Sustainable Table: Red Duck Ketchup

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Ketchup is a classic condiment. Chances are, you have a bottle or two in your fridge. But it’s probably the traditional tomato type.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the site, “Kickstarter.” It’s where people can donate to companies and ideas we feel are worthy. One of those ideas is pretty saucy and it’s fundraising ends Friday. The Oregon company hopes you can help give Red Duck ketchup a kick.

“We were talking about a school project and having tots and dipping them in ketchup and we kind of realized ketchup was just boring,” explains Co-Founder Shannon Oliver.

That’s when four University of Oregon graduate students had an idea. Why not spice up those flavors?

“We spent many hours in Karen’s kitchen, making more than 20 different flavor profiles,” she says. “We did some Asian spices, we did Indian spices. The three we came up with were the ones that across the board people just really, really liked the most.”

Those are classic, spicy & curry.

“It has a little bit of sweet and a little smoky to it. It’s spicy, it definitely is. It’s great on stir fry and scrambled eggs, you name it.”

The ingredients are simple and clean.

“Everything except for the vinegar is organic,” Shannon says. “We use organic tomato paste, organic spices, most of which come from mountain rose herbs, sea salt.”

But mixing the ketchup can get a little messy. The spices are carefully measured as these condiment cooks follow the recipes meticulously. Once blended, the ketchup lands on the stove where it’s cooked to perfection.

Hours later, it’s poured into the jars, labeled and ready for the shelves at just a few locations. But this is just the beginning.

“Ultimately, we’d like to move up and down the West Coast, throughout Oregon up into the Pacific Northwest into Washington, Northern California …then, ideally, we can at that point go national.”