Tentative "New Condiment Basics" List - What do you think?
- gastronomics Nov 4, 2013 01:38 PM
Thanks so, so much to those of you who have already helped me out weighing in on my previous condiment-related posts! I think I've got a pretty tight list of condiments which I've attempted to organize into 6 main flavor categories, with 2 condiments in each.
What do you think?
1. Since they can't belong to two categories at one, did I place them in the most appropriate category?
2. Are marmite and maggi different enough, you think or would you replace one?
3. Any personal thoughts you'd like to offer on any of these? If you don't object I may quote you in my blog (and link to your site if you'd like). :)
SPICY: Sambal Olek, Harissa
SOUR: Ginger Dressing, Ponzu
SWEET: Balsamic Reduction, Curry Ketchup
SMOKEY: Liquid Smoke, Black Bean Sauce
SAVORY: Marmite, Maggi Sauce
SALTY: Giardiniera, Miso
2. Marmite is not Maggie, taste very different to me at least.
SPICY - Harissa, I love both but I think Harissa is unique and interesting and encourages creativity in ways to use it
SOUR - no opinion
SWEET - Curry Ketchup, seems more interesting and unique than Balsamic reduction
SMOKEY - Liquid smoke, I think this stuff is great. When added in the right proportion it adds a special flavor
SAVORY - Maggi sauce, I love this stuff and it comes in dozens of various different varieties. I am new to Marmite as of last week but it will likely be a favorite alongside Maggi.
SALTY - no opinion
I am not sure what kind of thoughts you're looking for as I'm not clear as to why the proliferation of condiment threads but those are mine. I think your categories are somewhat appropriate for the condiments though I'm not sure if Giardiniera and Miso are considered the same sort of salty it's like pickles vs. miso while both are fermented in a way it's more so pickled and fermented. I don't find Ginger dressing to be sour but that depends on who makes it.
"Marmite is not Maggie, taste very different to me at least."
Good! Just felt like the rest of the condiment flavor pairing were quite different and I was a little unsure.
"Curry Ketchup, seems more interesting and unique than Balsamic reduction"
I agree, but the point isn't necessarily about it being more interesting, just something with the potential to become an American condiment basic.
"I am not sure what kind of thoughts you're looking for as I'm not clear as to why the proliferation of condiment threads but those are mine."
Your response was perfect and much appreciated! It wasn't my intention to spam Chowhound with condiment posts, but I ended up with a much more clear idea of what I wanted to know about midway through discussions on the first post and I was afraid which so much discussion those new questions would be lost unless I started a new one. This one is sort of just checking back in with the list you all helped me create.
"I'm not sure if Giardiniera and Miso are considered the same sort of salty it's like pickles vs. miso while both are fermented in a way it's more so pickled and fermented. "
I hear you, they are quite different, but I really wanted to keep it down to just these categories and it's the one miso seemed to fit best inside.
"I don't find Ginger dressing to be sour but that depends on who makes it."
I was thinking of Makato's Ginger Dressing. Maybe "Tangy" would be a better way to describe it?
I have to disagree on this one. Maggi adds a unique flavor of its own, much more complex and savory than mere salt. And although it is indeed quite salty, only a dash or two is required to completely transform a sauce or dish. I feel it belongs in the savory category along with marmite (also salty), and I'd add my voice to those suggesting miso belongs under this heading too.
Black bean sauce is not really smokey. It's very salty and funky from fermenting the beans. It really ought to be next to the miso, which is also made from fermented beans.
Giardiniera is not terribly salty. It packs a whallop of heat and a ton of sourness. A good brand might actually be better listed next to the sambal. Ginger dressing might be sour, but I always found it sweet and spicy.
You have quite the project going here. Taking complex ingredients and trying to pigeon hole them in singular categories is going to be daunting. Sambal is hot, but I use it as an acid in dishes that are already spicy. When I use ponzu, I really want it to add salt to my dish, though the souring is also important.
I would replace black bean sauce in the smoky category with either smoked paprika or Lapsang Souchong tea (can be brewed strong and added to many sauces/recipes).
Also I find ginger dressing to be more of a savory/salty flavor profile than sour. Maybe something like chutney (sweet/sour) or kimchi would work instead.
I know they technically are, but I don't really think of smoked paprika (which I love!), tea (though I made some delicious earl gray tarts for my blog), or kimchi ( heck yeah, yum!) to be condiments.
My first chutney experience was poor. It was a jar of major gray chutney. I really didn't like it and I like almost everything. :/
As I mentioned before, maybe sour was the wrong word. Tangy is probably more appropriate. To me, ginger is definitely tangy. It's also salty and savory, and of course, I'll mention that, but for the purposes of organization, I think the flavor aspect that sets it apart and most distinguishes it for me is the tang.
From a practical standpoint, I'd use two main categories: those condiments that need refrigeration (mayo), and those that can be left in the pantry (Lea & Perrins) after being opened.
I tend to accumulate vinegar preserved products.