A Ketchup Comparison

Sup dudes, it’s time for that Chillichup that I mentioned. Time that I finally talked about Carrington’s milder, more ketchupy, main product.

But, since I didn’t much care for their harissa, I’m going to throw another, far hotter, ketchup into the mix, as well, from a company that I’ve previously enjoyed without fail. Hot Face Sauces’ Killer Ketchup, adorned with the seasonally appropriate mask of horror movie classic, Jason Vorhees:

That way I can be sure that at least one of today’s items will be worth recommending.

When it comes to the packaging, though, neither one stands out. Both feature a single image on a monotone background, with a name and description below, yet nothing that says much about the product, visually.

Carrinton’s provide little more than a red silhouette of a chilli to represent their “spiced chilli ketchup”. While Hot Face Sauces definitely get their product’s “killer” heat level across, with their use of the famous hockey mask, but have absolutely nothing to say about the flavour, on the front.

Neither one even so much as hints at the all important tomato content. So let’s see just how well it comes across in the sauces, themselves, shall we?

As ketchups, both lack a lot of the thickness and stickiness which I’ve come to expect but the Chillichup, on the left, has even less than its competitor, making up for that deficiency with visible chunks of tomato pulp. A most unusual addition but one which speaks to what makes its flavour special.

Carrington’s sauce is not a finely-blended, tomato-flavoured, sugar and vinegar sauce, like you’d find in supermarkets. It is properly tomato-forward, with most of that sweetness, yes, but very little of the tang and far more of a fresh and fruity taste.

One which pairs beautifully with its cumin-heavy, moroccan spice blend.

I didn’t like their last product but this one is an utterly delicious blend of fresh, simmered-down, sweet tomatoes and savoury spices, which reminds me a lot of Encona’s “Carolina Reaper” sauce. Only better in every way, aside from the heat.

The kick on this one, I’m afraid, is very mild. A mere

1/11

Heat

in the throat, as I swallow.

Yet I’m happy to have something milder, from time to time, and Carrington’s do do scotch bonnet and naga versions, for any of you who aren’t. I just thought it best to showcase their mild, original variety, since it’s the most widely edible of the lot.

And, I suppose, because it makes for the most dramatic contrast with our other item’s sour, reaper-like

6.5/11

Heat

on the tongue. One which reminds me of Dr. Burnorium’s uncharacteristically fierce naga products and not the average ghost pepper, at all.

A bizzarely sharp burn which made sense for his Mustard Ghost but is completely at odds with Hot Face’s attempts at a rich, sweet, tomato-based flavour.

It masks most of that fruit and almost all of the sweetness beneath a strong, savoury, red pepper flavour which, aside from the sourness, is actually spot on for the bhut jolokia.

What it really isn’t, though, is subtle in any way. I completely disagree with the company’s own description and I definitely wouldn’t take their recommendation to throw it over egg and chips, like a real ketchup.

This sauce wants strong, dark meats that can take the brunt of its harsh, forceful heat and flavour, so the only things that I’d suggest using it for are bacon, sausages, beef and maybe mushrooms or a nut roast. I can think of little else that could stand up to it and still taste good, so I certainly won’t be recommending this Killer Ketchup.

Hot Face has failed me for the first time and I’m very surprised but they can’t all be winners, I suppose. And today’s other feature really was one.

That Chillichup is something that I’ll be using far more readily, over roast potatoes, casseroles, rice dishes, like kedgeree, burgers and even fish.

It’s a delightfully bright, fresh, moroccan-spiced twist on a classic condiment and it contains:

Tomato, Sugar, Water, Spirit Vinegar, Spices, Salt, Cornflour, Ginger, Garlic, Chilli 0.4%, Black Pepper.

With no real hint as to what that chilli is.

Whereas Hot Face’s less enjoyable ketchup is excessively clear with its ingredients, listing the ghost pepper by two different names, to make sure that its identity is super well known:

Naga Jolokia (Ghost) Chillis (34%), Tomato, Onion, Red Wine Vinegar, Sugar, Garlic, Tomato Puree, Spices

Once again, though, I don’t really understand why its so much more sharp and reaper-like in the Killer Ketchup but I can, at least, link my encyclopedia page for the ghost pepper, to help you find other items which use it better. It is, after all, a very flavourful chilli, in most of its applications.

From today’s features, however, I can only recommend Carrington’s Chillichup but I would recommend it heavily and I will be using it so, myself.

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