Over the summer, I came across an image that was supposed to be a pun on salt. However, I was immediately horrified when salt was portrayed as a condiment. Instantly my head began to spin. I had to grapple with the idea that salt could be a condiment; after all, I don’t frequently ask myself this question. It then came to mind that I really didn’t know what a condiment is.
According to an Oxford Languages definition, a condiment is “a substance such as salt or ketchup that is used to add flavor to food.” This was clearly troubling because they use salt as an example in the definition of what a condiment is. According to Mirriam-Webster, a condiment is “something used to enhance the flavor of food.”
By definition, salt is a condiment; however, I completely disagree. I would argue that salt is a seasoning. It clearly matches the definition of seasoning, “an ingredient added to food primarily for the savor that it imparts.” When I think about condiments, I think of ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise, not salt. Seasonings are meant to add flavor to a dish, not add a completely new element to a meal like a condiment.
This whole debate really begs the question: ‘is pepper a seasoning, condiment, or spice?’ Spoiler alert: I vote seasoning.