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August 2014

Balanced, healthy nourishment is easily achieved when we eat a wide variety of good food. With fast paced lives and demanding endeavors, eating well is too often overlooked. An easily effective and rewarding means of improving food variety is in the use of an assortment of condiments. Traditionally, condiments are flavorful, nutrient rich flourishes used in small amounts on prepared dishes to significantly brighten up a meal.

Condiments not only add richness to food, they aesthetically enhance and complement a dish increasing its overall satisfaction. They stimulate or soothe the appetite and senses through their array of flavors — pungent, savory, spicy, tangy, sweet, bitter, and salty. Condiments such as mustard, sauerkraut, vinegar, horseradish, wasabi, and ginger are also digestive aids especially helpful for oily, fatty foods. Some, like the umeboshi, even help preserve prepared foods. They all provide added vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that benefit us deeply in multiple ways.

The word condiment comes from the Latin condimentum meaning ‘seasoning’ and from condire ‘t preserve, pickle, or season,’ and from condere, ‘to store or put away.’ Condiments are usually vinegar-, citrus-, salt-, or fruit/sugar-based relishes (including chutneys), sauces, and seasonings. Added in small amounts as embellishments to prepared dishes, they enhance flavor, texture, and our enjoyment. They are usually shelf-stable and preserved in one manner or another.

Unlike EDEN condiments, today's commercially prepared condiments are high in unhealthy fats, refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup, harsh salts, petrochemical derived vinegars, chemically concocted natural flavorings, genetically engineered enzymes, irradiated herbs and spices, artificial colors, and preservatives. Please be discerning.