SPICY WEEK PART 5: Spicy Ketchups

Keepitcoming and I just returned from a little vacation, so that explains for the lag in posts. But never fear, Spicy Week will persevere! Before we left, we made a batch of fries for dinner and tested out our five spicy ketchup contenders.
Surprisingly, none of the national brand ketchup manufacturers, like Heinz and Hunt, opt to sell a commercially viable spicy ketchup. The closest I could find to a widely recognized brand was the UK subsidiary of Heinz, which makes a “twisted” ketchup with both mild and spicy chilies, but since that wasn’t easy to procure, I turned to the smaller brands.To test our ketchups on, we made a mild, baked fry with a flavor that balanced out the ketchups. We chose a blue and white cornmeal crusted french fry, and they turned out to be quite tasty and served as a good base for our testing.
Our first ketchup was a jalapeno ketchup from Spice It Up. It smelled good and was very thick, but had a bland, salty flavor with a small heat at the start and little depth. It didn’t compliment nor enhance the fries and toned down to a plain ketchup flavor by the end of the bite. The heat gradually grew, but the seasoning stayed the same, and in the end, it just tasted a little too plain.
Heat- 2
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OVERALL- 6We then moved on to a ketchup from Intensity Academy. With a name like that, it could deliver any number of things. To our surprise, the ketchup we tried didn’t live up to its moniker. This was the chai chipotle ‘chup, and it has to be consumed immediately upon pouring. We learned this the hard way, for as soon as we looked the other way, the ketchup separated. The flavor was nice, if a little mild, but didn’t really taste of chipotle or chai, and was pretty soupy.
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OVERALL- 4
The next ketchup came in a different bottle from the others, and that was Big Paw ketchup. Strange name and a moderately strange ketchup. It was extremely difficult to extract this from the bottle. It was a very thick ketchup, but somehow had issues adhering to the french fries. I suspect this is from a high oil content that did not mix very well. The flavor was delicious, though, with a strong, smoky chipotle flavor and a bold fruitiness from the ‘mato. Too bad the texture makes it impossible to dip with.
Heat- 3
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OVERALL- 7We were nearing the last of our test subjects. This next ketchup featured not hot peppers, but more of an Indian spice selection. Maya Kaimal’s ketchup informed us that this would be “a little sweet, a little spicy, and a little Indian.” It had a zesty bite of curry at the beginning of the taste, and a really nicely defined, sweet cumin flavor. Unfortunately, the lines defining “spice” and “spicy” seemed to have been slightly blurred. This was more of a spice-heavy sauce than a heat intensive one, but still delicious nonetheless.
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OVERALL- 8The last ketchup of the night was Juan’s Fiesta Ketchup. This was a no-brainer as far as our favorite, because it was perfectly scoopable and smearable in its texture, with a distinctly peppery and distinctly tomatoey flavor within its overall composition. This was the ketchup we kept dipping in over and over after our testing and dredging up the final smears because it was so good. It was smoky, but not overbearing, and had a natural, sweet base. The burn was fantastic, because it was built up and then cooled down by the tomato. Really tasty and really well-crafted.
Heat- 2
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OVERALL- 9

TOP SPICY KETCHUPS
Juan’s Fiesta Ketchup (9)
Maya Kaimal’s Spicy Ketchup (8)

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