Sir Kensington's Takes Ketchup Upscale

Categories: SFoodie

Ketchup-1.jpg

Everything goes upscale eventually. Mustard long ago moved from yellow and Dijon to an array of artisan flavors. Ketchup, however, has remained mostly moribund, with only the variety of a few brand names to distinguish between otherwise indistinguishable squeezable red pastes.

Now some Bay Area boys, who are currently split between Menlo Park and New York City, are making a choice available in the form of Sir Kensington's Gourmet Scooping Ketchup. The ketchup comes in squared-off jam jars in two flavors; classic and spiced.

I love a product where you can read the ingredient label and understand everything on it. This is one. The ketchups use real sugar (raw), no high-fructose corn syrup, actual spices and apple cider vinegar: all good stuff. The boys do a comparison on their site to market leader Heinz where you can see the significantly lower levels of salt and sugar, but for all the "less" the flavor is all about "more," and they go as far as they need to to achieve it.

"We cook the ketchup with tomatoes from Northern California, and it's jarred in Amish country PA," co-founder Scott Norton tells me. "We're pretty spread out to find the best of the best."

The ketchups are chunky and thick, better for spooning than squirting, and modestly reminiscent of salsa.

The classic has a thick, fresh, tomato flavor. It's lightly sweet, with small pieces of onion.

The spiced version has a bit of heat from jalapenos, not overpowering, but clearly noticeable.

Sir Kensington's can be purchased at Bi-Rite Market and Williams-Sonoma in San Francisco, and on the Peninsula at Sigona's and Draeger's for about $6 a jar, or directly online for $25 for a four-pack (two of each flavor).

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Bi-Rite Market

3639 18th St., San Francisco, CA

Category: Restaurant

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5 comments
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Ltsmith
Ltsmith

clearly no one has tried Leroys gourmet flavored ketchup. This stuff is amazing. they have 5 flavors and we gave all 5 flavors to 30 of our family and friends for christmas!

Chef James Temple
Chef James Temple

A neighbor gave me a bottle last year, I loved it so much that I just sent out 2 cases for Christmas presents. 

Joe
Joe

You know, by now, Heinz IS the classic ketchup flavor. 

BTW, I'm all for understandable ingredients but what don't you understand about Heinz's ingredients. Tomato concentrate from red ripe tomatoes, distilled vinegar, high fructose corn syrup (which is natural), corn syrup, salt, spice, onion powder, and natural flavoring all seem pretty clear to me.

Ben Narasin
Ben Narasin

Nestle Tollhouse cookies are also the de facto standard for chocolate chip, and I still eat their dough raw, but that doesn't mean there's not room for a premium product. 

I'd make one comment though - I'm not entirely sure how HFC is "natural."  Legally, naturally has no real definition in most foods, but the syrup that is used for sweeting has no occurance in nature.  It's a triumph of scinece.  Lotsa stuff on that out there if it;s a topic of interest.

Diane
Diane

Move over Heinz. Sir Kensington's is great stuff. It's real food and it's delicious. It's all I buy anymore. I even use it in my cooking. Love the fact that the tomatoes are locally grown! 

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