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Salt, sugar, and ground black pepper corns are commonly placed on Western restaurant tables.

A condiment is something such as a sauce, that is added to some foods to impart a particular flavor, enhance its flavor,[1] or in some cultures, to complement the dish. The term originally described pickled or preserved foods, but has shifted meaning over time.[2]

Many condiments are available packaged in single-serving sachets (packets), like mustard or ketchup, particularly when supplied with take-out or fast-food meals. Condiments are usually applied by the diner. Condiments are sometimes added prior to serving, for example a sandwich made with ketchup or mustard. Some condiments are used during cooking to add flavor or texture to the food; barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, marmite are examples.

The term condiment comes from the Latin condimentum, meaning "spice, seasoning, sauce" and from the Latin condere, meaning "preserve, pickle, season".[3][4]


In Ancient Rome, the Romans made the condiments garum and liquamen by crushing and fermenting in salt with the meat of various fish, leading to a flourishing condiment industry.[3] Apicius, a cookbook based on 4th and 5th century cuisine, contains a section based solely on condiments.[3]

List of condiments[edit]

Main article: List of condiments


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Merriam-Webster: Definition of condiment". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved October 23, 2011. 
  2. ^ Smith, Andrew F. (May 1, 2007). The Oxford companion to American food and drink. Oxford University Press. pp. 144–146. ISBN 978-0-19-530796-2. Retrieved March 15, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Nealon, Tom (7 September 2010). "De Condimentis". HiLobrow. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Definition of Condiment". Retrieved 10 February 2014.