests to be happy, no?