If your condiment arsenal begins and ends with the Big Three (ketchup, mayo, mustard), you could stand to diversify. Here are a few to take those hoagies up a notch.
This Costa Rican multi-purpose sauce is a fixture at dinner tables throughout Central America. It’s a combination of onions, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers and a selection of spices including mustard and tumeric. Use it as a marinade, or pour it on eggs, beans, cheese, curry or rice.
In order to meet the demand for ketchup in the Philippines during World War II, an innovative culinary decision was made and bananas were substituted for tomatoes. And then we won the war. Coincidence? Today, banana sauce — often dyed red to resemble tomato ketchup — remains a popular sauce in Filipino cuisine for omelettes, spaghetti, fish and most kinds of meat. Try some on your burger for a tropical kick.
We’re not sure whether this vegetable spread, popular throughout the Balkans, is a relish or a salsa, but with a list of ingredients including red bell peppers, chili peppers, eggplant and garlic, we do know it’s tasty. Spicy versions made by Biljana in Macedonia and Podravka in Croatia deserve a place in your kitchen. Feel worldly by slathering it on a meat sandwich, such as the minced-meat-on-flatbread Balkan specialty cevapi.
This pungent red paste made from fermented rice, soybean and chili powder can be found on nearly every dining table in Korea. It’s ideal for adding a sweet, spicy and salty tang to dishes like Korean bibimbap or even pork belly tacos. Besides being rich in vitamin C and carotene, Gochujang is also loaded with capsaicin, also known as the chemical that makes chili peppers hot. It may make you sweat, but it also fights joint and back pain — now you know.