Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 171: Playing Ketchup

Today, I tried something I don't think I ever could have conceived of: banana sauce, and not in a dessert-type way. This stuff is more akin to ketchup, and I assumed at first that it must have tomatoes in it because it is red. (Why is it red? It's naturally brownish--most likely from the oxidized bananas and spices--and it just looks better if it's dyed red.) And basically, it is a little like ketchup. I tried it on a hot dog. It's sweeter than ketchup, and maybe a little thicker with more watery runoff, but it's still tart and tangy like ketchup and it worked well with my lunch.

Apparently, banana sauce is popular in the Philippines, and has its origins around WWII when tomatoes were in short supply. The answer? Make ketchup with bananas! Pretty ingenious, really. Except somehow, this stuff didn't stick (Nutella has a similar story, but it's hugely popular, though I do believe it fell out of popularity in the US for a long time and was most likely brought back by the foodie boom). It's pretty good. You can't expect it to be just like Heinz, but it doesn't need to be. It's a perfectly good sauce of its own merits.

You should try it. You can find it at Cost Plus World Market (a major supplier of things I have yet to try).

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