Some families spend dinner debating politics or talking about the news of the day. Growing up, my family’s most heated mealtime discussions often centered on a deliciously different topic: condiments. It all started after my siblings and I discovered a list of dinnertime conversation starters on the back of a bottle of salad dressing. One caught our eye (and stomachs): If you were stranded on a desert island and could bring just one condiment along for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Debating the topic became something of an obsession. The (often heated) conversation would inevitably devolve into an argument about what even counts as a condiment, anyways? Because one just didn’t seem realistic or fair, we expanded our own version of the prompt to include three favorite flavor boosters. Choose wisely, we’d warn friends and guests. We will judge you based on whether you include our beloved Sweet Baby Ray’s.
Finalizing a top three was never easy. But I never wavered on my No. 1 pick: Mayonnaise. As a lover of sandwiches, this was a no-brainer. Mayo added a sweet but tangy zing to any combination of bread, meat and cheese. And let’s be real: few things are less appetizing than a dry sandwich.
As a kid, I would eat any brand or variation: Hellmann’s, garlic aioli, vegan Nayonaise, even Miracle Whip.
But these days, my tastes are decidedly more refined. My ride-or-die mayo of choice? Sir Kensington’s.
A jar or tube of this delicious spread will set you back more than your average jar, but it is so worth it. Tangy, rich, smooth and not too greasy. Last year, when working from home, I went through a phase where most meals consisted of open-faced sandwiches comprised of wasa crackers, Sir Kensington’s and a protein (scrambled eggs, turkey or sharp cheddar cheese). I enthusiastically recommend it to friends. It’s so good my husband has caught me licking the spoon. At this point, I’d give up the other two spots on my desert island condiment shelf just to bring more Sir K’s along.
Assuming you’re not as committed to a single condiment as I am, you may need a few more flavor boosters to “bring along” should you play this game at home. Here are some other contenders to add to your theoretical fridge-- and your grocery list IRL:
Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce: A squirt of Sriracha delivers a spicy zing to even the blandest of foods.
Durkee Famous Salad and Sandwich Sauce: This spread is a close second to mayonnaise in the sandwich-enhancing department. Try it. Seriously.
Relish: I, too, consider hot dog one of my favorite meats. And nothing beats a few dollops of relish on a foot long. You can’t go wrong with Heinz.
Honey Mustard Dressing: Add a sweet zing to your condiment shelf. Your tastebuds will thank you. My favorite is Marie’s, but I can’t find it on Amazon. This one is good, too.
Salsa: Yes, salsa is a condiment. And a damn good one, too! I’m partial to pineapple or black bean, red pepper and corn varieties. My husband prefers his smoking hot.
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