/ Food & Drink

Ketchup vs mayo – what’s your favourite condiment?

Tomato ketchup and mayonnaise

Putting salt and pepper to one side, there’s one condiment that most Brits love to add to their food. They cover their chips with it, some even have it with every meal. So which popular sauce am I talking about?

Mayonnaise. Surprised? I am. In a recent poll by discount site NetVoucherCodes, Hellman’s mayonnaise squeezed out Heinz tomato ketchup to become the nation’s favourite condiment.

It was a close one, with mayo getting 23% of the vote to ketchup’s 22%, but I’m still shocked. Mayonnaise? Really? One of the voters explained:

‘Mayo is so versatile. You couldn’t put ketchup on both your chips and your salad could you?’

My answer to that is… why are you putting mayo on your chips!? Or your salad, for that matter? Look, I respect that the traditional ingredients for mayo don’t go much beyond oil and egg, but that’s not going to make me enjoy the white gloop you spoon out of a jar.

I’d be happier to dip my chips in Marmite to be honest. In fact, a few of the voters chose Marmite as their favourite condiment, but the meanies at NetVouchersCode disqualified the black gold, as ‘Marmite is a spread’.

Mad about mayo?

As you might have noticed, I can’t help but ooze hate for mayo, and I’ve had a good old rant about it before now. ‘What has mayo ever done to you?’, Mr Mayo might ask. ‘Nothing, it just happens to be in every shop-bought sandwich,’ I’d reply. ‘Well, you couldn’t put ketchup in a shop-bought sandwich, could you?’ Mr Mayo would retort. ‘No, and nor would I want to, but stop forcing yourself on me!’ I’d snap.

And although I wouldn’t want tomato sauce in a sandwich (unless it was in a bacon butty), for me it’s the answer to all ailments. In the past I was even known to splodge it on my Sunday roast, eliciting a raised eyebrow from my next of kin. I’ve grown out of that now, but it’s still my sauce of choice, and I’m surprised the rest of Britain isn’t with me. Are you with me?

Which of these condiments do you like (multiple choice)?

Tomato ketchup (8%, 1,109 Votes)

Mayonnaise (8%, 1,070 Votes)

Mustard (8%, 1,064 Votes)

Mint sauce (7%, 1,014 Votes)

Vinegar (7%, 972 Votes)

Apple sauce (7%, 895 Votes)

Tartare sauce (6%, 877 Votes)

Worcestershire sauce (6%, 876 Votes)

Pickle (6%, 875 Votes)

Chutney (6%, 865 Votes)

Brown sauce (6%, 839 Votes)

Horseradish (6%, 767 Votes)

Cranberry sauce (6%, 755 Votes)

Salad cream (5%, 659 Votes)

Chilli/hot sauce (4%, 568 Votes)

Relish (3%, 411 Votes)

Other – tell us in the comments (1%, 78 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,643

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Rosie38 says:
14 March 2013

Garlic mayonnaise


Chutney is vastly underrated – who could resist a nice strong cheddar on a biscuit with a little bit of chutney? Heaven.

I’m also a big fan of wholegrain mustard, especially if you add a good spoonful to macaroni cheese – trust me, it’s delicious!


Which? sort of establishment is this, not even offering black pepper, that wonderful condiment that can do so much for food. Bin the mayonnaise (and tartare sauce, which is just mayonnaise in disguise) and let us have black pepper – please.

Pass the wholegrain mustard, Nikki. I’ll have some of your chutney too, but not at the same time.


Sorry, I knew salt and pepper would be popular picks so I put them to one side. I’m thinking more about your saucy condiments than your seasonings. I’m a big fan of black pepper too – as long as it’s not the powdery stuff!

Linda says:
14 March 2013

I have to add extra virgin olive oil to the list – it makes even a boring salad tastier, especially when you add vinegar too. An idea I picked up when living in Greece.


I did think about adding oil as I do have vinegar in there, but I’ll leave it for people to tell us in the comments now.


Home made parsley sauce with white fish – lots of parsley. Perhaps not a sauce, but sieved lightly poached plums with duck.


Pleased to see ketchup is topping the poll. But I have to say, pickle and chutney make great condiments with cheese!


I’m with you on the mayonnaise rant, Patrick. In a cafe in New Zealand I requested an omelet and was disgusted when it arrived with a half inch layer of mayonnaise on top. When I asked why they did it they said “Everybody has mayonnaise on their omelet”

However, another NZ joint, Burger Fuel, introduced me to Garlic Aioli as a dip for chips. It’s quite nice, provided it has a LOT of garlic.

Oh, and every time someone from NZ comes over to visit me it is mandatory they bring me several cans of Watties Tomato Sauce.


Most condiments are added to prepared food to suit individuals, whether this is because of preference or for health reasons (e.g. avoiding salt). I object to the fact that so many products contain mayonnaise or dressings based on mayonnaise. It is a challenge to find a sandwich without it. For years there has been pressure to decrease the amount of salt in food, but many products still contain too much. Why not provide sachets to that people can please themselves?

I have no problem with tomato ketchup being the most popular condiment (according to the survey so far) since it’s always an extra rather than included in food.


One of my favourite condiments is remoulade, Danish style. It’s very tasty with chips, fish, and most other foods I’ve tried it with. It’s got more body in it than most other sauces, and it’s a good partner for ketchup.


I like food with my condiments! Not the other way round those take away sachets are hopeless I need the bottle or the jar and a big spoon
Very difficult to choose just one favourite but if I could only have one it would have to be a Dijon mustard


Hmmm. If you would like to cut down on the amount of condiments you use, I have heard that Insanity Sauce will do the trick. 🙂


How that’s a sauce I’d like to try !