A Sneak Peek into Kimberley’s Kitchen – Condiments

Photo by Kimberley (c) 2013
Photo by Kimberley (c) 2013

In order from left to right:

Yellow Mustard; Marmite; Apple Cider Vinegar; Pomegranate Molasses; Organic Ketchup

I often muse about my culinary adventures in this blog and allude to certain ingredients. In the spirit of ‘open house‘, I present you with a series of sneak peeks into my kitchen and the ingredients I don’t want to live without. First up: Condiments. I like these 5 ingredients for their taste and versatility. They are great to use in sauces, dips and as taste-changing components in meals.

Yellow Mustard
Although there are different styles of mustard I prefer the old yellow. It doesn’t necessarily have to be organic – I just buy what’s budget-friendly and flavourful. I like to think that I eat enough of the stuff that I’m getting prescription doses of anti-inflammatory turmeric, an ingredient that helps give mustard its characteristic colour. Yellow mustard is great as an accompaniment to roast sweet potato, baked beans and an avocado/tomato sandwich.

I first got introduced to this yeast extract when in New Zealand. Apparently the British have their own version of the stuff too. It’s similar to Vegemiteā„¢ but I hesitate to make any further comparisons between the two. It seems a matter of patriotic pride to like one or the other but not both! I like to think that incorporating this salty goo in my diet has upped my B vitamin intake. Marmite adds that umami* taste when added to mushrooms, soups and vegetarian gravy.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Is it a tonic, salad dressing staple or just sour apples? Well it can be all three. There are some studies looking into the health benefits of apple cider vinegar on diabetes and obesity. It is also great to use for the acid component in a salad dressing and when added to soups it helps round out all the flavours. Apple cider vinegar is basically fermented apple cider.

Pomegranate Molasses
Scrumpdillyicious! I think this is one of those products for which that word was invented. Pomegranate molasses is a sweet and sour liquid made from concentrated pomegranate juice and sugar. It can be found in Middle Eastern specialty shops and forward-thinking grocery stores. Use pomegranate molasses to make ice/hot tea, salad dressings and dark chocolate truffles!

Organic Ketchup
Tomatoes are part of the dirty dozen and it is therefore recommended that you only consume the organic variety. A good organic tomato ketchup can double for tomato paste in a recipe. Use when making barbecue sauce, veggie burgers and a Moroccan tajine with couscous.

*Umami is the ‘fifth wheel’ when it comes to the distinct tastes popularly recognized by the tongue i.e. sweet, salty, sour, bitter. It is an inexplicable savoury flavour that borders on saltiness. It was identified in 1908 by Tokyo Imperial researcher Kikunae Ikeda and it is through this discovery that MSG was derived.
Glutamic acid or glutamate, which Ikeda believed to be responsible for the umami taste, was used to produce the seasoning monosodium glutamate i.e. MSG.

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