June Taylor Tomato Ketchup
I'll be jammed, this stuff is good!
When I was a kid I really, really wanted one of these. I begged and pleaded, but my mother was firm. "No", she first of all insisted, "they are unhygenic". Maybe, eventually, she actually relented because I seem to remember, later, giggling at the table whenever the squeezy bottle made a wet farting sound caused by a combination of air trapped in the bottle and build up of congealed tomato ketchup around the nozzle.
In my adult life I haven't been much of a consumer of tomato ketchup. In general I don't purchase a lot of processed food but at the end of 2004 I bought a bottle of Heinz Organic tomato sauce for a Food & Wine or Gourmet recipe that I was cooking for Christmas dinner. Thereafter, the bottle lingered at the bottom fridge, unloved, for almost two years before it was eventually discarded for having dared to live past its sell-by date.
These days, another ketchup bottle stands in its place. Last year, June Taylor caught me out by insisting I sample a little of her handmade sauce. I was immediately bewitched by the rich, sweet, smooth tomatoes and the mouthwatering but quite secret combination of vinegar and 'spices' that make up its alluring personality. I can't put on a finger on it, but her ketchup reminds me somehow of England and a taste from a distant memory. That is no surprise, June is English too and since she actually said to me "You're English, you'll appreciate this" as she handed me a taster, she must have intended to capture something distinctive to make me sigh with satisfaction.
At $14 a bottle, some might balk at the price of June's Ketchup, but for those who appreciate that it is made in small batches, by hand, from the most wonderful local tomatoes picked at their prime, the chance to have a very grown-up version of a little blob of childish sauce on the side of the plate, is not one to be missed. Get it whilst you still can.
June Taylor's products can be purchased locally at the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmers Market, or for those further away, you can find it online here.
Transparency: June Taylor is aware that I write a blog and am