Condiments are used to enhance the flavor of food or, in some unfortunate instances, mask the taste of a failed dish. When planning a menu for an upcoming tailgate, the inclusion of condiments is a necessity.
While the popularity of a condiment can vary by region, this list will provide the essentials to promise a great tailgating outcome. Check out the following list for 10 essential tailgating condiments for the Minnesota Vikings fan.
Ketchup & Mustard – Ketchup and mustard are undeniably two of America’s favorite condiments. Used in tandem or individually, these condiments are essential at any tailgating event, regardless of your location. Uncle Pete’s Mustard is a local favorite and was originally crafted by a child of Polish emigrants. And if you know Minnesota, you know that Polish roots are deep within this state.
Mayo – Minnesota is known for more than just the Mayo Clinic. We love this condiment on just about anything you can think of. It can be slathered on sandwiches, added to pasta salads or used on its own or in combination with other sauces as a dip. Try combining mayo with ketchup to create a delicious fry sauce.
Ranch Dressing – Not just a salad topper, ranch dressing is the new ketchup. Use it as a burger topping, a chip dip or drizzle it on a slice of pizza.
Giardiniera – Giardiniera is a decidedly midwestern condiment, typically consisting of onions, peppers, celery, zucchini, carrots and cauliflower pickled in vinegar. Often referred to as Chicago’s favorite condiment, use of giardiniera occasionally makes appearances in Minnesotan cuisine.
Giardiniera is typically found atop Italian beef sandwiches, but try expanding giardiniera usage to hotdog or hamburger toppings. Plan on grilling pizza at your upcoming tailgate? Toss on giardiniera for a quick and easy way to add veggies to your pie.
Pickles & Relish – If there’s one thing midwesterners love, it’s pickled goods. Pickling foods was once a necessity for preservation. Despite advances, condiments like pickles and relish remain popular. Relishes are commonly made of pickled cucumbers and range in flavor from sweet or savory to hot or mild. There are also a plethora of pickle options ranging from briny pickles to sweet pickles to tangy refrigerator pickles. Slather relish on a hot dog and toss pickles on a burger for a tasty way to dress up classic tailgating fare.
Salsa & Hot Sauce – Whether you use them on their own as a chip dip, to coat chicken wings or to spice up your average burger, salsas and hot sauces are a must for tailgates. You may have seen JD’s Salsa at various small fairs throughout the state and if you’ve given it a try, you know the flavor it packs. Pick up a jar for your next tailgate. Popular hot sauce favorites like Frank’s Red Hot and Sriracha spice up your tailgating party.
BBQ Sauce – An immensely popular condiment in the south, BBQ sauce is also a hit in the midwest. Minnesota Lakes BBQ Sauce is some of the best in the area and showing up to a party with this condiment will receive instant cheers. Slather it on ribs, chicken wings or pulled pork sandwiches for a tasty zing.
Horseradish Sauce – Horseradish sauces typically consist of horseradish root in combination with vinegar and cream. Variations of horseradish sauce are common in Poland and Germany. Its popularity in Minnesota is no surprise due to large populations of Polish and German ancestry. Add horseradish sauce to a sandwich, cooked ham, roast beef or to a Bloody Mary for a spicy kick.
Peppers – Jalapenos, pepperoncinis, chili peppers, green peppers and bell peppers can all amp up a tailgating party. Fresh or pickled, add peppers to anything from burgers and hotdogs to sandwiches and pizzas to add instant, dimensional flavor ranging from sweet to spicy.
Steak Sauce – If steak is on the menu for your upcoming tailgate, don’t forget to bring the steak sauce. Made of tomatoes, spices, vinegar and raisins (and sometimes anchovies), steak sauce possesses a tart or sweet, peppery taste similar to Worcestershire sauce that really jazzes up an average strip of steak.
Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.
A Minnesota native that was born and raised Up North, Minneapolis is where Christina Kalinowski currently calls home. Christina appreciates irony, loves bacon, enjoys a hearty libation (drink responsibly, folks), and is an avid proponent of the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.