Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Heinz With Balsamic

As the so-called "Queen," I think it's my duty to be in the know about what's happening in the world of ketchup.  So when I saw this guy at the store the other day, I picked up a bottle for a taste test!

Fun fact: I saw an article last Fall about this ketchup.  Heinz was doing a promotion through its facebook page where if you were a fan of the company you could pre-order before it hit store shelves.  Since I prefer Hunts to Heinz, I didn't participate in the promotion because I didn't want my page to say, "Jackie became a fan of Heinz."  How's that for product loyalty, Hunts?

Anyway, they are promoting this balsamic vinegar ketchup as a more mature ketchup that would hold up to bigger foods (like meats).

The first thing you notice about it is the color.  It's a dark brownish-red - very similar to bbq sauce.  And the smell is different than normal ketchup; it's a little bit smokey.

I tasted this ketchup vs. normal Hunts first just on their own.  Then I did a taste test with eggs on an English muffin (one half of the muff got an egg and Hunts and the other an egg and balsamic Heinz).

Tasting the products side by side, without any food, really showcased how different the balsamic Heinz is.  It's a bit sweeter than normal ketchup (although I think Heinz is sweeter than Hunts in general, so that might have contributed).  And it tastes more grown up, I'd say.  Maybe it's because we have the childhood associations with the flavor of normal ketchup?  But this one is more complex because it has a bit of smokiness to it.  The combo of sweet and smokey is appealing.

Once I did my egg experiment, though, the normal ketchup won hands down.  Maybe eggs were the wrong food to sample with?  But the balsamic was not good with them.  It was lacking the sharp vinegar taste that goes so well with an egg.  In fact, the smokiness didn't work at all.  It reminded me of bbq sauce in this setting (and bbq sauce on an egg sounds nasty).

I can see why they would suggest pairing with meats.  Even though I don't eat meats, I can imagine the ketchup being really nice on a burger or steak (what - was I the only person who put ketchup on a steak back when I ate meat??).  It would almost be similar to steak sauce, but yummier (because I think steak sauce is kind of gross).

Does Heinz still make Heinz 57?  If not, I wonder if it's hoping this will replace that?

Has anyone else tried it?

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