Food52 Life

Too Many Cooks: Your Favorite Condiment

April  3, 2015

You'll be hearing from the team at Food52 every week in Too Many Cooks, our group column in which we pool our answers to questions about food, cooking, life, and more. 

Condiments—the crowned jewels of cooking—add a hit of heat, a little acid, or a much-needed creamy note to breakfast, dinner, or dessert (dessert condiments are real and wonderful). What qualifies as a condiment is a little up for debate here at Food52, where hot sauce reigns supreme, sour cream holds an embarrassingly large piece of our collective heart, and there is contention surrounding runny egg yolks.

This conversation is precisely what makes condiments, and cooking for that matter, endlessly fun. Topping your food with your favorite condiment shows personality and creativity, no matter how strange others think you are. While owning up to your favorite condiment (Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Sauce, for example) can make enemies, this is a safe space. That’s why we asked the staff at Food52:

Shop the Story

What is your favorite can’t-live-without, buy-it-in-bulk, eat-it-on-everything condiment? 

Are you an avocado lover that can’t be stopped, or a bananas and ketchup kind of person? Tell us what condiment you couldn't live without in the comments below.

Lauren K: If we can consider Greek yogurt to be a condiment, then that's my choice. I no longer buy it to eat as yogurt and instead buy it to put on everything. 

Allison: A dollop of Greek yogurt seems to end up on a lot of what I eat.  It has become my version of “Put an egg on it.”

Erin: I love hot sauce and I carry three kinds in my purse at all times for spicy emergencies: Frank's (yay vinegar!), A & B American Style pepper sauce (yay Food52 Shop!), and Coyote Garlic Hot Sauce (100 cloves of garlic per 60 bottles). 

Karl: I love all kinds of hot sauces, but I think Frank's wins for me, too.

More: The first step to understanding hot sauce? Understanding chiles.

Jaime B: Sriracha! But I recently had a roasted garlic hot sauce that was supposed to be akin to Sriracha, only it was way better and I finished a 5-ounce bottle by myself in a week.

Ali: Tapatio! Which I did not realize was not really available on the East Coast until I moved here. Luckily I have the best mom and she mails me some every few weeks.

Lauren L: Maple syrup: in my morning shake, in salad dressing, and on all breakfast baked goods.  

Kelsey: Yes. Maple syrup on everything

Rachel: Sometimes I make things just so that I can put sour cream on them.

Leandra: Thank goodness someone else said it first. I love sour cream and I don’t care who knows it.

Stephanie: Dudes, I eat sour cream like it is yogurt and I'm not even joking. Sour cream forever and for always. 

Hillary: This is no surprise to anyone, but I put a lot of tahini on a lot of things. Also, does avocado count as a condiment? 

Channing: Avocado on all things! Eggs, rice, salads, sandwiches, nachos, the list goes on. 

Lucy: In a former life I may have been "that girl" who asked for a side of ranch dressing for dipping fries. Please don't fire me. 

Samantha: I pledge allegiance to mayonnaise. Preferably Duke's (or homemade aioli).

Hannah W: Ketchup. On everything.

Merrill: Stonewall Kitchen's Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam—great with meat, great with cheese, just great.

Haley: Sun Valley Mustard. Any flavor. My in-law's are to blame for this one, and now even my grandmother is hooked. If I had to pick a favorite, it's the Chardonnay, but this feels like picking a favorite child.

Ryan M: Cleveland's Ball Park Mustard.

Brooklyn: I always have to ask for extra honey mustard, especially with fries. And Gates BBQ sauce is the best around (my Kansas City BBQ bias, of course).  

Derek: Fireman's Pommery Mustard. Done.

Do you love condiments? Do you have a favorite? Are there any that you really hate? Tell us in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Veronica
  • Quinn
  • gingerjillian
  • Alexandra Palmerton
    Alexandra Palmerton
  • Christopher Scheuer
    Christopher Scheuer
Past Julia Child Fellow at Food52 || Believer in Brunch


Veronica October 11, 2015
A1 Sauce. It can't be just any steak sauce, it has to be A1. I can drink it straight out of the bottle. I can put it on any meat and most veggies. YUM!
Quinn April 13, 2015
Mustard on everything.
gingerjillian April 6, 2015
SALSA. And it has to be the hot kind. I also, however, agree with everything that has been said about plain yogurt. That tang is my jam.
Alexandra P. April 6, 2015
Ketchup forever.
Christopher S. April 6, 2015
Quinta's "Spunky" Red Relish & Lemon Herb Baste - Two must haves for my Pantry! KJB - Try some Quinta's Piri Piri? Let me know.
kjb April 6, 2015
Piri Piri.
henandchicks April 5, 2015
Crystal hot sauce. Not Texas Pete, not Tabasco. CRYSTAL, on everything.
Claudia |. April 5, 2015
recently: cinnamon & chili, yes together!
healthierkitchen April 5, 2015
And also, Maya Kaimal's spicy Indian ketchup
healthierkitchen April 5, 2015
I am with Merrill, I love that jam!
LeBec F. April 5, 2015
tamari, lemon and lime juices, japanese furikake(sesame seeds, nori flakes, bonito flakes etc.); rice wine (and all) vinegars; chipotle hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Far West Funghi's truffle mustard, plain yoghurt, baby kosher dills, 'Mustard Mayo' (my mix of mayo, 2 mustards, tamari and lemon juice); sesame oil, vinaigrettes.
helen M. April 4, 2015
Smashed avocado on toast for breakfast, in salads for lunch, with eggs, and in a blender with cocoa powder and a little almond milk for a great chocolate dip,for strawberries. Can't live without avocados.
tammy D. April 4, 2015
Gomasio. Love it on absolutely everything. Make it and store it all the time.
Tory N. April 4, 2015
@lucy and @samantha - totally with you ladies. ranch AND mayo for fries. i will put aioli on anything just to eat aioli.
Pegeen April 4, 2015
Vinaigrette. I use it to marinate meat or chicken, drizzle over steamed or raw vegetables (instead of using any butter), and over steamed potatoes for warm potato salad.
Jackie D. April 4, 2015
i put garlic and extra virgin olive oil in practically everything i cook. my colesterol is 175.
cjbollinger April 4, 2015
EVOO and Sambal Oelek! Yes please!
chris April 4, 2015
cucina D. April 4, 2015
my favorites are extra virgin olive oil, Sriracha sauce on everything (especially deviled eggs)... smokey roasted tomato sauce and saffron aoli
Teresa C. April 4, 2015
Lime juice on everything! Fruit, meat, vegetables, desserts. And shriracha... Bottles and bottles!