In the world of burger condiments, ketchup is king. In last year's AHT poll, ketchup was your favorite condiment, followed closely by mustard and mayo. When discussing ketchup, Heinz is the undisputed heavyweight champ: They're #1 in US market share and sell over 650 million bottles worldwide each year.
But every champion has its challenger and recently we've seen a number of exotic ketchups looking to knock Heinz off its throne. In the red corner, we have Peppery Moroccan Ketchup ($6) from Dulcet Cuisine. This condiment definitely falls into the "ketchup for grown-ups" category for being flavored with a Mediterranean spice blend including saffron, cumin, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon. Cinnamon and ginger are the prominent flavors, with cayenne and black pepper giving the ketchup a spicy finish.
Dulcet promotes a wide variety of uses for the ketchup, including as a glaze or grilling sauce for meat (especially lamb kebabs); as an ingredient in sloppy joes, meatloaf or shrimp cocktail sauce; or as a condiment for mac-n-cheese, eggs, or burgers and fries.
I grilled a couple burgers and did a side-by-side taste test with Peppery Moroccan and Heinz ketchup. While the Heinz was perfectly smooth, the Moroccan had a grainier texture and the spices were visible in the mix. Both ketchups were sweet, but the Moroccan was led by a cinnamon aroma with a spicy finish. The Heinz was sweeter overall and bordered on sugary. The extra sweetness isn't surprising when you look at the labels: Heinz has an extra gram of sugar per serving. When applied to the burger, the Moroccan's extra flavor and spice enhanced the minerality in the meat. Overall, the Heinz has a more pronounced tomato flavor and is sweeter than the Moroccan, which relies on its Moroccan spices for flavor and cayenne for heat.
The judge's decision: Dulcet's Peppery Moroccan ketchup is a great second option on a burger when you're looking for something spicier and more exotic than Heinz. By no means am I ready to ignore Heinz, which has always been there for me like an old friend, but it's nice to have Dulcet's around when I'm looking for a change of pace.
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