If I wasn’t so obsessed with Heinz ketchup, French’s yellow mustard, generic sweet pickle relish, non-homemade mayonnaise (also homemade mayonnaise) and Lawry’s seasoning salt I’m sure I’d snob out and complain in the following manner:
“Why doesn’t America have any good seasonings/condiments?”
We totally do. Nobody who grew up in the United States could possess a palate that doesn’t enjoy the above flavors, and it’s inching closer to barbecue season every day, friends. You’ll be happy you have those crucial provisions when a hot camping/beach/illegal rooftop grill is staring you in the face. No, I am not allowed to have a grill on my roof. Yes, I bought one of these and am fully planning on grilling all spring and summer long; don’t tell my landlord or I will definitely lose a large chunk of deposit. Want to know a fun little Food Republic secret? That very grill made the very attractive, very real and extremely tasty grill marks on this steak, which we then made into tacos for Test Kitchen lunch.
Speaking of tacos and lunch, it’s me getting back on track! I was in Oaxaca last year scoping out the mescal distillery scene when I discovered the unlikely delicacy that is the grasshopper taco. Tacos were not enough. I bought a tub of the crunchy, citrusy little devils and snacked on them for the remainder of the trip. I hid the extra stash in bunched-up clothes in my suitcase so la inmigración no podría confiscarlos. And they didn’t! I also picked up a couple of shakers of Salpulin, sal de chapulin, or grasshopper salt. It’s a salty-spicy-limey blend of powdered grasshoppers, salt and a few other mystery ingredients I don’t care to investigate because the stuff is delicious enough that it could be crack and I’d still sprinkle it on everything, like I do with Indian chaat masala. Buy a bottle at a Latin grocer. Here’s how to bug your lunch:
- Potato tacos + salpulin = more potato tacos eaten
- Finishing salt on the steak you grilled illegally on your roof
- On fries. Or rice.
- In chicken salad instead of salt and in addition to pepper
- On fried eggs, particularly if they’re on Quesadillas Benedict (which is an awesome lunch)
- In guacamole
- In egg salad
And my super-secret incredibly citrusy flavor weapon containing no citrus: salpulin mixed with sumac, applied liberally to meat or fish before cooking. The lemons and limes you keep around for cocktails will be green and greener respectively with envy. And while we’re talking lunch booze, rim the glass of your tequila cocktail with this stuff.
More exotic condiments for lunch on Food Republic: