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Taste

The Definitive Ranking Of Condiments, From Worst To Best

Just in time for barbecue season.

Your outdoor barbecue is nothing without them. Nor is your burger. Condiments, the toppings of our life, are defined as whatever "enhances the flavor of food," so it's safe to say that without condiments, life would be a bland bore. A Weetabix, basically.

Thankfully, there are many condiments to choose from, but how can you pick just one for every sandwich, hot dog or plate of French fries?

To help you out, we ranked them (on a completely subjective level, of course, because it's impossible to be objective in the world of condiments).

It's The Huffington Post's 2016 Condiment Of The Year contest. Read on to find out which one won:

20
Ketchup
Ryan Mackay via Getty Images
Ketchup is the most basic condiment of all, the overrated tomato-sugar paste that goes on everything from scrambled eggs (gross) to well-done ribeyes (the worst). As if it not already bad, some people like to spell it "catsup." Use it if there's nothing else available.
19
Relish
Tom Grill via Getty Images
Almost as bad as ketchup, relish is secretly just chopped up pickles! You can also make relish out of fruits, but since it is a gross idea to mix peaches and mango with salt and vinegar, we kept it on the worst side of our list.
18
Piccalilli
BWFolsom via Getty Images
Piccalilli is one of those tricky condiments, because the ingredients are tasty -- green tomatoes, salt, cabbage, onions, green peppers, turmeric, mustard seed, celery, brown sugar and allspice are usual suspects -- but it just looks too gross to eat.
17
Tartar Sauce
FoodPhotography Eising via Getty Images
Why wouldn't you use mayonnaise or aioli instead? Why would you add pickles, olives and onions? No thank you, tartar sauce.
16
Yellow Mustard
Lee Rogers via Getty Images
When there are so many good mustards out there, why would you choose this one? Yellow mustard, you are only a few ranks better than ketchup.
15
Ranch
Lauri Patterson via Getty Images
Some people swear by ranch -- for everything. Salad? OK. Chicken melt? Mayyybe. Pizza? Get out of here!
14
Fruit Jam
mladn61 via Getty Images
We'll take it on toast, in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, in cookies or in cake. We love the seeds and the tart flavor, but that's about all it's good for.
13
Wasabi
Tali Budlender & Nick Logan via Getty Image
If you don't mind spending $160 per kilogram for a condiment (we also don't know why you would want that much), genuine wasabi is an herbal, complex, fresh way to spice up your lunch. Just watch out for its evil-bizarro green-colored horseradish twin.
12
Horseradish
Debbi Smirnoff via Getty Images
Horseradish is about the only condiment we can condone putting onto your steak (go home, A-1 sauce) plus it goes well in a bloody mary, the T-bone of cocktails.
11
Fish Sauce
Robert Bremec via Getty Images
Fish sauce -- fish fermented with salt -- is the secret ingredient to making the best burgers in the world. No kidding. It also makes everything else taste better, too. It can bring layers of depth to your food and once you start cooking with it, you won't look back.
10
Aioli
encantadisimo via Getty Images
Like mayonnaise, aioli is an emulsion of egg yolks, oil and lemon juice, but aioli contains garlic. We love 'em both.
9
Hoisin Sauce
kattebelletje/Flickr
Oh, hoisin sauce. You are quite limited, but what you do to duck is sublime. How you transform everything from spring rolls to soup is something special. We don't want to live in a world without you, and we never want to eat Chinese food without you at our side. But other than that, we'll keep you out of it.
8
Soy Sauce
Maximilian Stock Ltd. via Getty Images
We feel very medium about soy sauce (or shoyu sauce, if you live in Hawaii). It's so salty. And there are so many different shades of soy, as well as Chinese or Japanese versions. You can make it yourself if you don't mind waiting for it to ferment for a year. Still, it's verrrrry deliciously salty.
7
Barbecue Sauce
Bill Boch via Getty Images
Made well, barbecue sauce can be golden. Made poorly -- as in too sweet -- it can ruin an ENTIRE RACK OF RIBS. That's a lot at 'steak.'
6
Sriracha
Scott Olson via Getty Images
Certain food trends are inexplicable. Sriracha is not one of them. In bloody marys or on chicken wings, Sriracha tastes good on basically everything.
5
Mayonnaise
milanfoto via Getty Images
It's America's favorite condiment -- and when made from scratch, we tend to agree with America.
4
Honey Mustard
Krosnick Studio via Getty Images
Yellow mustard might be as lame as it gets, but stir in some honey and you've just put it IN OUR TOP FIVE.
3
Vinegar
Ben Richardson via Getty Images
Vinegar might seem like an unlikely candidate, but it works magic -- on fries, potato chips, fish, meats and even vegetables. Like mustard, it's the base of many other condiments and sauces, and eaten alone, it will sharpen your food to a new level. With so many kinds of vinegar, you can pretty much use it on anything, and you should. It's the skeleton key of condiments!
2
Salsa
Westend61 via Getty Images
Salsa goes on everything that ketchup goes on, but it's way better than ketchup. And healthier, usually. Plus, people like to say "salsa."
1
Salt
Peter Dazeley via Getty Images
Salt is the king of the condiments. If, by definition, a condiment is what "enhances your food," nothing does it better than salt. Sure, you may argue that it's a "seasoning" and not a condiment, but to each his own. Just pass the salt.