I've mentioned in my prior Steve's Paleo Goods reviews that they were kind enough to send me a box of free samples. Within that box was a product that I've been kind of terrified to review because of my prior experiences with people trying to make ketchup more "healthy" or what not. Now, I've mentioned before that I have an unrequited love for ketchup. It's one of my favorite things in the world and I'll put it on anything...eggs, fries, fried chicken, pizza crust, hot dogs, hamburgers, crackers, vegetables, eat it straight out of a spoon, etc. Basically, my ketchup love knows no bounds. Anyway, past bad experiences and my high esteem for ketchup made me fearful of this bottle of Steve's Paleo Goods PaleoChef Ketchup, but ultimately life is about overcoming your fears, so here we are with today's review. This bottle comes in at twelve ounces and has 24 servings (a half ounces per serving obviously) and each serving comes in at 15 calories.
Opening up this bottle and pouring it into my spoon for the picture provided me with one immediate observation: this is probably the chunkiest ketchup I've ever seen. It's also one of the darkest colored ketchups I've ever seen as well. Those are not a bad things, but as someone that has been raised on manufactured ketchups that are bright red, smooth and kind of runny my entire life, that was something that I did not expect (homemade ketchups are a different story). What I also didn't expect was something that I saw on Steve's website describing this ketchup with this: "Our PaleoChef Ketchup combines herbs, spices, and fresh ingredients (you'd never guess bananas and raisins!) to create an authentic ketchup taste." Bananas?! Now I'm really terrified because I DO NOT like bananas. I can see how raisins could fit into the mix because they are sweet and typically ketchup is too, but their inclusion kind of made me scratch my head. There's some other ingredients in this too that seem bizarre, but I'm not going to review them all. I'd point you to the product website to do that. Anyway, outside of the chunkiness, this spoonful of ketchup did definitely have a smell of both onion and garlic and since those are two of the seasonings in here, that is to be expected (and welcome).
So, I downed my first chunky spoonful and the obvious first observation was that the texture of this was different than a normal ketchup. Again, nothing wrong with that, but this had more of the texture of a thin marinara sauce. Next up was the actual flavor (of course) and this was certainly not your typical store-bought ketchup. This is fancy ketchup and not the kind of fancy ketchup that tries to assign that as a random name. This is the kind of ketchup that has a lot of flavor to it and with the odd mix of ingredients going on, this one teetered between being sweet, salty, bitter and tangy. It was everywhere and none of the flavors were particularly weak. If I had to use one product to broadly compare the flavor of this too, I'd say that it was kind of close to a spicy barbecue sauce. I know for certain that it was closer to that than a normal store ketchup like Heinz, Hunt's or whatever. Anyway that I looked at it, this definitely had a lot of flavor to it. After my taster spoonful, I put it onto some fries and it amplified the taste of those fries and gave them an entirely different experience than I would usually get with fries. That's a positive, by the way.
Buy It or Fly By It? After I got over the initial shock of how different this, I actually started to enjoy it. Like I said, I added it to some fries and it made them even better, so any condiment that improves a product is definitely a condiment that is a good one, so this gets a BUY IT rating. If you are curious, are into the Paleo diet or just want to support a good cause (see Steve's website for more details), this is a product that you'll definitely want to get your hands on.