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So when are they gonna start making heirloom ketchup?

It seems like foodies have reached every corner of the food world...except ketchup. Grey poupon gave mustard that air of elegance, but so far ketchup has failed to achieve such status of "luxury" and has remained "kid sauce". They've tried organics and rustics, but end up only making tomato sauce...nothing truly touches the real recipe.

But I've never seen tomato ketchup made from REAL tomatoes. I'm talking about some green zebra ketchup, purple cherokee ketchup, or even dry farmed early girl ketchup. Let's go crazy. Why hasn't anybody touched on heirloom tomatoes or any other tomato for ketchup?

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  1. Just a guess, but heirloom tomatoes are difficult to grow and don't produce much fruit. Since lots and lots of tomatoes are needed to cook down into ketchup, the result would be quite expensive. Ketchup is pretty much a kid-food and I don't think many people would want to spend a lot for it. I'm happy enough with Trader Joe's organic ketchup for the three or four times a year I use it. On the other hand, why don't you make some purple cherokee ketchup and see how it tastes? Might be great. I can see it making an interesting holiday gift.

    1. I must admit that I would not want to take my heirloom tomatoes and boil them down into a sauce. I would much rather eat them fresh and enjoy them in their natural state. I'm not sure how much you would add to ketchup by making it with heirloom tomatoes. At any rate, I'm not sure I would notice a vast improvement.

      I do however, think that a green zebra ketchup would be an awesome colour! Would be nice for a change.

      1 Reply
      1. re: moh

        I agree - most of the tomatos mentioned in this post are low producers and are better suited for other purposes - like eating raw!

        But I would cook down a bunch of garden grown roma tomatos into a ketchup. I would be more interested in experimenting with the other ingredients. I've tasted some really interesting home-made ketchups.

      2. Not all ketchups were tomato based.
        Somewhere I have a walnut based ketchup (and walnuts are plentiful in these parts)

        I totally agree with the productivity of plants of some of the Heirloom maters; maybe if one cultivar were to grow really, really well in one county, there would be a niche.
        But, this is the biggie, I don't think that the heirloom flavors could compete with the basic subtle tomato flavors of some of the heirlooms.

        1. I've seen artisan ketchups on the market before. Not sure if they are heirloom tomato, but they are definitely a step up from Heinz. Which, by the way, I absolutely love, especially the organic, with no hfcs.....

          1. I'd like to see some sun-dried tomato ketchup. Anyone ever make that?

            1 Reply