Saint Augustine has been quoted saying, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” Great point, Augustine! One small change we’d like to make in 2017, though: “The world is a book and those who travel without trying international condiments are dumb as rocks.”
We love to travel and we recommend everyone sees the world, along with its glorious array of condiments. However, be wary: there are condiments abroad that aren’t anything like our easy-going American ketchups, mustards, BBQ sauces or buttermilk ranch dressings. We’re here to warn you of three condiments you should avoid at all costs when outside the good ol’ USA.
Vegemite, which is popular in Australia, is a brown paste made from leftover brewer’s yeast extract. The dark brown paste has a salty, fishy and umami taste to it. Sounds great, right? I’ve been unlucky enough to have tasted vegemite on toast once before. If looks could kill, Vegemite would have been locked up years ago. The completely unappetizing pit of black is just as bad when it hits your mouth. With a taste unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before, I spat the Vegemite-encrusted toast onto the ground and searched for anything to cleanse my palate. If you’re heading Down Under anytime soon, do yourself a favor and steer clear of Vegemite. Don’t believe me? Take it from Steve Harvey:
2) Brown Sauce
Brown sauce. Let’s just start with the name. Nobody wanted to get creative here and come up with ANYTHING!?! Wouldn’t you think that a condiment lacking a proper name would likely lack in taste, too? That’s certainly the case here. Brown sauce is a condiment commonly served in Great Britain that consists of tomatoes, apples, dates and molasses. If you’re lucky, your brown sauce variety could might contain raisins or anchovies. The most common brown sauce brand (if you’ve been to the U.K. you’ve definitely seen it) is HP. Adorning nearly every single table, HP Brown Sauce is the American equivalent to Heinz Ketchup, except with apples, dates, molasses and possibly anchovies! If you’re heading the the UK and want to order blood pudding, we get it. Reach for the HP and add some brown sauce. But, for those of us who stay away from blood pudding, we’re going to reach for the Worcestershire sauce instead. And you can thank us later for helping you avoid becoming this guy:
3) Fish Sauce
Last, but certainly not least, is fish sauce. Growing in popularity, fish sauce is an amber/dark orange color liquid that is created from the fermentation of fish using sea salt. Fish sauce is a king condiment in nearly all Asian cuisine. It’s used as a dipping sauce for shrimp, pork, chicken and, get this, MORE fish. Okay, now the other two are bad… really bad. But fish sauce takes the cake when it comes to condiments you NEED to stay away from. Any fun plans you may think you have traveling halfway across the globe will be immediately ruined at the first scent of fish sauce. On a hot day, fish sauce can truly give a potential consumer a stern reminder of sewage. If you’re in the Far East and insist on trying Asian sauces, stick with soy, teriyaki, or even rice vinegar. Not convinced? See for yourself how fish sauce is made, then decide:
There you have it. Now you can safely travel the world, tasting delicious condiments and staying clear of three very big red flags. No fish sauce. No vegemite. No brown sauce. No matter how hungry you may be, there will always be something better.
Got anything to add? Let us know below!
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