What do you look forward to when you go to a baseball game? For some people, it's the thrill of watching pitchers work their magic against batters. For others, there's nothing quite like the sound of the crack of a bat as a hard swing knocks the ball over the outfield fence.
For many people, though, the experience of taking in a baseball game is all about enjoying a delicious hot dog while taking in the game. The sizzling meat wrapped in the warmth of a soft bun can make your mouth water just thinking about it.
Of course, a hot dog just isn't complete without mustard. Or do you prefer ketchup? Others might insist upon a thick layer of relish. Whether it's a hot dog, a hamburger, or another type of sandwich or dish, there are a wide variety of toppings that can make them even more delicious. What are we talking about? Condiments, of course!
Condiments can be defined as things that are added to food to give it more flavor. They usually take the form of sauces, dips, or spreads. People don't always agree on what should be considered a condiment, though.
For example, jelly and jam are usually considered condiments, but peanut butter is not. Likewise, salsa is usually considered a condiment, while guacamole is not. Regardless of these somewhat-arbitrary lines, condiments definitely do the job when it comes to imparting additional flavor to the foods we eat.
Can you imagine French fries without ketchup? In other parts of the world, however, people eat French fries with malt vinegar or mayonnaise. When you consider condiments on a global scale, you'll quickly realize that ketchup and mustard are just two popular condiments amongst hundreds of flavorings from around the world.
A trip down the food aisles at your local supermarket will reveal a whole host of condiments, including ketchup, mustards, relishes, mayonnaise, hot sauces, jams, jellies, salsas, and sauces from soy to barbecue. Of course, not all condiments go great with all foods. Ketchup on a hot dog is tasty, but ketchup on plain bread…not so much. Put jelly or jam on that plain bread, though, and now you've got something!
In America, many people assume that ketchup is the most popular condiment. After all, it goes great with so many foods, from French fries and hot dogs to hamburgers and onion rings. Who doesn't love ketchup?
As it turns out, Americans do love ketchup. But there are a couple of other condiments that they like even more. Over a decade ago, news agencies reported that salsa had passed ketchup in overall sales. They pointed to an increase in the popularity of Hispanic cuisine as a primary factor.
The influence of other cultures has also contributed to the popularity of other condiments. For example, soy sauce sales aren't far behind ketchup sales these days. Despite these advances from other cultures, there's still one condiment that reigns supreme with sales that are nearly double those of other popular condiments: mayonnaise!
According to recent sales figures, the creamy sandwich spread accounts for more than $2 billion of revenue. That's more than twice the sales of either salsa or ketchup! So if you want to enjoy the most popular condiment around, the next time you make a sandwich just ask someone to pass the mayo!