With snow, rain, or both falling almost every other day for a few months, we are all sick of gray skies. But what if something else started raining from the sky… like ketchup? Or Nutella? My musings on condiment precipitation, from worst to best:

(First, the basics: the speed that raindrops fall at is inversely proportional to the density of the fluid falling. Assuming that the drops are the same size for all condiments, the denser the fluid, the slower it falls.)

7. Mayonnaise
A little bit of mayonnaise gives sandwiches just the right amount of smoothness and ties it together. But isn’t the beauty of mayonnaise the idea that you can enjoy it without noticing it? It’s like good make-up. But as with make-up, too much could be disastrous.
Pros: Egg salad, tuna salad, the turkey salad they serve in the dining halls, and macaroni salad are all just a drizzle away.
Cons: Mayonnaise has so much oil in it that it would make your clothes, skin, and hair disgustingly greasy. Roads would become slick and trees would hang onto the whitish goop–could be pretty, but it doesn’t melt away like snow.

Flickr" src="https://spoonuniversity.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/9/2014/04/5992817417_03a7154c79_b.jpg" alt="Condiments" width="1024" height="681" />

Photo by Celia on Flickr

6. Yellow Mustard
Mustard is less dense than ketchup so it would fall faster on unsuspecting walkers.
Pros: Outdoor barbecues would be a lot more efficient–no need for mustard bottles when all you have to do is hold your burger out to the sky!
Cons: When it rains, there is a lot more humidity in the air. Evaporated mustard would probably hurt your eyes, not to mention that it wouldn’t be pleasant to be splattered with mustard.

5. Ketchup
Ketchup has the highest density of the standard condiments, so physically speaking, it would fall the slowest.
Pros: Unlucky people who caught in the rain without an umbrella would look like they had come out of a battlefield. Then again, as they stroll into Late Meal at Frist, it’ll save you a trip to the ketchup dispenser for your fries.
Cons: Ketchup is hard to get off of your clothes—it smells, leaves stains, and hardens into a crust if left too long. It would hurt if it got into your eyes, too.

4. Soy Sauce
More watery than the other condiments listed here, falling soy sauce is not hard to imagine—just like rain, only brown…
Pros: It would be the least troublesome since it’s liquid and rolls off waterproof materials easily. No need to change out of your rain gear…
Cons: Soy sauce is very salty, so carrying food outside when soy sauce is raining would ruin your food, giving you several times the amount of sodium you need in a day.

3. Peanut Butter
The perfect companion to apples, bread, and chocolate, peanut butter falling from the sky could make for some wonderful concoctions.
Pros: Apple trees… The creation of an all-natural peanut butter apple, picked straight from the tree.
Cons: Clumps of peanut butter will clog up our drains and ruin our entire water system. Jelly and a cold glass of milk make peanut butter go down smoothly, but without them, the plumbing is in trouble.


Photo by Katherine Caroll

2. Ice cream
Surprisingly, ice cream has a very low density, about 0.52 g/mL because it is made with a lot of air—very much like snow (0.08 g/mL).
Pros: Light, fluffy flakes of ice cream falling down would make a snow day so much better. Sticking out your tongue would actually mean you can taste something, and getting your tongue stuck to a lamppost would be so much more enjoyable. Weather reports would undoubtedly get more exciting: “Tomorrow’s forecast includes 3 inches of Moose Tracks.”
Cons: When you actually think about it, though, the aftermath would be quite icky. Many people do not carry umbrellas when it’s snowing, but imagine your winter jacket coated in a light layer of sticky milk and sugar. You could eat it, I suppose, but refrozen ice cream just isn’t the same.

1. Nutella
What could be better than delicious chocolate hazelnut spread falling from the sky?
Pros: Similar to peanut butter, but with more possible combinations for deliciousness. Every fruit orchard and strawberry field would be pure heaven after a rainfall of this.
Cons: The only con is a little bit of stickiness, but that can easily be resolved with the necessary precaution of carrying around an umbrella. Quite obviously, the pros outweigh the cons.


Photo by Daniah Mohammed

The condiment-rain rankings favored the sweet spreads more than the savory ones… quite understandable, as the sweet ones can stand on their own while salty condiments are supplements for other foods. Nutella was a clear winner, though – if it tastes good eaten off a spoon, it tastes good falling from the sky too.