There’s nothing worse than sitting down at a restaurant or attending a barbecue and noticing Hunt’s is what they offer. Makes me want to get up and leave. It’s truly excruciating if you are a Heinz loyalist like myself. My loyalty is so strong that last year, I challenged a real live Canadian to a ketchup taste test. It wasn’t like you might imagine; wild west, tumbleweeds, ketchup bottles drawn. I managed a Facebook fan page for Motto Agency, an incredible brand design firm, and they were so kind to let me spark the debate of Heinz vs. Hunt’s on their page. Of course, Heinz won and no one stood up for Hunt’s. But Mr. Walker spoke up and insisted that Heinz was crap compared to this apparent Canadian brand called Alymers. So I challenged him to bring me some so I could be the judge and this is what went down.
First of all, Aylmers was nowhere to be found (like I said, he made it up), so he brought me two other Canadian brands, E.D. Smith and President’s Choice, along with another bottle of Heinz (cause you can never have enough). So the day arrived to try it out. If you are going to do a ketchup taste test, you gotta do it right with cheesesteaks, french fries, and a refreshing glass of Coke. Since it’s hard to do a honorable taste test by yourself, my roommate helped me get set-up.
Since I often gloated that I could pick out Heinz from a mile away, the test took two forms; taste and sight. Based on sight alone, C was definitely not Heinz as it was a deeper red, like corn syrup red and seemed thinner. To quote myself, I said, “Oh well, C is definitely not Heinz.” It looked cheap. The other two were a thick, bright red, expressing more richness and value. So I picked B to be Heinz.
Now that I had a preconceived notion about the selections, I had to blindfold myself and asked that the selections be reordered so I didn’t know which was which while doing the taste test. Let me tell you something. You don’t realize how hard it is to do a ketchup taste test until you do. Or maybe I just have a weak palette. I tasted each ketchup 3 times around. One was extremely sweet – definitely not Heinz. The others were very similar in taste. It was challenging, but a decision had to be made.
Since Jeff was monitoring and I didn’t know which letter I was tasting, I went in order and said the last one I tasted was Heinz, which again ended up being B. This is where it hurts and I’m sad to inform all my fellow Heinz loyalists that I FAILED. It was in fact, E.D. Smith, not just on taste, but both tests! It was a horrible bloody defeat. I would take rotten tomatoes to the face to make up for my lack of judgment. But here’s the deal, you don’t realize how sweet Heinz is until you taste others beside it. So the other two brands were actually quite good. Heinz is still my number 1 stunner, but I realized that there are in fact other ketchups worthy of my buns. So Mr. Walker, Canadian ranger, you win. I tip my hat and cry Heinz tears for you.