Ketchup is making a komeback.
Yes, we know you are hopelessly addicted to the sugar-laden tomato version you find on the grocery shelf, the one that Ronald Reagan labeled a vegetable. But back in the day, home cooks made ketchups out of all kinds of things: walnut ketchups, as well as versions from lemons, celery, even oysters or mushrooms. Now that Americans are rediscovering food preservation, we are once again experimenting with ketchup – beyond tomato.
Cheryl Wixson of Cheryl Wixson’s Kitchen (cherylwixsonskitchen.com) has created several flavored ketchups.
Her apple version, made from organic Maine Liberty apples, tastes like spiced, kicked-up apple sauce and it suits pork nicely. Wixson also likes it with potato pancakes, an idea that has us drooling.
Her cranberry ketchup is based on a recipe she says is more than 300 years old. The recipe aged well: We can personally attest to the fact that it tastes great on grilled bratwurst. Wixson suggests using it in salad dressings, with grilled pork tenderloin, on french fries or on sandwiches.
For now, wild blueberry ketchup is available only to Wixson’s community supported agriculture (CSA) members. It’s tricked up with candied ginger, and it suits duck, roasted potatoes and sweet potato fries. Just a little luscious something to help you out with that tomato ketchup withdrawal.
Find the ketchups at 26 retailers across the state (check the website); it costs $7 per bottle.
— MEREDITH GOAD