Thursday, January 18, 2007

June Taylor Tomato Ketchup

I'll be jammed, this stuff is good!
2006 blogathon 24 hours of blogging to raise money for food runners in san francisco on july 29th 2006

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 interested in obsessed with food. After she provocatively enticed me with the sample of her irriesistable sauce and I agreed to purchase a bottle, June kindly gave me a $2 discount.
2006 | Foodblogging makes you FAT!
2005 | Royal Frank - Fourth Street - San Rafael

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June Taylor Tomato Ketchup


  • At 18/1/07 09:15, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Funny you showing that tomato ketchup squeezer, they've started selling them in Avoca so they must be back in vogue!

    That sauce does sound nice, Joules, Dillon and I replaced Heinz ketchup with a relish that is very tasty and more grown up than ketchup. Mollie still consumes vast quantities of the red stuff.

  • At 18/1/07 09:51, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have never ever acquired the taste for tomato ketchup, now give me daddies sauce any time. Yes I did give in and let you have one of those squishy dispensers that cause plenty of amusement at times.
    I wonder if I could be converted with your new discovery.

  • At 18/1/07 10:13, Blogger Unknown said…

    Both the packaging — so chic and sleek — and the promise of a taste of England intrigue me.

  • At 18/1/07 10:25, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm dying to know what the elusive English flavor is. Well. Must pony up the $14, I suppose.
    (The "secret" flavor of American ketchup is cloves.)

  • At 18/1/07 10:30, Blogger Sam said…

    i am pretty certain it is cloves perfectly balanced with some other spices, and the result is definitely more spiced than Heinz could ever be, albeit it in a gentle mouthwatering way, not an overpowering way.

    it reminds me, i think, of branston pickle too.

    cookie crumb - no need to pony up the $14 yet, just let me give you a taste of mine first.

  • At 18/1/07 11:07, Blogger LeisureGuy said…

    You may find this article on ketchup to be of interest. I thought it was fascinating, and it explained why Heinz ketchup has held on for so long.

  • At 18/1/07 11:17, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We were strict Heinz people for years (husband firmly believed in The Gospel According to Heinz) when, inexplicably, he brought a bottle of Trader Joe's ketchup home. Experimenting or laziness, you decide. But now that he has broken from the mold, I think it is time to move, yet again, on up. So I'm looking at this utterly tempting ketchup and wondering, where, exactly, is my wallet. What fun.

  • At 18/1/07 11:49, Blogger wheresmymind said…

    I'm more of a mustard guy myself *shrug*

  • At 18/1/07 12:16, Blogger christianne said…

    Hmmmm....I'm a firm believer that Heinz is the only ketchup, but that sure is a pretty bottle!

  • At 18/1/07 13:43, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks sam! I'm a ketchup addict and I'd be curious to try this.

  • At 18/1/07 13:50, Blogger Guy said…

    Ahh, heck. A 26 dollar chicken, 42 bux for olive oil, 32 dollars for a beef tritip roast, what's another 14 bux?

  • At 18/1/07 15:39, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As Frank Lloyd Wright said in his 1932 autobiography, "Give me the luxuries of life and I will willingly do without the necessities."

    I love ketchup (and catsup!).

  • At 19/1/07 03:56, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm afraid it is Heinz for me but I'm always open to trying a new sauce from a pretty bottle!

  • At 19/1/07 05:20, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    amazing! I gave that tomato to my step-sister for Christmas this year. She and I first bonded over our mutual love of ketchup sandwiches (on toast, with or without velveeta slices or cottage cheese).
    Theres an amazing restaurant over in Brooklyn called "Beast" where they make the most addictively smokey homemade ketchup. I'm angling for the recipe!

  • At 19/1/07 08:27, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Sam - thanks for the reco - I'm taking the marmalade class tomorrow at the Still Room and was wondering what other goodies I might purchase while I was there. This could be my HP brown sauce (only available at Costco) replacement for those occasional bacon butties - yum!

  • At 19/1/07 08:43, Blogger Dive said…

    Balking here!

    That's a lot of money to be squeezin' on a Ballpark hotdog! I can sometimes be convinced to throw down $12 for a jar of her conserves or fruit butters, but I have to be honest with ya: I find it a little difficult to pay $14 for a bottle of ketchup.

    Maybe it's the name. Maybe if she called it Tomato Chutney it would be different somehow.

    I mean, for $14 I better be getting a foot massage on the side.

    That's just how I am.

  • At 19/1/07 16:09, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    OK, well... for a whole lot less money -- and I know you have frozen tomato sauce, Sam -- check this out.

  • At 22/1/07 06:33, Blogger leedav said…

    I am taking a marmelade class from June Taylor at the end of February and I think I am going to come with an extra bag to smuggle her products!
    I noticed that it's been a year since you declared you were going on Weight Watchers. I'd love an update. What do you say?

  • At 22/1/07 10:48, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I myself am a ketchup lover, but as cute as that bottle looks and i am sure it taste outstanding, I just can't fathom spending $14 for something that tastes like ketchup tastes.

    It is an interesting idea and I am sure it will do great.


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