>> Monday, July 28, 2008
When we started on this quest to rid HFCS from our home lives, I was really more than a bit concerned about finding a suitable ketchup replacement. My husband is a ketchup fiend. He loves ketchup and uses it liberally. And until recently, only one ketchup would do - regular, HFCS laden, Heinz ketchup. He was adamant about his ketchup brand, and I have to admit that I thought that Heinz was the best too. So, I'm more than a bit surprised that we found three HFCS-free ketchups that we find perfectly acceptable, and we found them fast. Yay!
Let me start by saying that there are not many ketchups out there that do not have HFCS as an ingredient. And the ketchups that are HFCS free are muy expensive. It probably isn't surprising that all of the HFCS-free ketchups that I found were organic. I'm not knocking organic foods, but the organic label generally knocks a product's price into a higher zone. I know that organic foods generally cost more to grow in large quantities, but I also suspect that an extra premium is placed on foods simply for the organic label. Is it too much to ask for some non-organic products that don't contain HFCS? But I digress...
Back to ketchup. Here's what we found. First up, Heinz Organic Tomato Ketchup. It has a good texture that is very much like the HFCS-containing Heinz ketchup. I thought that the flavor was very much like the original Heinz too, but my husband thought there was a slight flavor difference (though he couldn't or wouldn't elaborate on the difference). The only problem with the Heinz is that it was the most expensive of the three ketchups that we found at 20 cents an ounce. (I can get regular Heinz ketchup on sale for 6 cents an ounce!)Our next ketchup find was Muir Glen Organic Tomato Ketchup. My husband (here on out referred to as Ken, since that's his name) thought that it had a pleasant worcestershire kind of kick to it that Heinz doesn't have. The texture, which is a bit runnier and grainier than Heinz, reminded me of ketchup you might get at a cheap diner. Overall, the flavor was pleasant, and even though the texture is a departure from what we're used to, we could be happy using this ketchup.Last is Wild Harvest Organic Ketchup. Wild Harvest is Albertson's new organic line (at least, I think that it is exclusive to Albertsons). This ketchup's texture is kind of in between the organic Heinz and the Muir Glen ketchups. And it had a fine flavor. (I couldn't get a flavor review from Ken, and I'm not so much of a ketchup connoisseur to have much of an opinion on the flavor.) And, at 13 cents an ounce, the price is almost bearable!
In the end, we've decided to go with the Muir Glen ketchup. Price is what swayed us. At the grocery store, we can get it for 16 cents an ounce - not as economical as the Wild Harvest ketchup. But, we don't mind buying in bulk, so I just ordered a 12 pack of Muir Glen ketchup from Amazon for 11 cents an ounce. That's a lot of ketchup, but we'll go through it fast!