Gray Matter


Ketchup and the Other Condiments in My Kitchen

ketchupThe type of ketchup I use is what most Americans use, tomato ketchup. Ketchup doesn’t have to be made from tomatoes. Filipinos prefer banana ketchup.

I usually have one or two bottles on hand, an opened bottle in the refrigerator and an unopened one in a kitchen cabinet, regardless of which country I happen to be in at the time. I’ve heard unopened bottles can be stored for months. They never last long enough around us to find out if it’s true.

The Tangy Taste of Ketchup

I didn’t care for ketchup much when I was young. French fries, to me, tasted better without it. I didn’t add it to anything at all. I guess my older taste buds are out of whack or something. It’s now on my french fries, my hash browns and anything else I think may taste better with it than without.

I knew people, in my former Marine Corp life, who spread ketchup over all of their breakfast foods. It all ends up in the same place, they’d say. I like to savor the flavor of each item, most of it without any ketchup at all.

Ketchup isn’t the only condiment I use, of course, but my list is shorter than the average Filipino. Their condiments don’t seem to last as long as mine though, even if they buy more of them.

The Other Condiments

If I can find it, I’ll get sweet relish. The same goes for yellow mustard. I don’t like brown mustard, which seems to be what I can find the most in Olongapo. Yellow mustard seems to be everywhere in the United States.

I can use relish and mustard on hot dogs and that’s about it. I’m too lazy to add diced white onions. I like the spicy beef franks I can easily find in the Philippines but not so much in Hawaii. Ketchup doesn’t belong anywhere near them, in my opinion. I can’t convince certain others that mustard tastes better on hot dogs.

Mayonnaise, not ranch dressing, is what belongs on burgers. Most Jollibee restaurants in the Philippines, use ranch dressing and I can’t stand the taste of it. Unlike American franchises, you can find some items in one Jollibee but not in another. Some of them will actually use mayonnaise from time to time.

Here’s a list of some things my wife, Josie, and her side of the family use:

There’s some more, but I can’t remember what they are offhand. Like me, they use vinegar as a condiment. They usually add small chili peppers to vinegar and call it something, but I know now what. To be fair, I consume soy sauce almost every time I eat Filipino food. Not every time, of course. The recipe has to call for it.

Photo Attribution: Lupus in Saxonia / CC BY-SA
Originally published at one of my other websites in February 2017.

Author: RT Cunningham
Date: October 16, 2020 (UTC)
Categories: Food and Drink

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