Pork chops and apple sauce. Macaroni and cheese. Barnum and Bailey. Bill and Ted. Some of history’s most famous pairs. Pairs so elegant and perfect, that after they are coupled, we wonder how we ever did without them.
It’s crazy to think that there was a time when people hadn’t thought to put chocolate and peanut butter together. There are people who were born, lived an entire lifetime, and died never knowing who Ross and Rachel were.
When we think of humanity’s major breakthroughs, it’s always the Wright Brothers this, Thomas Edison that. But what about the nameless pioneers that decided that peanut butter and jelly would go great together, or cinnamon and sugar, or gin and tonic (sounds mighty mighty good to me). Shouldn’t we have a day or something? A celebration for all of those whose identities were lost to history or overlooked by the masses? Of course we should. And yes, it would obviously be a three-day weekend.
So in that long line of famous pairs, we add ketchup and salt. While not generally thought of when one is listing famous food pairs, one must accept the fact that upon further examination, these two stalwarts of the dinner plate deserve their rightful places in those hallowed halls right alongside fish and chips, biscuits and gravy, and bagels and cream cheese.
If you are reaching for a bottle of ketchup, chances are you’ve already reached for a shaker of salt. Who doesn’t enjoy drizzling the tanginess of the crimson ecstasy (let’s start calling it that) atop a mound of freshly salted fries?
I find it kind of surprising that ketchup and salt were not combined into a single entity sooner. It seems so obvious in hindsight. Maybe we just weren’t ready for it.
So. J&D’s Ketchup Salt. From the same food mashup envelope pushers that brought us Bacon Salt and the iconic Baconnaise. (I can’t believe I haven’t tried either.)
When I found this product, I was imagining some sort of gorgeous salt crystals infused with the deep red essence of ketchup. I don’t know if that’s scientifically possible. It’s just what I pictured. Like that red sugar you buy in the baking aisle at the grocery store. The product itself is a little different. It’s a mix of very fine salt, dehydrated tomato powder, and some other stuff not worth mentioning.
The tomato taste is decent. It’s tangy and pretty close to ketchup. While it’s not identical to, say, a Heinz, they do a good job of zeroing in on that taste. The powderization adds something extra that’s just a little off. I don’t really know how to describe it. It’s not horrible, just different enough to be noticeable.
Also, since the tomato powder is the main ingredient in the mix, this ketchup salt is surprisingly not overly salty.
One thing that weirded me out was that all through my tasting, I felt as if I was eating a middle step in the ketchup manufacturing process. I don’t know how ketchup is made, but in my head there is a giant silo of this powder and when the ketchupmeisters need to increase output, they turn a giant valve wheel and a vat is flooded with water. It’s mixed and viola! Ketchup. Seems reasonable.
All in all, this is a cool product. It’s not spectacular but it’s decent, and it is certainly interesting. Will it rise to the heights of Baconnaise? Probably not. But I think ketchup is the next big thing (based on nothing), and this is an ok place to start.