Before I met my husband, my cumulative lifetime resume of condiments could be written in a sentence or two. My parent’s refrigerator contained a bottle of ketchup and occasionally mustard, but that was about the extent of my condiment exposure. By contrast, today’s pantry is stocked with sriracha, horseradish, red hot chili sauce, Asian sesame, duck sauce, three different kinds of mustard, and more. In addition to all the store-bought condiments, we’ve become fairly adept at making our own sauces. I think it’s fair to say that my condiment IQ has risen.
A jar of Vlassic Dill Pickle Relish, used extensively on hamburgers and hot dogs, recently needed replacing. I wasn’t able to find the exact replacement and started reading the labels of possible substitutes. Although the original Vlassic isn’t free of artificial color and preservatives, the main ingredient is cucumbers and it contains no added sugar. I must have read the labels for a dozen different relishes in two different supermarkets and couldn’t find one that didn’t have high fructose corn syrup as the second or third ingredient. Do food companies really think we won’t like it if it isn’t loaded with sweetener?
I can solve the relish dilemma easily with a jar of dill pickles and a food processor, but reading one condiment label has made me curious about the others. How many commonly used condiments contain high fructose corn syrup? Out of the refrigerator comes the taco sauce, cocktail sauce, remoulade, soy sauce, and mayonnaise for inspection.
I’ve lined up the offenders for the high fructose corn syrup walk of shame.
Now that the refrigerator shelves are empty, I see that they could use a good cleaning. And people ask me how I keep busy in retirement.
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