Types of Condiments


A condiment is "something used to enhance the flavor of food." Ketchup, mustard, relishes, dressings, sour cream, many sauces and spices are all common condiments. Each one enhances the flavors of the foods they are served in or with. International condiments include miso, soy sauce and hummus.

The Basics

  • Ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and relishes are popular condiments used for hot dogs and hamburgers. Sour cream and guacamole are condiments most associated with tacos and nacho chips, while different types of dressings add the finishing touches to salads. In addition, tartar sauce is a popular condiment used for adding flavor to fish sticks and fried fillets.

Other Sauces

  • Steak and barbecue sauces and marinades are a popular topper for grilling steaks and other meats. Dijon mustard can be used as a condiment for sandwiches and also as an ingredient for honey mustard salad dressing. Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces are common condiments for foodies who enjoy a little tasty kick in their meals.

International Condiments

  • Hummus is a popular staple in Mediterranean cuisine. It may be used as a dip for bread, along with olive oil. Soy sauce is used to enhance foods in Asian cuisines. Miso is a condiment that is used in Japanese dishes, especially in soup. It has the consistency of a thick paste that dissolves when stirred in hot broth. Miso has a potent concentration of sodium, so as little as one teaspoon is enough to season an entire dish or pot of soup. Wasabi is another common Japanese condiment, most often used with sushi and sashimi dishes. Wasabi is a green spread that is stronger than the American horseradish sauce.


  • Gravy is commonly used on meat-based dishes as well as on mashed potatoes. Gravy is a thick liquid-based condiment made by mixing flour, a splash of milk, and different flavors of stock, including chicken, turkey, beef and vegetable.

Herbs & Spices

  • Garlic, ginger, pickled ginger, green onion and mint are herbs that can be used as condiments by themselves or mixed with other sauce-based condiments.

    Spice condiments include salt, black, white and chili peppers. Cumin, coriander, cinnamon and nutmeg are also spice condiments that provide added flavor to foods. Curry powder is a spice condiment that is used in Indian cuisines.


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