Most of the condiments in the grocery store contain stabilizers, texturizers, preservatives and refined sweeteners (usually high-fructose corn syrup). That’s reason enough to make your own summer pantry staples. Reason No. 2? It’s surprisingly delightful to watch actual, real, recognizable foods such as tomatoes, cucumbers and eggs morph into luscious sauces worthy of your best summer barbecues.
Homemade Condiment Recipes
Onions, coriander and fish sauce are all amalgamators—they help other flavors come together. Coriander is one of only seven “amalgamating” spices in Ian Hemphill’s The Spice Bible, which features nearly 100 spices. (If you accidentally overseason something, you might be able to bring it back into balance by adding coriander.) Onions behave similarly, unifying flavors, especially contrasts of sweet, savory and spicy. Fish sauce provides the saltiness tomatoes love, but also injects an allover savoriness. Although the salty, fermented sauce smells like fish, it doesn’t end up tasting or smelling like it.