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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Which do you prefer?

Are you a mustard person or a ketchup person?
It was an easy question or so I thought. But after much consideration I’m not too sure. Hand me a burger and I’ll likely put both condiments on. Hand me a hot dog and then it’s definitely Chicago style, meaning you never put ketchup on a hot dog.
What crazy person puts ketchup on a hot dog?
Hey I’m not alone in that thought. Just ask Anthony Bourdain, President Barack Obama and the fine folks of the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.
And that goes the same for corn dogs — all mustard, no ketchup.
By the same token most sane people I know (all two of them) use ketchup when making meat loaf. I top my meatloaf with a can of tomato sauce, somewhat the same, but definitely not mustard.
If I am marinating a pork butt, however, I’ll smear that sucker with mustard. Somehow ketchup on that just seems wrong.
But hand anyone a pile of French fries and their first pick is usually a squirt of ketchup on top or on the side for dipping.
Don’t be going all European on me and start that nonsense of mixing the ketchup with mayonnaise for the fries. We’re talking ketchup and mustard here, no room for mayonnaise unless we’re talking about sandwiches and side salads.
When I make homemade chicken wings I make a honey-mustard dipping sauce. There is no place for ketchup when it comes to chicken wings. Even when I make my own hot wing sauce I use Worcestershire not ketchup.
I have my weird friends (there are definitely more than two of them), you know the ones who squirt ketchup on eggs, steaks and even ice cream.
Sorry but I can’t even fathom the thought of that.
Told you they were weird. I mean come on ketchup on ice cream — yuck.
When I make myself a pastrami or roast beef sandwich I reach for mustard.
When I think of salad dressing I know I’ve sampled plenty of mustard vinaigrettes that were delicious.
I can’t think of any dressing that uses ketchup as the base that I enjoy — except French dressing.
Ok, so French dressing does mix a little ketchup with mayonnaise but it’s a tolerable level for my taste buds. Thousand Island dressing does too, but that mix goes back to reminding my taste buds of the straight up French fry mix. Or the secret sauce on the Big Mac that is not so secret and still yucky.
Sometimes when I make potato salad I will use some mustard in the mix for a tangy bite of spice. Thankfully, even my crazy friends wouldn’t think of making potato salad with ketchup.
Who would?
Same goes for making cocktail sauce. Ketchup wins that contest for cocktail shrimp. But a plate of spicy shrimp with mustard sauce is just as delicious.
So I guess I have no clear favorite other than to say I prefer both over mayonnaise for sure. Unless, of course, we are talking about side dishes like egg salad and potato salad and Cole slaw. Those need mayonnaise and can be mixed with mustard — but not ketchup.

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