Jason from Traverse City called
in to get an opinion on an ongoing difference that he is having with his wife.
He thinks that the term condiment should be limited to catsup, mustard, pickle
relish, salt, pepper, and items of that nature. His wife’s definition is much
broader, including salsa, hummus, hot sauce, gravy, and so on. Sorry, Jason: I
have to side with your wife after a few forays into dictionaries.
Huffpost Taste says that, "the world of condiments reaches far beyond ketchup, and even much further than your mustards and relishes. It's a vast and varied terrain of flavor-boosters, from fiery hot sauce to cooling tahini."
The Oxford English Dictionary defines
condiment as “anything of pronounced flavour used to season or give
relish to food, or to stimulate the appetite.” In the original Latin, condiment
involved preserving or pickling. A later figurative application refers to
anything that adds zest to a situation.
The Power Thesaurus includes as synonyms chutney, salad
dressing, applesauce, mayonnaise, radish, broth, vinegar, and gravy. Relish is
a common synonym. It came from an Anglo-Norman word that meant residue or
remainder. In America, it is usually assigned to a sauce made of chopped
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