Monday, 15 February 2016

Hastings Ketchup!?!

I'd never heard of it before, but a text message from Brigitte, an old friend, had me promising to take a bottle up to her and her husband's hotel/bar next time I visit. She had seen a television programme with celebrity chef James Martin using Hastings Lemon Ketchup, so I looked into where I could find some, and it wasn't easy. Indeed, I missed about 3 'brews' worth, as hundreds were seeking out Hastings Ketchup, I was told that a couple had come down from London just to buy some, but were unlucky! It can be bought in Hastings, eg at Penbuckles in the High Street, or at Rock a Nore Fisheries, though today is announced on Amazon as being sold out! But I now have a couple of bottles...   

Graham Ainsley, the local resident behind Hastings Ketchup Company, explains why he developed the condiment in 2013, I was having local fish and chips with my sons and I really fancied lemon with it. I asked the guy in the shop if he had any lemon ketchup and he replied ‘it doesn’t exist’, and it gave me the idea that I could do it myself.”

A mixture of lemons and root ginger, blended with spices, Graham admits there can be misconceptions about the sauce. People expect it to be sweet or like a lemon curd but it isn’t as the spices add something different to it. I love lemons and wanted it to taste of lemons, but the mix of spice and ginger adds a nice taste dimension.

Apparently, it can work well with many dishes, as well as with fish & chips, including fish and chicken dishes, spinach soup, halloumi, and with vegetables as an accompaniment, but I'll let Brigitte's husband serve up my first meal with it, as he is a chef, cheers Tom!   

Hastings Ketchup Company website.

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