When I eat a hamburger you can bet there is ketchup on the table. I’m an absolute cretin who will order a burger, squirt a puddle of ketchup on the plate, then proceed to dip my burger and replenish the puddle until I’m sated. In my defense I won’t order a burger at a fancy restaurant with perfectly balanced flavors and no salt on the table. I’m ordering my burgers at the local pub, making them at home, or if that guy I like and I are in a particular mood, going through the eeeeeviiiillll *scowling jazzhands* fast food drive thru.
As I see it the hamburger is the thesis and the ketchup is the antithesis, it is only with both that you can achieve the perfect synthesis of juicy, tangy, greasy, meaty, and crisp. Imagine you are eating a burger. The grease coats your tongue, the onion pops with its sulfuric hit, pickles explode with tanginess, tomatoes burst forth aqueous and cold, he crunch of lettuce snaps you out of the reverie of flavors, and ketchup and mustard come through every once in a while to wipe the palate clear to allow the process to begin again. Sounds pretty amazing, right? But the truth is there’s hardly ever enough of that palate cleanser. What if you started each bite with a protective layer of tangy sweet ketchup? That is the reasoning behind ketchup dipping. Ketchup eases you into the flavor bomb lurking in the rest of the burger.
That’s why I was so incensed when I saw what Plan Check is doing with their Umami Burger. That thing on the baking tray, which they then cut into squares and put on the burger is ketchup leather. No, just no. When dried, ketchup loses its thixotropic nature, which is the thing that makes it a perfect dippable palate cleanser while eating burgers. I maintain that a burger such as this may be wonderful, but it cannot reach the perfect synthesis without a ketchup dip to accompany it.
Non-Newtonian ketchup is needed to create the perfect Hegelian dialectic of flavors. I reject ketchup leather.