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40 Condiments, Ranked From Worst to Best

Condiments make life worth living. No-one should ever endure my rubber-like chicken schnitzel without a mountain of sweet chilli sauce. Sushi sucks without soy. And being forced to eat a plain hot dog is like being forced to sit down and watch Australia with Nicole Kidman.

These are the generic condiments, not branded. I've also kept it simple. I know there's 80,000 kinds of hot sauce, but I've kept it to sweet chilli, mild chilli, and uber hot chilli. I've also kept it Aussie, and only included the popular types of dip.

40. Wasabi

Inedible, and renders any food it touches inedible.  

39. Hot English Mustard


See above. I once put way too much on a sandwich, and my head felt like someone had reached in my ear and was twisting my brain around to wring it of any knowledge it may have amassed. Because of that, I had a second bite. 

38. Chutney / Relish

Oh dear.. If those are Passionfruit seeds, I am out. Every single thing you make chutney out of is better in its original form. Mango, tomato... This particular chutney is entirely inedible. Just go sprinkle half a cup of sugar on a cup of raisins and eat it all with a spoon, save the hassle.

37. Kimchi / Sauerkraut


Tastes about as appetising as that picture looks. Fermented cabbage... I'm out. 

36. Mint Sauce

There is one food that mint sauce goes with, lamb. That's it. At least you can put steak sauce on turkey steak.

35. Steak Sauce


Not sure what it's like in other countries, but our steak sauce is simply sugar and salt. In fact, it's 50% sugar. It's basically inedible, although surprisingly goes well on chips.

34. Mayonnaise

Do you ask for mayonnaise on food? Then it's likely you're past the age of 40. No-one born after 1980 has ever thought "this would be improved by mayonnaise". The exception, of course, is a proper bacon sandwich, to be taken with mayonnaise after any rambunctious night out. Or, at a stretch, a schnitzel sanger. 

33. Horseradish

Horseradish is actually quite nice, but what do you actually put it on?

32. Tartar

Why is it named after a bad tooth thing? It's only good on fish, and it's not even good on fish.

31. Golden Syrup

Until the age of 21, I thought golden syrup was the same as maple syrup, because mum only ever bought golden syrup. What a sad childhood I led... This stuff is sticky, thick, rich, and gross.

30. HP Sauce

Maybe it's like Vegemite to us. The Brits enjoy some weird things, and HP Sauce isn't terrible (great on a full English breakfast), but it's not really in the same league as what is above it. 

29. Barbecue Sauce

If you want to rage quit this list now, by all means go ahead. Barbecue sauce is way too sweet. It's 33% sugar, which is significantly more than ice cream. It goes well on a sausage sanga, and sparingly on an omelette (only learned this recently thanks to Cathryn), but not much else. 

28. French Onion Dip

I think people just buy this because they think they should. We've been programmed since the 80s to like french onion dip, so every party you go to it's there, perpetuating this idea that it's popular and well-liked. Well it's not that nice, so lets stop it.

27. Mild Chilli

I don't see a lot of point in mild chilli sauce. Either go for the sweet option, or go hard. It's like mid-strength beer, a Queensland staple. And no-one goes to Brisbane for a holiday, unless they live in Tasmania. 

26. Lemon Juice

Wickedly good for you, also very nice on fish and chips. 

25. Olive Oil

I don't remember people using it that often before the health benefits came to light. It's decent on a salad when used sparingly, and apparently you can put it on ice cream, although heaven knows why you would. It's the most calorie dense food on the market, a tablespoon is 1/16 your entire daily intake. 

24. Tzatziki/Raita

Raiti doesn't rely on cucumber as Tzatziki does, but they do taste similar. They're pretty basic, but quite brilliant with spicy foods or dolloped into a soup, unless you bought the low fat mass-produced garbage, in which case why are you bothering to read a list of condiments if you're going to disrespect food like that?

23.  Mustard (American/Dijon/Honey)

Try reading the word mustard 6 times in a row. Weird ay?

Ok I was going to leave it at that, but someone asked me specifically where Mustard came on my list. I put it at 23 because it's such a distinct taste, and it doesn't really lift foods to the next level, the way soy sauce or sweet chilli does. 23 isn't bad, it's mid-range. 

22. Aioli

Loses points for being inedible when you're hungover (nothing creamy!) and having the potential to give you a horrid bout of food poisoning if it has been stored or prepared incorrectly, on account of the raw egg. But it's pretty bloody delicious on a kebab. 

