Condimental Chaos


Happening upon a casual eatery in New York’s West Village neighborhood (not to be confused with the Village, the East Village, or with residential neighborhoodswith a celebrity-to-average-person ratio of under 1:3) on Saturday, I decided to whet my appetite. Inside, the usual lullaby of terrified shrieks enticed me to a glass display window, behind which an assortment of culinary accessories awaited my perusal. Dear reader, imagine my puzzlement at the discovery of a matrix of squeeze bottles filled with what appeared to be moldy jellies. Further examination revealed these to be sauces, condiments, as you humans call them. This was a veritable rainbow of eye-catching hues, none of which occur naturally in nature.

Chipotle, ranch, truffle, savory bacon, roasted pepper and parmo aoli? Having never encountered the term aioli before, I assumed that it referred to the sound a duck makes when you read Yeats to it in a loud voice at an inopportune time. Imagine my consternation when the jelly-attendant (whose pallor, coincidentally, did seem to approach that of a deli mustard) informed me that these were, in fact, garlic-flavored mayonnaise from Provence! How my ears did burn!

Then again… I’m sorry, but isn’t a chipotle the third molar on the lower jaw of a beaver?

And for God’s sake, what is this ketchup I keep hearing about? Is it a form of currency in this region?

Explanations of human condiment science should be forwarded directly to me at


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