For the first time ever, the Hellmann's mayonnaise company has released ketchup.
Listen, I have never been much of a breakfast person. I’m more of a sleep-in-as-long-as-I can type person. My breakfast typically consists of a latte with soy milk, and sometimes cereal or a toasted bagel with butter while sitting at my desk, if I’m really on top of my game. Unless it’s the weekend, I don’t spring for a full egg, sausage, and breakfast potatoes meal. Then, Hellmann’s—the famous mayonnaise manufacturer—announced that it would, for the first time in the company’s history, release its own take on ketchup, sweetened not with sugar, but with honey. I knew I had to try it.
When I was a kid, I covered everything I could in ketchup—even rice sometimes. I was a picky eater back then, especially when it came to the most important meal of the day, and ketchup soaked all my food in a sugary glaze that met my approval. In adulthood, I'm much more liberal about what I eat, but I still believe that ketchup is an underappreciated breakfast companion. People see ketchup and think of burgers and French fries, but they should think of eggs and home fries more often. That’s why I decided to test Hellmann’s ketchup out on a well-rounded breakfast of scrambled eggs, home fries, and sausage links.
I dipped the eggs into the ketchup first, followed by the potatoes. At first, the Hellman’s ketchup tastes exactly like regular ketchup, but after a few more bites, a subtle honey taste started to form on my palette. The honey flavor is distinct and adds a pleasant sweetness to each salty, savory bite. Where the ketchup really shined though, was on the slightly greasy pork sausage links.
When I was a kid, one of the constants in my father’s freezer were those microwaveable Jimmy Dean maple breakfast sausages. The sweetness of the artificial maple syrup flavoring made breakfast more bearable. The honey in Hellmann’s ketchup is a modern version that flavor combination. The peppery, fatty sausage gets a slight kick from the honey—and it tastes really, really good. Good enough that I—an avowed breakfast denier—actually finished everything on my plate (well, Styrofoam container, in this case).
What made the Hellmann’s ketchup work for me is that it still retains that synthetic tomato flavor that induces so much nostalgia for my childhood meals. The touch of honey elevates this new version, but what brings it down the Earth is the taste of being a kid. So if you're anything like me, and just can't get behind a big breakfast, this even sweeter version of regular ketchup might just be the thing that finally makes you a convert.