When I grill a perfect (and perfectly expensive) steak and I see my husband pouring ketchup onto his plate so he can dip that perfectly grilled steak into it, I am absolutely horrified.
Ditto A-1 Sauce.
I always wonder why would anyone ruin a perfect (and perfectly expensive) steak with ketchup.
And yet, I confess: I always add ketchup (plus mayo as long as I’m confessing) to a hamburger. And always slather mustard on a hot dog (plus add sauerkraut).
So is there a difference?
After all, ketchup is a condiment and in recent years condiments of all sorts have become wildly popular. Roasted chicken with mango chutney; grilled fish with tomato salsa; sautéed turkey cutlets with pineapple-papaya relish. These and many other flavor enhancements and accompaniments have become more and more creative and inviting.
Maybe that’s another reason I can’t accept steak plus ketchup. It seems so old school. But Ed is adamant and, well, one should eat what they like right?
The truth is that for many of us the foods we love, even the ones we love most, might not be so lovable without that special something that makes them lovable. Like ketchup, mustard or any other condiment that we eat to add flavor to other foods, complement them and season them perfectly into a gastronomic love match.
That’s why I decided that this year, for Purim, I am not making my usual tea breads and cookies or my famous butter crunch candy or even the challahs that my friends look forward to.
I am making jars of chutney. Friends who are gastronomically adventuresome will try them eagerly at their next meal. Friends who are a bit more timid about new foods will want to see what this condiment stuff is all about.
In any event I look at this mishloach manot as more than a gift of food. It’s also an education of sorts.
These are the ones I plan to cook.