Friday, September 7, 2012
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
A meal without nuoc cham is no meal at all. Corrine Trang.I am pretty sure that nuoc cham (nước chấm) is my favorite condiment.
When it comes to food, "favorite" is a marvelous adjective. It is so unabashedly subjective. So much more useful than, for instance, "best". Even so picking favorites isn't easy. The answer to "what is your favorite braise?" may be affected by so many variables - mood, weather, contents of the pantry. I have managed to come up with a top five soups list and even rank them, but the list and rankings are subject to change without notice.
Condiments present a different problem, there are not only so many to choose from; there are so many variations within each type. Much of what is used are prepared - in this case not always a bad thing. Consider ketchup. Heinz is my favorite ketchup. I will use others, Hunt's or DelMonte - even Sysco's House Recipe® - on french fries and burgers. Homemade is nice, but it just doesn't make it for that. Homemade Mayo is delicious, but I want Hellman's in my egg salad. Oh, and Mira- um, that other stuff, works well for breaking in a ball glove if you don't mind the stench.
Mustard is different. Webers is my go-to, but I have many favorites, like many styles and enjoy many combinations of flavor. I have found few, prepared or homemade that don't work for me.