September 15, 2022

What Are the Most Popular Condiments?

Does a condiment make a meal or does a meal make the condiment? Some foods we couldn’t imagine eating without condiments like ketchup and mustard, but we would never eat ketchup or mustard on its own. 

No matter what you enjoy, it’s not hard to figure out what’s good about condiments. They have their own special taste that, when mixed with another food, can turn something that someone finds inedible into something delicious. Some people won’t eat french fries without ketchup on the side. 

Of these condiments, which one is the most popular around the world? Which is the one that people couldn’t eat without? While there may not be a way to know definitively, we can check out statistics and see which of our favorites seem to be popular with everyone else.

The Most Popular Condiments in the World

For anyone who doesn’t know what exactly qualifies as a condiment, a condiment is any supplemental food. This doesn’t have to be a sauce like ketchup or mustard. Condiments can also be powder, oils, spreads, pastes, and natural herbs. 

#5. Hot Sauce

Hot sauce is a staple of not just American cuisine and culture, but the whole world. The idea of testing your might by eating something with hot sauce on it has been around for thousands of years. The ancient Aztecs of 7000 B.C. are currently the oldest on record to have used hot sauce to kick their meals up a notch.

Like we still do with many hot sauces today, they combined chili peppers with water to test their taste buds, among other things beyond food.

#4. Soy Sauce

This East Asian condiment is not only popular in the United States, but it’s a favorite condiment among the most densely populated countries on the planet. Its added popularity in the U.S. and Europe certainly helped to catapult this condiment up the list. 

Made with fermented soybeans, roasted grain, and brine, it goes with more foods than most condiments. It’s great as a dip or poured over sushi, dumplings, vegetables, poultry, and more. Soy sauce is also an ingredient in other sauces that are popular condiments in their own right. 

#3. Mustard

This might be surprising to some people. Based on research, mustard and ketchup go neck and neck, but more often than not, ketchup just edges mustard out. With ketchup, there are so many different variants and brands, but mustard is more consistent by comparison. This condiment goes with meats, vegetables, and cheeses of all kinds. It has an eclectic flavor that some people can’t stand and others can’t go without. 

This condiment and its name come from mustard seeds that are ground up and mixed with other flavors. After being mixed with other flavors, the ground-up seeds are boiled and cooled in a water canning bath. It actually takes up to four weeks to make mustard, making it one of the more in-depth condiments to produce.

#2. Ketchup

Everyone knows ketchup. This sauce is famous for its pairing with classic American foods like french fries, hamburgers, and hot dogs, but truly it can go with any meat, many vegetables, and even some fruits. A popular ketchup combo is mixing it with eggs, scrambled or hard-boiled. 

What not everyone knows about ketchup is that it’s a puree of tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, seasonings, and spices. The tomatoes alone don’t give it its sweet and tangy flavor. This combination of ingredients leaves a lot of room for variations around the world. While Heinz ketchup may be the most popular ketchup brand, you would be able to taste the difference between local ketchups around the U.S. and the world.

Ketchup is so popular around the world that there’s a joke about people who put ketchup on everything. It tastes so good that if something might taste better with ketchup, many will never try something without it. Believe it or not, some people have never had steak without dipping or smothering it in ketchup first. But despite that, ketchup is not #1. 

#1. Mayonnaise

This may sound strange to people who cook at home. The amount of recipes that use mayo is astounding. This concoction of oil, eggs, and an acid, typically vinegar or lemon juice, tastes unlike anything else. Due to its ingredients, it can also taste great warm or cold like many other condiments, but more consistently. 

Mayonnaise was first invented in 1756 by the French chef of the Duke of Richelieu.

There is also mayonnaise’s international popularity to consider. Mayonnaise is neck and neck with ketchup and mustard to be the U.S.’s most popular condiment but is incredibly popular across the world in Eastern Europe and Asia. 

Get Something to Go with the World’s Most Popular Condiments

At Cork Bar and Restaurant, there is no lack of entrees, starters, and sides that come with quality condiments. Improve your dining experience by adding more flavor to your favorite foods and meals the next time you come to Cork.

Don’t wait, get a reservation for your next night out. That’s the best way to make sure you have a seat when you show up!