First, a reminder: the best conditions to have on hand are the ones you regularly use. There’s no point adding to the graveyard at the back of the fridge (we’re looking at you, expensive gourmet barbecue sauce that no one likes but we can’t bring ourselves to throw out due to the aforementioned expense).
But then, there’s something so alluring about trying all the conditions, don’t you think? One can simply never have enough things to dip, spread, slather or drizzle. Condiments may be the sidekick to the star’s main recipe, but we all know how regularly the sidekick steals the show.
So, make your favorites from this list and try out a few new treats. Just remember to store them front and center in the fridge or pantry. Things have a way of getting lost when they’re stored at the back…
By all means, start with kimchi. It’s honestly good with everything – try it in your fried rice, your dips, your noodles, your soup, your drinks, your toasties, your life.
While we’re on the subject of hot and spicy condiments, make sure you’re keeping a good chilli sauce on hand. This particular one is especially good with chicken.
The pungent, umami XO sauce deserves to be in every kitchen. It’s an expensive sauce to make (‘XO’ is actually Hong Kong slang for expensive luxury), but, trust us, it’s worth both the expense and the effort.
Once you make your own jam, you’ll never go back. Like, this rose petal jam is made entirely with sugar and rose petals… it doesn’t get better than that. Be warned, there’s not enough shelf space in the world for all the jams you’ll want to make.
Leave some room for savory jams like this tomato chilli jam. A dollop of this would lift any veggie, meat or (especially) potato into the stratosphere.
While we’re on the subject of tomatoes, it might be time to consider making your own tomato sauce. One lick of this good stuff and you’ll never buy a bottle again.
With a jar of this Italian favorite on hand, you’ve basically got dinner ready in the amount of time it takes to cook the pasta. You can also dip your bread in your pesto, dollop it onto baked vegetables, use it instead of butter on your bread or add it to your steak.
Tweak your homemade mustard depending on the time of year you’re making it. Cornersmith’s Alex Elliott-Howery suggests using sage in autumn, horseradish or rosemary in winter, and thyme in spring.
It’s essential to keep mayo on hand and remarkably easy to whip your own up from scratch. Make just what you need, or a little extra to keep at eye-level in the fridge.
This particular dukkah is a little left of field – make that an Aussie field as it has a lemon myrtle hit. it’s really that easy to put your own spin on your dukkah mix.
No Mexican meal is complete without a side of salsa. It might be a salsa verde like this one, a tomato salsa or even a mix of both.
The king/queen of Argentinian and Uruguayan salsas, chimichurri is the herby, vinegary, garlicky sauce made with whatever herbs and greens you have on hand. Trust us, you want this one in your stores.
The Korean power pepper paste is essential to bibimbap and KFC, but also good as a dipping sauce for skewers, smeared over burger buns or dolloped onto ribs.
One of the most useful conditions you’ll keep on hand, tahini sauce is made from just three ingredients. Make it thick for dipping or thinner for drizzling. Either way, you’ll be using plenty of this Middle Eastern staple.
Relishes of all kinds should grace your stores, starting with the Bosnian favorite ajvar. It’s made with capsicum and eggplant and it’s eaten with every meal, any time of day (well, at least according to Farah Celjo’s household it is).
Chunkier than a relish but no less exciting, a good chutney is loved from India (see mango chutney above) to Britain (see here) to the Aussie backyard choko bush.