Mix it Up: Condiment Blending
Postmodernism is woven deep throughout the trendster ethos, and this certainly holds true for squeezable food adornments! The hawtness of this up-and-comer is currently exemplified by a seismically ironic and disquieting resonance in countless social media posts (mostly the result of insidious paid social amplification) about the dawning of the age of Mayochup. Yes, not satisfied to have separate containers for both their creamy egg white-based spread and the venerable tomato-based staple; American consumers are excited to have them unified in a single dispensing apparatus!
Is this further evidence of the epidemic laziness and sloth of our culture? We say NAY! This is may very well be the height of squeezable science. Falling eerily in line with the Gilderman Hypothesis, anything having to do with condiments themselves is undeniably and exceedingly trend worthy. Short of re-creating the tasty Roman condiment made of smashed up fish guts and salt called Garum, blending whatever is at hand is a quick and satisfyingly colorful way of becoming a hyper-trendy foodinista.
There is so much about this to relish. Not only is Mayochup an exciting new branded product for trendsters to trumpet to each other, it also makes the huge problem of “condi-crowding” a thing of the past. As table sizes diminish and the plethora of crowd-funded artisan sauces, spreads, and chutneys become a dizzying blur of potentially sticky situations, the available space at the dining surface becomes premium.
No discussion of blended condiments is worth its pink Himalayan salt (pre-mixed with course ground white pepper of course) without recognizing the unquestioned leader in the mixed-spread space, J.W. Smucker’s Goober! The wise food sages behind this not only realized that kids are the ultimate exploitable consumers and that breakfast-making parents are attracted to anything which can save any speck of valuable prep-time. They also realized that at the heart of many profit driving trends (and also at the heart of Zen Buddhist philosophy), is anything inherently based on engaging with the dichotomy of opposites, such as selling peanut butter and jelly in the same jar. Yin-yang YUM!
Step one is to completely erase the word mayonnaise or mayo from your vocabulary. Simple, single purpose, spreads are now dead to you. So do a mental “find and replace” and paste in “aioli sauce” in any instances of the word “mayonnaise.” Most of your hipster friends will already be well aware of what aioli sauce is (basically mayonnaise with a splash or two of something else), but chances are nobody at work will, the bunch of losers.
Another basic … never reach for “Frenches” mustard again. You want giant, loud and proud mustard seeds suspended throughout a brownish-hued viscous reclaimed canning jar (never use a plastic squeeze bottle, you monster). Hopefully, you still have a horseradish root in the back of your freezer from last year’s organic edible landscape. Grind some of that into the jar and make sure everyone sees you as your eyes begin swelling shut from the fumes. Now THAT’s mustard! Badass.
Hot sauces. We could probably write an entire treatise on the subject and likely eventually will so stay tuned. For today, some foundational heuristics … Mitch in the mailroom likes to brag about how he can down an entire 8 oz bottle of 9-million Scoville unit extract sauce along with his Taco Bell Gordita. Mitch in the mailroom is an asshole. Get hot sauces that are “hot” but actually have good flavor. Here’s a good example. If you think you’re going to impress Thora the quirky and loveable barista by gnawing on a Carolina Reaper while waiting for your pistachio-rose latte you are dead wrong, like your taste buds.
Enough with the basics. Now, it is the time once again to channel your inner Bob Ross. Remember back when the local plein air painter needed to make some cash, and you immediately signed up for his “Paint like Bob Ross” classes. You’re about to put your skills to good, and tasty, results.
Grab your (as of yet unused) Bob Ross brand palette. Replace the dabs of phthalo blue or burnt umber with any of the plethora of hot sauces, pickled relishes and verdant salsas which dominate the fridge you share with your flatmates. Be liberal with your choices, too many blobs of condiments here is not enough! Now, with a fist full utensils and the same plein air easel that you used to paint miniature canvases at the ice caves, stride into the food co-op during the free-range paleo-vegan chili cook-off benefit that you lost last year. They’ll remember you from the frozen chili you made because you proudly called it “chilly.”
As you set up the easel begin with the Ross quotes. Claim “talent is a pursued interest” while laying down a brisk whisking of scotch bonnet marmalade as a base. As those around get splattered with specks of burning flavor, continue with “there’s nothing wrong with having a tree as a friend!” If you paid attention while at the painting class, you’ll soon have a vague and impressionist seascape built out of yummy sauces. Make sure to paint some happy little ducks using actual duck sauce and blend out the school of pollock, swimming underwater, with fish-n-chips vinegar. The ironic poignancy of these details will not be lost on the security guards when they attempt to shut you down. As you are being dragged off the premises, gleefully licking your canvas, stare at the chili team from the local food shelf and assert, “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.”