Opinion: Spreading the word on condiments

Commentary by Dick Wolfsie

Condiments are a male thing. You never hear a man say to his wife, “Golly, with all that ketchup on your burger, sweetheart, you can’t possibly appreciate the fine texture and flavor of the grain-fed beef.” Women are more apt to say, “If you put ketchup on my pot roast, I will rip your ruby-red tongue right out of your mouth.”

I don’t want to brag, but I have improved just about every dinner my wife has ever prepared by carefully adding the appropriate condiment. What would her chicken marsala be like without mayonnaise? Uneventful, that’s what. How would her beef bourguignon taste without mustard? I shudder to think. Veal oscar without horseradish sauce? Lifeless. What do I say to my wife if dinner is a bit lacking? “My condiments to the chef.”

Here’s some final advice on condiments:

1. You can leave mustard and ketchup on your dining room table overnight. Don’t do this with mayonnaise. There is an entire cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, filled with men who hid a pastrami sandwich under the bed, forgetting that Russian dressing is half mayonnaise.

2. Always put mustard in between the meats on the bread. Mayonnaise, however, needs to go on top of the meat. Ketchup can go either way. Never apply condiments directly to the bread. This information is the result of a grant by the United States government to a national taste-testing institute. Finally, tax money well spent.

3. Turn upside down and shake all plastic bottles vigorously before squeezing. Otherwise, the bottle will make an embarrassing sound. Or, if you want a laugh from your kids or grandkids, just say “excuse me” after it squirts. It’s foolproof.

4. Mayonnaise belongs in a jar. Buying mayonnaise in a plastic squeeze bottle would be like buying whipped cream in a box. It’s un-American. The manufacturers should be arrested. Where is the FBI when you really need them? Probably at the airport.

Finally, it’s important that parents teach their kids about ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard at home. I don’t want the public school system passing out condiments in the cafeteria.