Con-diments and Other Franken-groceries

What’s a “con-diment”? Honey mustard, for one. (Secret: It’s just honey and mustard mixed together, probably of way shittier quality than the honey and mustard you already own.) Pad Thai sauce, too. Sounds exotic, but why spend $4 for a tiny jar of ketchup, sugar and fish sauce. If you’re going that route, might as well pick up a jar of Goober, too. More pre-packaged scams, off the top of my head:

• Pancake mix–for when you can’t combine flour, salt and baking powder yourself.

• Cocktail sauce–silly to buy a big jar of it when you can mix chili sauce (or even ketchup) with horseradish whenever you’re boiling up shrimp.

• Spice mixes, meat rubs and folksy salts–99% of them are onion powder, chili powder and salt, with a bit of dried herbs tossed in for color. Sometimes cumin is added to the chili powder; sometimes the chili powder is swapped out for paprika. The point is, any combination of spices is going to cost more than a quick mix of stuff you already own. Don’t be fooled: Instead of buying it, google it.

• I was tempted to mention teriyaki sauce, but the truth is, it’s often easier to find and cheaper than the mirin that, along with sugar and soy sauce, you’d need to make it.

That reminds me: With all due respect to those brands that bring Asian condiments to mid-American supermarkets–without whom there’d be a lot less curry paste and chili sauce–if I see another overpriced tiny bottle of fish sauce or rice vinegar, I will blow a fuse. That stuff sells for like $1 a gallon at Asian markets–let’s get more real (cheap) brands into stores.


3 responses to “Con-diments and Other Franken-groceries

  1. I disagree about the teriyaki sauce. The store- bought stuff is too sugary and syrupy. We (my boyfriend, dog, and I) always make a homemade teriyaki marinade for steak, pork chops, or kebabs. Although we don’t use mirin…

  2. Pingback: Regarding Those Fancy Asian Sweet Chili Sauces… « You Make It You Eat It

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