Fancy ketchup, created using natural ingredients, is a growing market—locally, there is Portland Ketchup as well as Camden’s Catsup, which can be found at Little Big Burger, while even market leader Heinz produces a stripped-down version without the dreaded corn syrup.
The Red Duck Classic Ketchup has a nice consistency—it has body but it’s not over processed—and the taste is reminiscent of Portland Ketchup. It is much less sweet than Heinz, with a solid tomato base and the vinegar and onion flavors prominent. Good with fries, eggs and pretty much anything you’d put on the grill. The spicy version, which is apparently their best seller, is similar but comes with a nice, fiery kick (the precise nature of the spices is a secret).
Finally, there’s a curry variety, which is more like a paste that the other two. It has a lovely aroma and a warm flavor of peppers and Eastern spices. It’s something that would go particularly well with fish.
The ingredients are natural and organic, but at $7 for a 12 oz jar it is spendy (it’s a few dollars more than Portland Ketchup). Though the Classic is good, I get through too much of the stuff to justify the cost—but I’d keep a jar of the Spicy or Curry versions around for sure. Available from New Seasons; for a full store locator or online ordering visit redduckfoods.com