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Monday, June 17, 2019

Artisanal Ketchup

"Artisanal ketchup: Hand-crafted in small batches, using a secret recipe known only to the chef. Locally-sourced ingredients are hand-stirred in an open kettle over a gentle flame, resulting in a premium tomato experience. Available for a limited time."

How much would you pay for artisanal ketchup? $6.99? $5.49? $4.99?


"artisanal" = anytime a recipe turns out homey, the artisanal label gets slapped on it
"ketchup" = okay, so this is ketchup-like, I'll give it that much
"hand-crafted" = yes, made with my own two hands
"in small batches" = it's not like I needed a gallon of ketchup, just 8 or 10 ounces
"using a secret recipe" = so secret, even I couldn't say exactly what or how much went in to it
"known only to the chef" = oops, I'm afraid the chef can't remember the recipe
"locally-sourced ingredients" = bought just down the street at Cash & Carry
"hand-stirred" = again, my two hands and one spoon
"in an open kettle" = we lost the lid to this pot a while ago
"over a gentle flame" = we have a gas stove
"resulting in a premium tomato experience" = yes -- this is how I'm selling it to my family
"available for a limited time" = we'll run out in a couple of weeks

Whenever my home-baked or scratch-cooked goods have that rustic look, I jokingly call them artisanal and hand-crafted. I've had my share of artisanal (AKA wonky-looking) loaves of bread and hand-crafted (AKA sunken) cakes. In our house, we eat the flops as well as the successes, but we do it with a smile and a laugh.

We were needing ketchup to go with sausages for last night's dinner. I was out of tomato paste, so I used canned tomatoes instead. Despite running the tomatoes through the food processor and trying to press the cooked product through a sieve, the result was a tomato product with a texture much like applesauce. I gave up trying to get something smooth and Heinz-like and just jarred the stuff in one of my fanciest glass jars and called it good. It worked just fine for our cook-out.

All joking aside, this does make me wonder about so-called artisanal products that sell for much more than standard ones. Surely, that must just be a marketing ploy for some of the food items that I see in stores.

(By the way, that's an artisanal hot dog bun in the photo, too!)


  1. Love how you defined each term. I think you're right--the labels slapped on food items are all about sales. I must be an artisanal cook, too! I definitely made wonky-looking (but tasty) bread last week!

    1. Hi Kris,
      Isn't it funny how far ideas have swung? Perfect-looking is not always the expensive item, but is sometimes the cheap, commercial one.

  2. It's all about marketing and you did a good job marketing your artisanal ketchup. It gave me my laugh for the day. :)

    1. Hi live and learn,
      I'm happy to entertain!

  3. I sure smiled reading this! Isn't it so true that people take on how we present things though??? If we say, oh this flopped, we have the recipients already ready to dislike our product. But if we tell them it is created this way by the the things you mentioned, they feel invited to savor. I really need to practice this! Others will apologize when things they make are not the normal presentation....but sometimes they are as good or even better...and I enjoy. Don't we all just love homemade food or gifts?? I know I sure do!

    1. Hi Linda,
      I tend to do the apology routine, and I know I need to stop that as it does color people's perception of what I make even before they try it. And you're right, I love homemade foods and gifts, as someone else does something just a little bit different than I do and that makes it interesting.


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