Discoveries at the Jungle Condiment Month: Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce from Thailand, Mrs. H.S. Balls Chutney from South Africa, and Cento Balsamic Ketchup from Italy
The term condiment comes from the Latin condimentum, meaning "spice, seasoning, sauce" and from the Latin condere, meaning "preserve, pickle, season.” Condiments were known in Ancient Rome, Ancient India, Ancient Greece, and Ancient China. There is a myth that before food preservation techniques were widespread, pungent spices and condiments were used to make the food more palatable. The Romans made the condiments garum and liquamen by crushing the meat of various fish and fermenting it in salt, leading to a flourishing condiment industry. Apicius, a cookbook based on 4th and 5th century cuisine, contains a section based solely on condiments.
We have come a long way in terms of condiments since then. Even the original fish sauces, tahini, vinegars, and mustards are still around, we just put our own modern twists on them. This month, we are featuring condiments from all corners of the world. Some pay homage to the early days, while others are decidedly more modern. Come in and spice up your dishes with condiments from the Jungle!
Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce from Thailand
This is a mild and sweet chili sauce that is very thick. It’s made with pickled red chilies, vinegar, and garlic. Sweet Chili Sauce goes great on spring rolls, fish cakes, curry puffs, and grilled chicken. Mix it with your favorite BBQ or hot sauce!
Where you can find these: Fairfield Location: Orange 5 // Eastgate Location: Yellow 1
Did you know? Thai cuisine is a perfect blend of flavours – salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and spicy. Almost every Thai dish combines all five tastes.
Mrs. H.S. Balls Chutney from South Africa
This complicated secret recipe was almost lost in a shipwreck in 1852. The captain and his wife, instead of carrying on, decided to stay in South Africa, making their chutney with peaches, apricots, onions, worcestershire sauce, caramel, chilies, and garlic. There are all kinds of flavors and heat levels today.
Where you can find these: Fairfield Location: Orange 9 // Eastgate Location: Green 4
Did you know? Similar in preparation and usage to a pickle, simple spiced chutneys can be dated to 500 BC. Originating in India, this method of preserving food was subsequently adopted by the Romans and later British empires, who then started exporting this to the colonies, Australia, and North America.
Cento Balsamic Ketchup from Italy
Since the 1950’s, this Balsamic ketchup is made from 100% Italian tomatoes and balsamic vinegar of Modena, and adds a taste of sophisticated simplicity to any marinade or dish.
Where you can find these: Fairfield Location: Orange 8 // Eastgate Location: Green 8
Did you know? In order for Balsamic vinegar to be considered “authentic” it must follow these steps: Be made with white Trebbiano and red Lambrusco grapes, contain one ingredient: grape must, the reduced grape juice from the above grapes, be aged in one of six types of barrels: cherry, mulberry, juniper, oak, ash or chestnut, be aged for a minimum of 12 years, and be certified to taste and quality by a judging panel from the Designation of Origin Consortium.
Catch the other featured condiments from this month here:
Hengstenberg Mustard from Germany and Maille Mustards from France
Jufran Banana Sauce from The Philippines and Ziyad Tahini from the Middle East
Terry Ho’s Yum Yum Sauce from Japan and Huli-Huli Sauce from Hawaii
Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning from Jamaica and Bee Sting Hot Sauce from Costa Rica