Ah, ketchup, that hearty dose of Americana, as red as the red in our flag. Ketchup is a condiment without which our fries would be featureless, our hot dogs would be less controversial, and our memories of the 2000 versions that were blue merely psychotic fantasies.
Yet there’s a dark secret at the deep crimson heart of our prime tomato spread: It sometimes makes burgers super soggy. We’ve all had the experience of picking up a burger to go, then getting home to find it sogged-through, leaking watery redness and killing the perfect temperature.
At Plan Check, a superior burger joint in Los Angeles’ South Fairfax neighborhood, Chef Ernesto Uchimuro has solved the issue of our soggy buns once and for all with an ingenious invention: ketchup leather. This dehydrated version of the popular condiment is slapped on the hot burger, which quickly rehydrates the tomatoes to give you that familiar ketchup kick without the layers of moisture that cause burger-swampiness to occur.
In this awesome video by FoodSteez, you can catch sight of ketchup leather. The accompanying note admits that the reviewer was initially skeptical, saying it “frankly looked like a fruit roll-up,” but was soon won over by its deliciousness.
Intrigued by this amazing invention of food science but can’t make it to Los Angeles? Well, guess what, Chef Internet has come to the rescue: There are already recipes for ketchup leather online. According to Hayley Duff’s Real Girl Kitchen, all you need to do is spread ketchup on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and non-stick spray, then pop in the oven for a few hours to dehydrate the sauce. Other recipes suggest using tomato sauce or paste for more flavor. Throw in herbs! Make a secret-sauce leather combo! Try it with mustard, mayo, or ranch dressing (disclaimer: we have no idea if any of this would work). Like all frontiers of science, the possibilities are endless!
(Image via YouTube.)