Every culture has a condiment:
Soy sauce has been a popular seasoning and marinade for over 2,500 years in China .
Sriracha Chili Sauce has long been used in everything from seafood to soups in Thailand .
Mustard is served alongside a profusion of meats and sausages in Germany .
Worcestershire Sauce has been a favorite for marinading meats since 1873 in England .
Marie Sharp's add some heat to the ubiquitous rice and beans in Belize .
And Heinz Ketchup has been the ever-present accompaniment for hamburgers and hot dogs in the U.S.
Having just returned from warm, sunny shores of the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica , I'm sold on a new condiment: Salsa Lizano, which I poured generously over eggs, fried rice, and tamales at almost every meal.
Known in English as "Lizano Sauce," the deep brown condiment was a fixture of local cafes, eco-lodges, and homes everywhere I went. But I'm not complaining: I went so far as to check a bag on my way back just so I could carry home a bottle of the rich, savory sauce. Zesty, flavorful, and with just a hint of sweetness and smoke, the condiment has been made with the same recipe since 1920. Crafted from water, vinegar, salt, veggies, spices, mustard, and turmeric, this addictive "salsa" made its way onto heaping plates of scrambled eggs, arroz Cantonese, tacos, and stewed beans over the course of my travels. I know what it can do tableside, but now I am eager to start experimenting with it in the kitchen: I understand it makes a great marinade for chicken and beef dishes.
What's your favorite condiment and how do you use it? Did you grow up with it, or discover it while exploring cuisines of the world? And have you ever tried to replicate the flavors of your favorite condiment at home?
Salsa Lizano, $18.99 for 23.7 fluid ounces; amazon.com
By Heather Tyree
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