Writer’s Workshop: Condiments? YUK…

Don’t know what’s in the black one, but I’m sure it’s gross, too. Photo by tahabalta from Pexels

Nothing can make me lose my appetite faster than something slathered in ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, salad dressing, relish, steak sauce, sour cream, or just about any condiment. That stuff is just gross. Personally, I don’t see how it enhances the enjoyment of a hamburger, hot dog, steak, taco, or anything else.

Restaurants are generally pretty good about this. They didn’t used to be. I remember going to a Big Boy and ordering a burger when I was about 11, and it came with mustard, ketchup and Thousand Island dressing on it. I told Mom I didn’t want it, and she said she’d ask the server to fix it, and then forgot to say anything, and I sat there for an uncomfortable hour staring at this horrible mound of food. And I think I got in trouble for not eating it.

For the longest time, I wouldn’t eat at McDonald’s because no matter how often and how emphatically I told them "PLAIN!" invariably my burger would come topped with ketchup, mustard, and a pickle (another "yuk!" food). Burger King had me with "Have It Your Way."

I love chicken tenders or chicken fingers. I see no reason to have to dunk them in honey-mustard dressing, or barbecue sauce (one of the few condiments I can stand) or sawmill gravy (about the only gravy I can stand, and then only on chicken-fried steak).

The Chicago-style hot dog is an all-beef hot dog on a poppy seed bun with yellow mustard, sweet pickle relish, onion, tomato, sport peppers, a pickle spear, and a dash of celery salt. I’ve never had one, needless to say…

Anyway, that’s my story…

26 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: Condiments? YUK…

  1. So you’re one of THOSE people. It’s amazing to me how we can all eat the same food and have such different experiences with it. My Mom is one of you people who don’t like what she calls “creme de la”…basically condiments, creams, sauces etc. But she takes it a step further and also does not like donuts and many other wonderful items. She has a very simple palette! Which is all fine and good unless you are her child and grow up eating them most dry meat that definitely could have used a little creme de la! Sometimes I choose meals solely based on what condiment I can eat them with. I’m in the mood for ketchup!


  2. Okay, John, to each his/her own, I’m guessing.

    But…how about Artichokes…when you tear off each leaf and dip it into some type of sauce? Have you had/tried that? And raw Clams…no sauce, horseradish,,,nothing? I’ve been in Chicago and had one of Portillo’s awesome hot dogs, could not imagine one just stark naked on a bun.

    The things we learn about our blog-friends…


    1. I don’t eat artichokes or raw clams (or cooked one, for that matter). I eat shrimp without cocktail sauce and fish without tartar sauce. As for Portillo’s, next time you’re there try the Italian beef and sausage combo. It’s fantastic!


  3. Plainly spoken!
    I certainly think you should be allowed to add condiments yourself – I like chutneys which I see as an element of the dish on the plate, and I like to add heat and flavour with chilli sauce. Pepper should be freshly ground on serving otherwise the subtle flavour elements evaporate during cooking and salt is surely a matter of personal/health taste. My partner finds some dishes too dry without Mayonnaise. It is true that certain international mayo manufacturers tailor their recipes for each country. Chacon a son gout…


  4. Honestly, this is the first time I’ve heard of someone not wanting ANY condiments. But from these comments, it’s pretty common. Can I have your mustard and pickle?


  5. Though I personally don’t mind condiments, I don’t really like them either. That’s so sad that you had to sit for an hour staring at a burger loaded with stuff you didn’t like and which has zero nutritional value and you got in trouble for not eating it too.


  6. I could not sit at the table with ex partner who used to smother his food with brown sauce.
    I only used to have a little tomato ketchup on hotdogs, bacon or fish, but confess that I do like a bit of mayo. Blame that on Amsterdam with their Mayonnaise and chips…….. lovely!!


    1. That’s why I liked places like Fuddrucker’s and now Five Guys (which is great, by the way): they do your food and let you add whatever you want. You’re paying them to make the food, you should be able to get it how you want it.


  7. Hi John – I so agree with you and with Willow’s thought about putting a little on myself – if I feel like it. Horrible thought about sitting looking at the overdosed burger … obviously still palls – all the best Hilary


  8. I only like sour creme on a potatoe a mustard on Frankfurters that’s all all these sauces are made to hide the bad quality of the meat ! (I think)


  9. I am with you John maybe a little sauce but only when I can put it on myself! I can sympathize with you childhood experience….your mum was probably embarrassed too.💜


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