There are so many terminologies in the cooking industry that even a professional cook may feel confused. The same is the case with cheese and condiments.
Many people believe that cheese is a condiment, whereas some are totally against the thought. Funnily enough, there are even groups on social media debating this topic!
So, is cheese a condiment? Cheese may or may not be a condiment depending upon its usage. For instance, if cheese is sprinkled on top of a dish just to enhance the flavor, it may be considered a condiment. But, for most, it’s a food item or ingredient and not a condiment.
If you’re still confused about the answer, read on and we’re sure you’ll understand.
What Is A Condiment?
First, let’s define a condiment. A condiment is any type of preparation, sauce, or spice that you add to a dish for enhancing its flavors. You may also get table condiments or sauces, such as ketchup or mustard sauce, with prepared food items. Even salt can be considered a condiment!
More often than not, people don’t consume condiments without other food items. For instance, there are rarely any people who eat plain ketchup or mayonnaise straight from the jar!
Similarly, no one eats salt or pepper without sprinkling them on a dish.
What Is Cheese?
We already know that cheese is a type of dairy product prepared by curdling milk. In the cooking industry, cheese has various applications.
For instance, you can eat it plain with fruits or even with crackers. Or, you can add it as a topping on a variety of dishes such as pizza, lasagna, pasta, and many more. Its application determines whether you can call it a condiment or not.
Is Cheese A Condiment?
As we mentioned earlier, the answer depends on how you’re using cheese. Let’s take a look at where cheese acts as a condiment and where it acts as a food item or ingredient.
1. Cheese As A Condiment
Considering cheese as a condiment is extremely controversial. Yet, we cannot deny the fact that it does resemble the definition of condiments in certain cases.
For instance, if we consider parmesan cheese, then many of us sprinkle grated parmesan cheese on already cooked food items such as pizza and pasta.
In such cases, you can say that cheese helps in enhancing the flavors and acts as a condiment. it’s even put in shakers and placed on tabletops in pizzerias.
One other scenario where you can consider cheese as a condiment is in the case of cheese sauces. You may get a cheese sauce on the side with certain dishes, such as nachos. This may make it a condiment too.
2. Cheese As A Food Item Or Ingredient
There are a lot of people who consider cheese to be more of a simple food item on its own, rather than a condiment.
First of all, unlike many condiments, you can eat some cheese varieties all by themselves. For example, string cheese is a food item since many people eat it raw and without any other ingredients.
Similarly, you can also eat cheese with fruits and crackers where it acts more like a food item rather than a condiment.
A great example where cheese is an ingredient and is involved in the making of food is in grilled cheese sandwiches. Here, it’s not the supporting ingredient but rather the main one.
So according to us, cheese is a condiment where it acts more like a supporting ingredient to enhance the dish’s flavor. But, it’s a food item if you eat it raw or use it as the main ingredient.
Is Cream Cheese A Condiment?
You can consider cream cheese as a condiment if it’s accompanying any other dish. However, if you’re using it as a main ingredient in cheesecakes, then no, it is considered a food ingredient then.
Which Food Chains Consider Cheese As Condiment?
Normally, most famous chains such as McDonald’s and Taco Bell don’t consider cheese as a condiment.
However, certain food chains such as Subway have listed cheese in their condiments and extras section.
Certain arguments are like the Pineapple on Pizza Debate. There are so many opinions and facts that you won’t be able to make up your mind. Similarly, there are many debates and arguments over whether cheese is a condiment or not.
Yet, according to our research, we believe that cheese can act as a condiment as well as an ingredient. It truly depends on the way you use it.
If you’re sprinkling cheese on top of a cooked dish, well it’s a condiment! If you’re eating it as the main ingredient, then maybe not!
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