24 Condiments From Around the World to Add Zing to Any Meal
Fudio/istockphoto

24 Condiments From Around the World to Add Zing to Any Meal

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24 Condiments From Around the World to Add Zing to Any Meal
Fudio/istockphoto

Condiments by the Continent

Americans are obsessed with condiments, so much so that it often seems as if bottles of them are taking over our refrigerators. While grocery stores offer plenty of international condiments such as soy sauce, fish sauce, salsa, tahini, and hot sauces, if you really want to up your condiment game and your cooking, you should dig a little deeper. From Asia, Europe, South America, and beyond, here are some global sauces, spreads, and aiolis that'll make you want to experiment in the kitchen.

Prices and availability are subject to change. Some items listed on Amazon may only be available from third-party sellers.

Related: 29 Must-Try International Street Foods Under $5

Sriracha
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Monkey Gland Sauce
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Monkey Gland Sauce | South Africa

Price: $4.50 from African Hut
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You'll be glad to know the name of this sauce doesn't refer to any of its ingredients. Instead, it's made from a mixture of chopped onion, garlic, ginger, chutney, soy sauce, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and wine, and is used like a barbecue sauce — served mostly on meats.

Chimichurri
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Chimichurri | Argentina and Uruguay

Price: $11 from Axel Provisions
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This slightly spicy sauce includes finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, red chilies or crushed red pepper, and red wine vinegar. Served typically with steak, it's also good with grilled fish or chicken.

Pommery Meaux Mustard
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Pommery Meaux Mustard | France

Price: $20 from Amazon
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The secret recipe for this French whole-grain mustard is said to have originated before 1760 and been "served at the tables of the kings of France since 1632." In 2014, The Splendid Table sang its praises as "a mustard you stir into cream when you're cooking chicken. It's a mustard that you spread on really nice ham. It's a mustard that you toss with green beans, potatoes, and a little olive oil."

Jufran Banana Sauce
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Jufran Banana Sauce | The Philippines

Price: $8 from Amazon
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Some people call this banana ketchup, but this popular Filipino condiment has no tomato sauce in it (though some chefs and home cooks add the popular American condiment to it). The bottled version's red hue comes from food coloring, and it's often served with chicken wings, fried foods, and eggs. Its flavor is sweeter and smoother than regular ketchup and, in 2013, Bon Appetit named it one of seven candidates to be "the next sriracha."

Yamaroku Shoyu Soy Sauce
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Yamaroku Shoyu Soy Sauce | Japan

Price: $20 from MyPanier
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La Choy and Kikkoman this is not. This "artisanal" gourmet soy sauce is made in Shodoshima, the Seto Inland Sea's largest island, the way the Japanese have been making soy sauce for centuries — by fermenting it in kioke, or wooden barrels, rather than the more modern method of stainless steel tanks. Fans say Yamaroku's product has a lot more depth than the soy sauces Americans are used to.

Pomegranate Molasses
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Pomegranate Molasses | Middle East

Price: $14 from Amazon
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This sauce is a traditional ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine. It is pomegranate juice reduced down, sometimes with a little lemon juice and with or without sugar, and the result is a piquant syrup that's not as sweet as one would expect. It can be used in a surprising number of ways.

Amba Sauce
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Amba Sauce | Iraq and Israel

Price: $9 from Amazon
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Want to add a kick to your falafel or shawarma? This spiced, pickled mango sauce, combined with spices and vinegar, is what Israeli food stands often add to their offerings, but it arrived in that country via India first, then Iraq. Its flavor has been described as tangy, earthy, and spicy.

La Victoria Salsa Brava
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Brava Sauce | Spain

Price: $5 from MexGrocer
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Often served with potatoes in a Spanish dish called patatas bravas, this condiment with a kick can vary in texture and flavor, but the usual ingredients include tomato paste and/or puree, garlic, onion, vinegar, sugar, spice (in the form of chiles or hot sauce), and Spanish sweet pimentón, a type of smoked paprika.

Garlic Aioli
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Garlic Aioli | The Mediterranean

Price: $9 from Amazon
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There are variations on this sauce — some more aioli-like and some more like a mayonnaise — but pretty much all are a garlic lover's dream consisting of lemon juice, oil, a pinch of salt, and lots and lots of crushed fresh garlic.

Kecap Manis
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Kecap Manis | Indonesia

Price: $17 from Amazon
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This sweet, syrup-like soy sauce is very popular in Indonesia, used in fried rice and noodle dishes, satays, and more. A simple version can contain just soy sauce and sugar, but more aromatic versions include spices such as garlic, ginger, cloves, and star anise.

