Condiment: (n) a substance such as salt or ketchup that is used to add flavor to food.

I eat imitation crab meat.

Real crab refuses to come to my neck of the woods–rents are too low, streets are not cared for enough and my yearly financial intake is unimpressive.

So I am stuck–or blessed–with the imitation (depending on what mood I’m in).

Unlike real crab, imitation crab is a substance with texture and very little flavor. That’s because it’s mostly egg whites, which could easily be classified as tasteless.

So when I sit down to eat my imitation crab, I need some sort of sauce, condiment or dip to give it gumption. A case could be made that I would lessen my calorie intake just by spooning the dip into my mouth. But there is enough texture, “fishiness” and girth to make the use of the imitation crab of some meaning.

My favorite condiment is cocktail sauce. It has that little bit of horseradish in it that tickles my tongue (and my fancy, by the way.)

Yet the other night I found myself with imitation crab and no cocktail sauce. For some inexplicable reason I could not wrap my mind around using catsup or barbecue sauce.

In the corner of my refrigerator, standing tall but unused, was a container of honey mustard. Desperate to put my imitation crab to digestive conclusions, I squeezed some honey mustard on my plate–and dipped. It had just enough of a zing to give me my horseradish, and I had enough imagination to pretend that the mustard was really “the good red stuff.”

I was overjoyed.

I was so thankful that I lifted up my honey mustard container and complimented my condiment.

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Published by Jonathan Cring