Condimental Education

Shelby Clements delves into the pantry cupboard and reviews some of the less common bread topping, vegetable enlightening and toothache inducing condiments.

Condiment. Noun.
Delicious things that you put on top of, or in side of your average everyday food to make life, and your tummy a better place.

I was recently put to work on writing this little review on condiments. Yes, my first thought was, “Oh, jams and marmalade,” but boy was I wrong.

I didn’t quiet register the vast expanse of the world that is condiments. Not only is it jams and marmalades, but pickles, pastes, relishes, salts and spices, and heaps of other wonderful jarred packages of goodness.

So here for your salivating pleasure are five different condiments that I have gotten my mittens on.

P.S. All of these cost around the same, so roughly $7 to $15.

Photograph of assorted jars of condiments. From left to right: Dick Smith’s Apricot, Maggie Beer’s Quince Paste, Manuka Honey Blend and Peter Watson’s Romesco Sauce.

Condiment Numero Uno
Peter Watson’s Romesco Sauce
“Real Food Hand Made”

This Spanish jar of burnt orange goodness is a mixture of capsicum, tomato, hazelnuts, chilli oil, vinegar and bread. The gentleman who sold this to me recommended it personally after having a deep discussion on steamed green vegetables. He told me to put a spoonful on top of my greens, and after doing this, I myself was amazed. The subtle spices of this jar smell divine, and once added to my veggies, gave them a creamy Mediterranean flavour that would trick anyone into thinking veggies are good for you.

Condiment Number Two
Dick Smith’s Magnificent Australian Grown Apricot

I was going to do Vegemite but then realised it isn’t Australian owned anymore, so I took to the shelves to find the next best thing. Good ol’ Dickie strikes again with this conserve, being 100 per cent homemade here in Australia. This thick, gloopy conserve isn’t as sweet as normal apricot jams, which doesn’t make it unbearable to eat it on toast or crumpets. I, however, used it mainly as a glaze on a roast chook, which was great! I feel like fruit pastes and conserves go rather splendidly on meats, and this one was exceptionally scrumptious.

Condiment Number Three
Manuka Health New Zealand MGO 30+ Manuka Honey Blend

I think that this honey has flown under the radar rather recently. Not only does it taste as all good honey does, which is delicious! But it also has some great advantages to eating it. Gotta sore throat? Whack some honey in your tea. Having porridge for breakfast? Chop up some delicious banana and drizzle some honey over the top. It’s not only yummers to eat, but eating Manuka honey actually can give you some sweet health benefits as well.  Get it? Sweet health benefits!? Ha ha ha… never mind.

Condiment Number Four
Maggie Beer’s Quince Paste
“a Barossa Food Tradition”

Now I’ve mentioned quince paste to a few people before, and they have all been completely unaware of what it is. It’s a fruit paste that is quiet sweet and can be used on a lot of different things; I, however, would recommend it on crackers with cheese. You can cook with it on meats, or bake with it to add that extra fruitiness to muffins or cakes, or as Maggie suggest sneak a little in your coffee. It’s a condiment that you really need to experiment with, because its versatility is truly endless.

And finally…

Condiment Number Five
Koko Black’s Chocolate Salted Caramel Sauce

A woman called Anna from Koko Black in Melbourne, near Bourke Street, sold this jar of amazingness to me and it is not for the faint hearted. I would recommend either cooking with this bad boy in cakes, or maybe (if you have a super sweet tooth) having a tiny drizzle over some ice cream. It pretty much is puréed Butter Menthol or just the sauce of sticky date pudding. It’s rich and thick, and can only be handled in tiny dosages. It is also however like heaven in your mouth.

So there you have it, five condiments that you can now consider wrangling into your everyday eating lives. Enjoy!