Ahhh, ketchup. It’s the perfect partner to fries, burgers, hot-dogs… but it’s usually tomato. And it’s usually Heinz… So what if I told you that you could swap your usual red sauce for a saucy yellow number? I’m talking about… banana ketchup. Yes, as in, ketchup made from bananas.
But before you raise an eyebrow, let me tell you that “banana sauce” is actually very popular in the Philippines and the Caribbean. It’s used in a similar way to regular tomato ketchup; in fact, in the Philippines they even dye it red to look like regular ketchup!
Banana ketchup is great as a dip or as a marinade and goes well with usual burgers and fries, in addition to everything from sweet potato fries to omelettes. It also makes a tasty salad dressing…
But what makes Top Banana Ketchup particularly special is that it’s made from surplus bananas that would have otherwise gone to waste.
That’s because Rubies in the Rubble, the sponsors of this review, are real food rescue heroes.
They’re rescuing fruit in a pickle!
They’re fighting food waste with relish!
It’s true – I got the information from a reliable sauce.
Okay I’ll stop now.
Bananas are the most wasted fruit in the UK; in fact, WRAP estimate that we bin 1.4 million bananas every single day in the UK alone. However, there are many more that don’t even make it to our shelves because they’re too ripe or, perhaps, a little bit wonky. And these are the bananas that Rubies in the Rubble rescue for their Top Banana Ketchup. Each bottle contains 2 rescued bananas and is handmade here in the UK.
So that’s all well and good, but how does it taste?
Well, it should come as no surprise that it tastes like bananas, but the sweetness is complemented well by the malt vinegar and spices.
It’s unusual, but in a good way.
And if you consider that our typical beloved ketchup is made from tomatoes (which are technically a fruit), sugar, vinegar and spices, the idea of using bananas, sugar, vinegar and spices isn’t really that ‘out-there’…
That’s another thing I like about this product actually – you don’t need a degree in chemistry to understand the ingredients list. It’s just banana (64%), sugar, malt vinegar, ginger, turmeric, salt, garlic and chilli. That is all.
From a flavour perspective, I’m not sure the added sugar is necessary, but I imagine that the purpose of it is to act as a preservative.
Also, just a quick note to say that as this product contains malt vinegar, it is not suitable for coeliacs. But the good news is that it is suitable for both vegans and vegetarians!
My favourite thing to eat with this ketchup is sweet potato fries, with some fried onions and crispy banana peels on the side. But it’s also really good with burgers. So if you’ve got a burger and some sweet potato fries, you’re onto a winner!
Finally, price… the price of Top Banana ranges from £2.99 – £3.50 for 274g making it much more expensive than a typical 460g bottle of Heinz tomato ketchup which is usually around £1.50. However, this is a premium product, made and packaged by hand here in the UK, so it’s unsurprising that it costs a little more than a mass-produced product from one of the largest food companies in the world.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this product, though I recognise that some people may find banana ketchup a little too unusual for their own personal tastes. But as the saying goes… don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!
And if you would like to try Top Banana or any other of Rubies’ ketchups and relishes, their products available directly from their online shop, online at Ocado or in stores at Waitrose, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Fortnum & Mason.
NB: This review was sponsored by Rubies in the Rubble; however, as always, all views are my own.