Unless you are a ketchup freak like me (and most people above the age of 8 are not), you may find this habit bordering on disgusting. Nonetheless, I occasionally indulge in what I affectionately call ketchup-pickle soup. There's no great mystery to explore here. I fill a cereal bowl with bread-and-butter pickle chips, then fill it with ketchup. Then I eat it with a spoon. I'm neither proud nor ashamed of this.
All of which is to say, I take my ketchup seriously. And yet, I've never been a ketchup snob. Heinz? Hunt's? All good. Muir Glenn and Annie's Naturals when I'm feeling virtuous? Also good. Store brand when I'm feeling cheap? On it. Sir Kensington's when I'm peckish for something posh? All over that.
But I recently encountered a new bottle that had me questioning my ketchup neutrality. Traina Foods, the Patterson, California, producer of all manner of dried fruits and veggies, has combined the world's two most perfect condiments into one blissful squirt bottle. Enter Sriracha Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup.
Traina Foods' new ketchup, which launched late last year, offers that perfect hit of sweet and spicy. Which, of course, you could get just by adding a splosh of Sriracha to your everyday ketchup. Except this bottle is built on Traina Foods' earlier release, California Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup. Made from some seriously delicious sun-dried tomatoes, this ketchup goes way beyond the basic sweet-tangy-savory we love.
Traina Foods' ketchups have a brilliant viscosity, almost a chunkiness that elevates them way beyond the basic condiment. As grilling season heats up, this is the ketchup you want on your burgers and dogs. And it certainly is the ketchup I want in my pickle soup.
J.M. Hirsch is the food editor for The Associated Press. He blogs at http://www.LunchBoxBlues.com and tweets at http://twitter.com/JM_Hirsch . Email him at firstname.lastname@example.orgSuggest a correction