If you're anything like me, there is a soft spot in your heart for your favorite condiments. I know it's not something people think about on a regular basis, but when you really focus on that topic alone, I'm sure you can come up with a few that you couldn't live without. Okay, maybe you could, but you wouldn't want to!
I definitely go in phases, sometimes forgetting my past favorites, so I tried to put together a complete list, starting with my current go-to accompaniments.
Bufalo Chipotle Mexican Hot Sauce is THE hot sauce for me. I've used Tabasco sauce here and there, but this tops any other hot sauce I've tried. It isn't just hot, but actually has a rich flavor profile which translates into great taste along with the heat. Best way to eat it? Personally, I love it drizzled over fried eggs that have a little bit of cheese melted on them. The bottle says "very hot" but I don't agree with that statement. A must try for anyone who likes hot sauce.
Crosse & Blackwell, Relish Branston Pickle is something I learned about on a trip to England when I was young. I couldn't stand the food in England, so I stuck with ordering a Ploughman's lunch whenever I saw it on the menu. That made me happy - cheese, bread, butter, a hard boiled egg, and pickle relish. The most common one served is Branston Pickle. The flavor is a mixture between sweet and spicy and it consists of chunks of vegetables in a thick brown sauce. I agree, it doesn't sound appetizing, but put it on some bread with a slice of aged cheddar, and you'll know what I'm talking about.
Stonewall Kitchens Hot Pepper Jelly is my go to appetizer when I need something quick. One of the best and definitely easiest appetizers is to open an 8-ounce block of cream cheese and spoon a jar of hot pepper jelly over the top. Served with crackers, it is quite yummy! Stonewall Kitchens is a good one, but there are tons out there in a variety of flavors and colors. In fact, when I travel, I often find different pepper jelly concoctions often times made locally. I normally can't resist and end up taking a jar home with me.
Zatarains Mustard Creole is a great mustard to accompany smoked sausage, or any sausage for that fact. Mark and I love to try different mustards and we do have a current local favorite, Port Brewing's Shark Bite stone-ground mustard made with their red ale, but when it comes to good standbys, this creole mustard wins.
Lea & Perrins The Original Worcestershire Sauce. No oil. Very low salt. You know how Lea & Perrins invented it? One story is that they owned the chemist shop in Worcestershire. A colonel in the British army came home from serving the Raj, and told them about a great sauce he had tasted in India. John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins worked together with great care to assemble the correct ingredients. They left them to ferment in a barrel down in the cellar. The colonel never came home again from India. Three years later, Lea & Perrins remembered the barrel, but they couldn't remember what they put into it. So, they invented Worcestershire Sauce. It is still made in the original factory on Midlands Road.
Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams is probably not so much a condiment, but I thought deserved a mention here, since it isn't your basic peanut butter. This decadent jar contains all natural peanut butter blended beautifully with rich dark chocolate. I'm sure there are several ways to enjoy this delight, even as simply as spreading on a piece of bread, but my personal favorite is to slice up a banana in a bowl and put a dollop of this dark peanut butter in the middle. Dip my banana slices in and I'm in heaven.
I know there are several others I could name, but I also want to hear from you! What are your favorites, stand-bys, and new finds? Please do share. Happy dipping, saucing, and spreading!