Guasacaca
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Guasacaca | Venezuela

Price: $12 from Amazon
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If you're a guacamole fan, chances are you'll love guasacaca. The Venezuelan version is smoother and creamier and typically incorporates avocados, olive oil, vinegar, peppers, cilantro, and lime juice, so the flavor profile is a bit more complex than your typical guac.

Salsa Lizano
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Salsa Lizano | Costa Rica

Price: $8.50 from Amazon
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If you've traveled to Costa Rica, it was probably hard to miss this ubiquitous bottled hot sauce that's sweet, smoky, and tangy all rolled into one. Ingredients include sugar, salt, mixed vegetable paste (onions, carrots, cauliflower, and cucumber), molasses, spices, pepper, mustard, turmeric, and more. Fans say you can put it on pretty much anything.

Smörgåskaviar
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Smörgåskaviar | Scandinavia

Price: $19 from Amazon
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The name translates to "sandwich caviar," but there's no actual caviar in it. Instead of sturgeon roe, smörgåskaviar is made with cod roe combined with salt, sugar, tomato paste, and sometimes dill or chives. It's used as a sandwich spread and can be bought in smoked and unsmoked options.

Kewpie Mayonnaise
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Kewpie Mayonnaise | Japan

Price: $20 (2-pack) from Amazon
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The secret to Japan's famous Kewpie mayonnaise lies in its eggs, which are different from those you can get in the U.S. (so much so that entire Reddit threads have been devoted to the topic). Kewpie mayo is made using only egg yolks — U.S. mayo also uses the whites — and cider or rice vinegar, creating a richer flavor and thicker texture that devotees swear by.

'Nduja
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'Nduja | Italy

Price: $14 from Amazon
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'Nduja is a spreadable salami product that includes herbs, spices, and peppers. Its high-fat content gives it a buttery texture, so it's great as a sandwich or toast spread — but fans say it can be added to just about anything for an extra flavor kick.

Tkemali
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Tkemali | Georgia

Price: $17 from Amazon
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Made with plums, lemon juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, and lots and lots of spices and herbs, Tkemali is used in its Eurasian country of origin almost like a ketchup — so its culinary applications are many. It can be made more sour or sweet depending on the plums used.

Gochujang
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Gochujang | Korea

Price: $4 from Amazon
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Spicy, sweet, and savory, gochujang is a Korean fermented red chili paste that includes rice, soybean and barley malt powder, and salt. Like other popular global condiments, it can be used by itself as a dip or added to other dishes for a dash of flavor complexity.

Yuza Kosho
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Yuzu Kosho | Japan

Price: $7 from Amazon
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Made with a Japanese citrus called yuzu, this condiment blends a punch of tart and sour fruit with garlic, chile (the kosho in the name is a local Japanese dialect for chiles), and salt. It can be used as an addition to grilled chicken and hot-pot dishes as well as sashimi and miso soup.

Mostarda
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Mostarda | Italy

Price: $17.50 from Amazon
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This simple northern Italian condiment is a combination of fruit, honey or sugar, and a mustardy syrup. Its flavor has been compared to a hot pepper jelly, and it can be used as a glaze or accompaniment with meats, as a dip, or as part of a charcuterie board.

Tonkatsu Sauce
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Tonkatsu Sauce | Japan

Price: $16 (2-pack) from Amazon
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The barbecue sauce-like Tonkatsu sauce is an excellent substitute for an Asian variation on barbecued pulled pork and smoked meats. Some recipes for it are very simple, with soy and Worcestershire sauces mixed with mustard; others include ingredients such as oyster sauce, ketchup, fruits, spices, and more.

HP Sauce
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HP Sauce | Britain

Price: $22 from Amazon
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The UK isn't known for its outstanding contributions to the culinary canon, but HP sauce dominates the British condiment market and is an icon of British culture. It's a tomato-based brown sauce that includes malt vinegar, sugars, dates, salt, spices, tamarind, and more. It can be added to soups, stews, and other dishes, but is also good as a simple accompaniment to bacon butty sandwiches and chips (what we Americans call fries).

Related: 25 Amazing Sandwiches From Around the World

Harissa
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Harissa | North Africa

Price: $14 from Amazon
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A chili pepper paste originating from North Africa, harissa is made from peppers — usually roasted red, Baklouti, or serrano — combined with spices, herbs, garlic, caraway and coriander seeds, cumin, and more. It's loved for its ubiquitous uses, including adding to soups, dips, and main dishes.

Shito
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Shito | Ghana

Price: $17 from Amazon
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This hot black pepper sauce is made with fish or vegetable oil, dried fish, prawns, crustaceans, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, spices, and peppers. In Ghana, it's used a lot like a ketchup or hot sauce, but it can also be used as a marinade, dip, or like a chutney in a cheese or charcuterie board.