2020 was the year condiments came back stronger than a 90s trend.
If you got that reference because you have also been in a monogamous musical relationship with Taylor Swift’s new albums, then congratulations. If you think that’s embarrassing, I feel sad for you.
Much has been written about the world going nuts for pandemic-era skincare, and admittedly 2020 (or was it just turning 35?) moved me to (finally) pick up a bottle of retinol.
But I’m much more excited about my bottle of Fly By Jing Zhong Sauce.
Yes, I said mine. I do share it with my husband, and thankfully, my kids are too young to appreciate the numbing-hot high of good Sichuan food. But if I was in college, and the sort of person to passive-aggressively claim my groceries, that stuff would have CATHERINE scrawled across the front in fat black Sharpie.
But back to the Zhong Sauce…I’ve been rolling it up in charred flour tortillas with smashed avocado and scrambled eggs, and turning every leftover into fried-rice, just to get my fix.
I know I’m not the only person who’s upped their condiment-game over these last crushing months. Sam Sifton wrote about his own after-times affair with condiments for The New York Times. Spoiler alert: Sifton is also in the Fly by Jing Fan Club.
So here is my love letter to the top 5 condiments that are saving my life right now. I’m not sure if the Target face cream has done a thing for my crow’s feet, but my mornings are infinitely better because of Zhong Sauce.
Top 5 Condiments For Making Everything Delicious
I gotta be honest here, I did not want to like this stuff. Like many older-millenials I’m a little bit scarred from the late 2000s when I could finally buy a legal cocktail (s) and chased them with perfectly good french fries that were doused with nostril-assaulting quantities of cheap truffle oil. But honestly, this hot sauce is gooood. Especially with eggs. Or mixed with ketchup when dinner is your kid’s spare chicken nuggets – which I’m fairly certain was not what the Truff team envisioned for their luxury hot sauce.
If you want a straight-from-the-garden-pesto, but your basil died in the window months ago, and you need dinner done by the time the pasta water boils, let me recommend keeping a Gotham Greens pesto in the fridge. Very cool company that grows their greens on urban rooftops, very delicious refrigerated pesto.