Condiments enhance the taste of food and do not turn a bad meal into a good one. They are important ingredients in many dishes around the world. So, it’s not surprising for people to find different condiments in the cupboard or pantry in many kitchens across the country.
And people rediscovered them after the pandemic forced people to stay home when the states issued the shelter in place directives. Many of these condiments do not come from the United States. They come from Europe, Asia, Australia, and even North Africa. Here are some popular condiments in different parts of the world.
Italy is known for pasta and pizza. But this European country is also known for a condiment that Italians use on different types of food, including fish and meat dishes as well as pasta. The agliata is Italian sauce that consists of olive oil, garlic, vinegar, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper. Its texture is similar to pesto and has a thick consistency.
The sauce traces its history to Roman times. People from different walks of life used the sauce on their dishes. It is also called a garlic sauce and is also used as a preservative. This makes the condiment both popular and practical, especially among fishers. The Sardinian version of the sauce has tomatoes and uses red wine vinegar. It also has a high vinegar and garlic content.
Southeast Asia has several condiments depending on the country you go to. While people can find these condiments in different Southeast Asian countries, some countries have a version that stands out.
One example of these popular Southeast Asian condiments is the coconut cider vinegar from the Philippines. Chefs use this condiment for just about any dish and have slowly caught the attention of health-conscious Westerners. The condiment offers many health benefits, including the lowering of blood sugar and improvement of heart health.
Another popular Southeast Asian condiment is fish sauce. While its pungent smell may take first-timers aback, they will not stop using it once they add the fish sauce into their food. The sauce comes from fermented anchovies, water, and salt. It can enhance the taste of any food. It is popular in several Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, and the Philippines.
For people who love hot sauce, they can try the sriracha. This hot sauce is made of chili pepper paste, garlic, distilled vinegar, salt, and sugar. It originated from the eastern coastal town of Si Racha in Thailand. While the hot sauce is famous in Thailand, people from other Southeast Asian countries also use it, including Vietnam. Some people use it for broth while others use it as a dipping sauce.
The Land Down Under may be home to many unique creatures, but it is also where you can find a condiment that is uniquely Australian. Vegemite is a dark brown food spread from leftover yeast extract and comes with spice and vegetable additives. Developed in 1922 by Cyril Callister, people spread vegemite on sandwiches, crumpets, crackers, and toast.
Australians also use vegemite as filling for pastries. It has a salty and slightly bitter flavor. The spread is rich in glutamates and is ideal for vegans. It is also a part of the heritage of Australia together with kangaroos.
Britain has its version of the Australian vegemite. The marmite is a food spread that comes from yeast extract. The condiment is a by-product of the brewing of beer. Invented in the late 19th century, marmite is a dark brown paste with a salty and powerful flavor. People use marmite as a flavoring and have a high level of glutamate. It is also a good source of vitamin B, including vitamin B12. Marmite is currently manufactured by Unilever.
If Southeast Asia and Thailand have the sriracha, North Africa has the harissa. Harissa is a hot chili pepper paste from Tunisia that consists of Baklouti peppers, roasted red peppers, herbs, and spices like caraway seeds, cumin, garlic paste, and coriander seeds. It also has a variation called the rose harissa that comes from rose petals.
Harissa is a basic flavoring agent that a lot of dishes use. People can add it to roasted vegetables, use it as a condiment for grilled fish or meat, or mix it with soups and stews. People also use it with rice or couscous. The condiment is popular in several countries, including Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, and Algeria.
Condiments add flavor to food and enhance their taste. Their uniqueness has made them popular in the countries where they were invented and are gaining popularity in other countries.