Thursday, June 7, 2007

Let’s talk about condiments

I threw a dinner party for some Mexican friends the other night. My Thai chicken curry got rave reviews, but when I left the room, I heard a smattering of discussion about the food. Naturally, I returned to the table to interrogate everyone. My friends assured me the food was indeed delectable, but it was just weird to them that there weren’t any condiments, since most Mexican meals require at least three additives.
I considered this conversation a bit of a revelation, in the sense of realizing something which was blatantly obvious all along, namely that Mexicans are really into condiments. The bare minimum for most meals is chopped onion and cilantro, lime wedges, maybe some jalapeños, and, naturally, at least a choice of red or green salsa. If you’re having tortilla soup or pozole, you’ve also got to include crumbled cheese, pork rinds, and avocado. Seriously, tables in Mexico should be at least twice as big to hold all those little bowls.
My rather no-duh observation was confirmed the next day when I popped into a seafood place for ceviche. There was barely room on the table for the food, due to the wide variety of condiments available and I was eating alone. I consider this photo the confirmation of my theory. Case closed.

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