July 2003 Edition
[KON-duh-ments] Condiments
Picture the fries without the ketchup, the club sandwich without the mayonnaise or the roast beef sandwich without the mustard. So many of our favourite menu items would not be complete without condiments.

In fact we take for granted that many of our favourite menu items will come adorned with our favourite condiments, and in some cases the condiments can make or break the food we’ve prepared.

The popularity of condiments is universal, and they have a long, rich history of providing the tang and zip for some of our favourite dishes.

The popularity of ethnic dishes is on the rise, and condiments are an important component in many ethnic dishes, and drive sales of these menu items. Flavours such as wasabi, ginger and horseradish reflect oriental influences, and varietal peppers, such as Chipotle are driven by Mexican cuisine. Sweet flavours combined with hot flavours such as spicy fruit salsas and chutneys are also poised for growth.

When it comes to condiments there are many long standing favourites. However, those that are popular in establishing trendy foods may be 'hot', but not necessarily here to stay.

When it comes to spicing up dull or tired menu items turn to condiments - they can take a familiar dish and turn it into something extraordinary. In a sandwich, bolder condiments add flair. Try combining eight parts of mayonnaise with one part pesto or relish to create a mayonnaise spread that kindles interest and excitement in your sandwiches.

Combine barbecue sauce, pineapple juice, orange marmalade, teriyaki sauce and Oriental 5-spice powder to create Asian barbecue sauce, or combine brown gravy mix, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, brown sugar, garlic, peppers, soy sauce and green onions to create a Jamaican Jerk sauce with kick.

From fine dining to the ballpark, condiments span every foodservice category - and having just the right condiment to go with your food can make or break the experience for your patrons. ¨

Some say that necessity is the mother of invention. That's certainly true when it comes to mayonnaise. A deli staple nationwide, mayonnaise was invented in 1756 when France's Duke of Richeliu won a navel battle at the Port of Mahon in Menorca, Spain. The Duke's chef, preparing for the victory dinner, found no cream or butter for his sauce. So, he combined eggs, oil, vinegar and spices. The Duke so loved the 'sauce' that he named it 'Mahonnaise'.