What is the difference between the sauce and condiment?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What is the difference between the sauce and condiment?”

What is the difference between the sauce and condiment?

A condiment is used to improve the flavor of foods whereas a sauce is thicker in texture and used as an accompaniment to the food.

Another vital but small difference is that for taking out sauces, various utensils like spoons are used. In the case of condiments, it is usually served or spread using a knife or it can be also kept in squeezable bottles. There can be exceptions to this rule as well.

A sauce is a main part of the dish. Condiments are usually kept on the door of the fridge or the restaurant table and then are sprinkled on top of the dish. 

Condiments are seasonings added to the recipe. This can include salt, pepper, mayonnaise, chili powder, rosemary, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, mustard, cinnamon, and many more.

A sauce can be prepared while cooking the recipe. Examples of sauces include Sriracha, Tabasco, Salsa, harissa, Chutney, Tahini, Buffalo sauce, Schezwan sauce, and many more.

What is sauce?

The sauce has a semi-liquid texture. During the earlier times, sauces were used to soften meat and enhance the taste of foods. The composition of sauce would differ based on the country or culture of the people around.

For instance, Soy sauce is a sauce used widely in Southeast Asian and East Asian communities. Sauces can also be easily prepared at home. The thickness of the sauce would vary depending on where it is being used and for what purpose.

Sauces can also be prepared from a mixture of one or two condiments. Refer to the table given below for more information.

Name of the sauceIngredients
Cream sauceLemon juice, white pepper, heavy cream, mustard, and onions.
SrirachaRed jalapeno peppers, garlic, brown sugar, kosher salt, white vinegar, garlic, and red serrano peppers.
SalsaTomatoes, cilantro, jalapeno, onions, garlic, chili powder, cumin, lime, sugar, salt, and pepper.
HarissaRed pepper, coriander, paprika, cumin, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, tomato paste, chiles, olive oil, and caraway seeds.
Tabasco sauceWhite vinegar, salt, and tabasco peppers.

If the sauce is used for cooking, it would not have a highly thick consistency. If the sauces are used for dressing purposes, they would be comparatively thicker.

Let us look at some popular sauces which are popular.

  • Soy sauce is popularly used in East Asian dishes or recipes. It is usually prepared using fermented boiled soybeans, barley, and roasted wheat. It can be used in sandwiches along with mayonnaise for a delicious mouthfeel.
  • Salsa is prepared using tomatoes, onions, and peppers. It is mainly consumed with tortilla cheese. You can also try combining it with goat cheese and then consuming it. It is most popular in Mexico and the southwestern area of the US.
  • The hotness in Harissa comes from the red pepper added to the sauce. It is usually served with couscous dishes and is widely popular in Middle Eastern regions and Northern Africa.
  • Sriracha is often found in Vietnamese, Chinese, and Thai restaurants across the US. It can be mixed along with sour cream or mayonnaise and then consumed. It can also be added to soups or stews or also as a marinade.

What is a condiment?

Condiments are added in smaller quantities to food for improving the taste of the food. It is generally added in much lower quantities compared to sauces.  

Unlike sauces, condiments are generally available in a single concentrated form or a mixture of two or more ingredients.

Let us look at some popular condiments:

  • Salt plays a major role in the majority of the dishes. It is usually added to improve the flavor or taste of food. 

Another role of salt is to act as a preservative. For instance, it is added to pickles to act as a preservative. Apart from this, salt can also act as a stabilizer, binding agent.

  • Pepper is another popular condiment. It is added to improve the flavor of foods and can also add in a little spiciness to the foods.
  • Chili powder is usually added to a wide variety of dishes including soups, stews, rubs, marinades, gravies, and sauces.
  • Cinnamon is widely used in sweet dishes, savory foods, beverages, sauces, and spice mixes.

Other FAQs on sauces that you might be interested in.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “What is the difference between the sauce and condiment?”



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