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Taste test: Flavored ketchups

Food manufacturers are ready for the first pitch this season with all kinds of fancy dressings for our hot dogs and hamburgers. We found several flavors of ketchup that would work on a variety of ballpark fare or alongside a heaping pile of french fries.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

ProductHeinz Real Jalapeno and Heinz Balsamic Vinegar Melinda's Original

Habanero Pepper
Dulcet Peppery

Moroccan and

Dulcet Indian Curry

Judges particularly enjoyed the jalapeno blend of this version of Heinz ketchup. "The jalapeno kicks your tongue right out of your mouth. Excellent! Superior!" said one panelist, asking, "Why wasn't this done before?" Another judge loved the heat but said it might be too hot for french fries. Another said: "It's very bright red, very zippy and has a great kick." The balsamic version was dark and looked a bit more like barbecue sauce than ketchup. "I think the balsamic sauce would be great on grouper or salmon or pan-fried chicken breast," said one judge, who added, "I would buy this in a New York minute."Heat was the word used to describe Melinda's jazzy ketchup. "It looks like regular ketchup with flakes in it," said one judge. "It definitely packs a great punch." The sauce would go particularly well with boiled shrimp, this judge thought. "It would look great alongside fresh seafood and it would really offer a lot of flavor." Another said this ketchup would be good as a dip for pork or chicken. "I can see serving this with skewers of meat off the grill," yet another judge said.Judges preferred the Indian Curry ketchup from Dulcet for its texture and smooth blend of flavors. "I would use this on fries for a nice change," said one. "It also would be perfect on pasta." Another judge said the curry flavor wouldn't work for her as a dressing on hot dogs or burgers, but she loved the taste of the peppery Moroccan offering. Judges described the latter as much milder than the jalapeno-mixed ketchups. "It's really smooth with a nice depth of flavor," said one. "I especially like the hints of cayenne and cinnamon."

they buy?
Five of the six judges said yes to both.Five of the six judges said yes to both.Five of the six judges said yes to both.
Shopping information$2.49 each for 14-ounce bottles from Target.$3.99 for a 13-ounce bottle from the Fresh Market.$4.91 for a 14-ounce bottle of Peppery Moroccan ketchup and $4.99 for a 14-ounce bottle of Mild Indian Curry ketchup from the Fresh Market.

Panelists: Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; Jeff Jensen, public information officer for Treasure Island; Wayne Conery, manager of the R-Bar in Treasure Island; consumers Victoria Long and Julie Overton of St. Pete Beach; and Laura Reiley, Times food critic.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or email them to Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to

Serving sizeOne tablespoon eachOne tablespoonOne tablespoon each
Calories25 and 201510 and 40
Fat/Fiber0g/0g and 0g/0g1g/0g0g/0g and 2.5g/0g
Sugars/Sodium5g/160mg and 4g/160mg4g/190mg3g/70mg and 3g/115mg
Carbs/Protein6g/0g and 5g/0g4g/0g3g/0g and 4g/0g

Taste test: Flavored ketchups 04/02/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 2:22pm]
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