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Ketchup - try "gourmet," make at home, or just skip?

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General Discussion 24

Ketchup - try "gourmet," make at home, or just skip?

Ditdah | Feb 3, 2012 10:21 AM

The condiments and eggs thread got me thinking...

I don't like ketchup. Haven't really ever liked it, even as a kid. Since I live in the US, my friends act like this is anti-American: "You don't dip your fries in ketchup? WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU!?" I don't know if I've ever purchased it in my entire life, although I have made cocktail sauce using it so I know it's at least in my fridge. (Althouh probably purchased by someone else.) If I'm ordering a burger somewhere and they normally put it on there, I'll eat it, although I don't really like it. But I never add it to anything, as I think it's just odd. Too sweet and not enough flavor of anything other than sugar and tomatoes...

However, I almost feel like I'm missing out. I've read through some threads on here where people mention homemade ketchup, and some people really prefer it that way, while others don't. I've seen restaurants that make their own. I know there are specialty stores that sell gourmet versions, possibly that don't taste as sweet and bland as the stuff from my mega-mart?

So, I'm wondering... am I actually missing out on a good culinary experience? Should I branch out and start to try other kinds of ketchup, or make my own? I love trying new things in the kitchen, and condiments can be especially fun. But I typically only make things I already like comercially prepared - salsa verde, salad dressings, mayo...

What do other CH's think? Do any of you not like "regular" ketchup, but enjoy homemade or gourmet versions? If I don't like Heinz, am I going to dislike the gourmet versions I can find at Sur La Table? Or are they totally different beasts, like store-bought vs. homemade mayo?

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