Condiment Chaos: Ketchup Comes Home

Poor ketchup, often maligned and misunderstood, has been replaced by it’s fancier cousins – aioli or the ubiquitous chipotle mayo. Now I like a good slather of something rich and garlicky as much as the next girl so I was surprised to be offered “homemade ketchup” when eating out recently. That got me wondering, what exactly is happening with ketchup these days – who’s making it in-house and is there life after Heinz?

Of course chefs in Victoria are all about fresh, local and crafted by hand so it was no surprise to find ketchup from scratch at several local restaurants. Rebar Modern Food is well-known for their homemade ketchup. Café Brio makes ketchup from heirloom tomatoes when they are in season.  Sam Chalmers, Chef at Bistro 28 and Black Hat makes his own ketchup starting with a roasted red pepper base, adding in tomato and spices for a smooth, smoky taste.

Chef Dan Hayes at the London Chef also makes his own ketchup, more of a classic sweet and sour style which he described as “aromatic, made with cumin, nutmeg and cloves”. Yum. Best of all, you can buy it from their Pantry and take it home to upgrade your frozen fries.

I dug around to see who else was making their own ketchup for in-home consumption and found delicious sounding  blackberry ketchup produced by Rod Butters under his label “RAUDZ” but alas, only available at his location in Kelowna. Definitely worth stocking up the next time you are in the Okanagan.

Several of our local gourmet food shops stock interesting gourmet ketchups – check out Dulcet’s “Peppery Morrocan Ketchup” at The Root Cellar on MacKenzie or Stonewall Kitchen’s rustic” Country Ketchup” found at Aubergine Specialty Foods in Fernwood. Not local, but still a big step up from the red squeeze bottle.

Turns out, there is life after Heinz.

– By Susan Evans




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