A Ketchup for the 1%

Since we live in the Golden Age of Artisanal Everything, it seems somehow fitting that Heinz Ketchup should get a white-person upgrade. Heinz Balsamic Ketchup will launch November 14th to zero fanfare, and be made available only through the brand's Facebook page.

You won't be able to buy it in anything besides glass bottles, which, for the original recipe, have become hard to find. (Hipster nostalgia, check.) It will cost $4.49 per shipped bottle, versus $1.89 for a squeeze container of the plain kind. (Premium pricing, also check.) It will eventually make its way to store shelves, and, if it sells well, will become a permanent addition to the Heinz family.

But how does it taste? For that, we look across the Atlantic, as product was made available to the UK market last March. According to a review in the Telegraph, replacing the traditional white vinegar with balsamic had a subtle but profound effect:

The taste is unmistakably tomato ketchup. It has the same immediate hit of vinegary tartness, followed by a teeth-stripping sweetness. But whereas ordinary ketchup has little, or no, "finish" as wine tasters would say, the balsamic version has a depth to it. The flavour is darker and richer, with a definite hint of tamarind, one of the key ingredients in Worcestershire Sauce. It is genuinely sophisticated, without taking away from its basic ketchupness.

How long before this gets politicized by both ends of the spectrum, with Occupy Ketchup protesters decrying the "Condiment for the One Percent" on one side, and Fox & Friends devoting entire segments to "President Balsamic Obama and his high-falutin' catsup tastes" on the other? [NYT, Photo via Heinz Ketchup/Facebook]