21. Tahini

I am a die hard Tahini fan, but even I will admit it's not very versatile. Try if on vegetables, especially broccoli!

20. Hummus

One of those rare foods that tastes better store bought than home made. It's good with bread apparently. I just used to buy the 500g tubs, a packet of cheddar Shapes, and hunker down for the night/week/month/lifetime. 

19.  Soy Sauce

Soy slides down the list because it's literally only good (read: great) with rice and stir fry, and it's got more salt than Birdman. 

18. Tomato sauce

If we're talking mass-produced tomato sauce, like Heinz, it's bottom 5 easily. Sugary and salty, it's really only good on plain bread. But if you make it yourself (and maybe grate a little dark chocolate into it), it's delicious, a top 10 sauce! I hedged my bets. 

17. Guacamole

Guac is sitting at home considering whether to sue over "smashed avo". It's akin to calling butter "churned cream" or a mug "ceramic coffee vessel". Mashed up Avo is called guac. Of course, it's significantly more fun to add onion, diced tomato, garlic, and some coriander. 

16. Sweet Chilli

So sickly sweet, but so good on wedges and fries!

15. Pico De Galle

Made popular by Eminem.

14. Apple / Cranberry Sauce

Babies are incredibly difficult to please, yet they like apple sauce. Because it's delicious. Cranberry sauce is a must at any Xmas gathering, and if there isn't any I suggest a forks-down protest.

13. Vegemite

I considered throwing this in the top 5 to be controversial, but it's probably more controversial at 13th. Vegemite on toast remains top 5 foods of all time, and a cheesymite scroll goes well, but apart from that Vegemite isn't too versatile. It doesn't pair with chocolate or ice cream (sorry Heston). It's also devilishly hard to get right when spreading on toast. I am an above average spreader, but my best friend is probably the best in the country at it. She nails it every time. I won't reveal her process (because she never revealed it to me). 

12. Satay Sauce

Ask my dad about his Chicken & Rice. Freaking delicious thanks to satay sauce (and his culinary expertise). 

11. Ranch

Dab of Ranch

10. Honey

Out of control expensive, honey is the domain of the fitness blogger who claims superiority because they drizzle honey on their oats instead of brown sugar, claiming it is "healthier". This makes it easy for anyone with half a brain to separate bloggers who have absolutely no idea what they're doing from those who do. For that, honey, we salute you. 

9. Butter / Margarine

I was going to split them, but they're so similar. Butter improves everything, especially cultured and salted butter. More and more marks are deducted the lower you go in terms of fat content. The 50% less fat spreads are interminable, you end up using twice as much so it's a waste of money. 

If you need a decent butter, buy Pepe Saya and never ever look back. 

8. Hot chilli

Hot chilli has loads of health benefits apparently. None of them are really relevant to this list. If you eat a hot enough dose, you will begin to feel slightly high. The comedown the next day is worse than any hangover though...

7. Chocolate Syrup/Mousse/Frosting/Magic Shell 

Don't even need words.

6. Salt & Pepper

As long as it isn't Salt & Pepper Squid... Your grandma was overusing salt and pepper during The Great Depression, and it's survived this long to slip into the top 10. Don't agree? Just eat salted and unsalted butter back to back. 

5. Nut Butter

Peanut butter is ultra versatile. Have it on toast, as a dessert, on vegetables, on steak! But what of the siblings? Don't buy your almond or cashew butter from Kraft. They load it up with sugar and salt, and render it so creamy it tastes like a dairy product. It's gross. It also costs silly money. Make your own! Set yourself up with a blender and have at it. 

4. Sour Cream

You can't have soup, nachos, or wedges without it. Mum once refused to buy me wedges with sour cream one night because she claims it isn't a real dinner. Our relationship just hasn't been the same since.

3. Maple Syrup

Wow! How about this? Maple Syrup in the top 3 is a blessing. It's absolutely, truly and utterly delicious. No, it isn't healthy, so please don't be ridiculous and claim so falsely. But there's no tastier way to get those nutrients. Just don't get caught with imitation syrup, this isn't an Andre 3000 song, prototypes are not welcome.

2. Jam

This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone with working taste buds. You can even make bacon jam! Just play it some "Strawberry Fields"...

1. Gravy

High-quality gravy made from proper drippings is just otherworldly, especially on hot chips with a fork. Put gravy on any meat and be worshipped as a culinary God. 

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