The Fancy Food Show is still a few days away, but Skillet's latest condiment is already making a splash in culinary circles.
Good Morning America's Sara Moulton, one of the few non-Skillet staffers to have sampled pumpkin ketchup, included the spread among her "top picks" in a preview of the annual expo.
"Lots of pumpkin is going to hit the shelves of your supermarket, and I'm not talking just pie here," Moulton writes, naming Skillet's ketchup and a chipotle pumpkin salsa from Rick Bayless as the best pumpkin concoctions at the show.
Skillet is among 2400 food producers exhibiting at the show, which draws more than 18,000 food buyers keen to find the next edible trend.
Skillet chef/owner Josh Henderson hopes to replicate his bacon jam's success with the autumnal ketchup, which will allow the restaurant to add a seasonal dimension to its growing prepared foods line. Henderson is also toying with a bourbon apple jam for Christmas. "As a brand, we need to develop interest through the seasons," Henderson says.
No matter how the ketchup fares at the Fancy Food Show, it will be available from late September through December at Skillet's fixed and mobile locations, and wherever Skillet's bacon jam is sold. "We're going to do a fall release with Oregon pumpkins," Henderson says.
While fries are the obvious delivery mechanism for pumpkin ketchup, Henderson says the condiment can be substituted for tomato ketchup in most any recipe. "It has a similar affect to ketchup, but a front nuance of pumpkin with cloves and spice," Henderson says. "It's a little bit unique and different. It's a Northwest thing."
Henderson is readying to make a batch to bring to the Washington, D.C. show, which gets started on Sunday. "It will be interesting to see what happens," he says. "I don't expect to build a pumpkin-ketchup empire."