Condimental Divide

Scrumptious Pantry's new catsup is far from the standard stuff

Today's bright red, sugar-packed ketchup is a far cry from the condiment's origins of pickled, seasoned fish brine used as a sauce in 17th-century China.

So with this history and a healthy regard for Heinz in mind, Lee Greene crafted The Scrumptious Pantry's three new catsups ($7).

They're made from heirloom Ohio tomatoes and would perform wonderfully on fried potatoes or grill-marked burger patties. Otherwise, these complexly flavored sauces share little with the standard red stuff.

The earthiest of the catsups is seasoned with rosemary and juniper and sweetened with red beet juice. It's destined for burgers, gamey meats and grilled portobello mushrooms.

Chipotle chiles lend aromatic heft to the smoky catsup. Blended with cranberries from an organic farm in Wisconsin, its fruitiness and spice bring pork sausages and bacon sandwiches to mind. Next time we get our hands on pastrami, we'll be stirring this into mayonnaise to dress our Reuben.

Pumpkin juice sweetens the third "sweet" variety, flavored with light notes of fennel and caraway; it's a shoo-in for flame-licked chicken. Find the catsups online or at City Provisions and Dill Pickle Food Co-op, right in time for ketchup's high season.