We are guilty people. We send artisanal sauces tied up in twine for holiday gifts, we swipe them furtively off the Food52 giveaway table, and we splurge on them at Whole Foods because they promise to rescue an average dinner from blandness. But how often does dinner daydreaming actually start with the contents of a jar (often a jar you've never tasted, for that matter)? They all too often end up getting pushed to the back of the shelf and forgotten, then given away in the annual clean-out.
No more. We've tasted and vetted and generally fallen head over heels for certain sauces that we stock in the Food52 Shop—and we want you to know why we love them so much! Here are 38 marinades and dipping sauces we love—we loeurve, we loave, we luff with two f's—and how you can use them to transform an ordinary dinner.
Swirl just a spoonful of these complex sauces into your marinade, your aromatics, or right into a finished dish at the end of cooking for an impactful flavor that your guests will be asking about.
Better than traditional condiments, we prefer these sauces slathered over simply-cooked proteins and starches, or served in a generous allotment alongside any meal for dipping.
Start with plain anything—like a bowl of yogurt, a dollop of mayo, or any steamed starch from mashed potatoes to quinoa—and mix in one of these for an impactful flavor boost.
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