We Try Heinz's New Balsamic Vinegar Ketchup

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[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Heinz's new Balsamic Vinegar Ketchup sounds like a winner, right? Upping the balscidity (new word) in lieu of the traditional distilled white vinegar gives it a mild kick without completely throwing off the familiar taste of ketchup.

This is actually a pretty big move for Heinz, a bastion of ketchup tradition; they haven't released a new flavor in about a decade. (Remember green ketchup in the early 2000s?) Yet the new flavor doesn't taste that dramatically different from "normal ketchup." You certainly pick up on more of an umami-based depth and richer balsamic tang, but it's still the same sweet, sticky Heinz underneath.

It's also much darker and browner than the classic fire-engine-ketchup-red, which might resemble old, rotting ketchup that's been sitting out on the shelves for years. We know this because we have bottles of five-year-aged ketchup at SEHQ, sent to us back when the site first launched. Since the special-release Heinz bottles have some sentimental value, we're loath to part with them (they have survived two office moves) so now they're just office decor, NOT for eating purposes.

Anyhow, we approve of the new Heinz Balsamic Vinegar ketchup. Have you tried it yet?

About the author: Erin is the national managing editor of Serious Eats. You can follow her on Twitter: @erin_zimmer

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