Tomato sauce, often referred to simply as ‘sauce’, is a staple part of any savoury diet. From meat pies to vegetables, and even adding a bit of flavour to bland pasta dishes, tomato sauce is one of the most versatile sauces known to man. However, just because the term ‘tomato sauce’ is thrown around so casually doesn’t mean that there isn’t diversity in the types of tomato sauce out there.
I’ve decided to take a closer look at the shelves of our supermarkets to give you a better idea of the diversity within the tomato sauce family, and how to tell them apart.
Watties Tomato Sauce
Watties’ Kiwi style advertising has secured their tomato sauce as the standard sauce in New Zealand family homes. It has a familiar taste with a mild tomato flavour that is fresh, but without being too exotic. It’s the basic tomato sauce flavour. I don’t know, you try describing the taste of a tomato sauce without saying ‘it tastes like tomato’. It’s tricky! Anyway, this is your typical middle class tomato sauce, and if you’re getting served anything below this standard, you should probably be offended.
Heinz Tomato Ketchup
Now I used to think that the terms ‘tomato sauce’ and ‘ketchup’ were interchangeable, but I now know better. At least with Heinz, tomato ketchup is a richer tomato sauce, with a bit of a tang to it, and is often a darker red tone. It is the rich cousin of Watties Tomato Sauce, and can therefore be considered slightly fancier. If someone is giving you this stuff, it probably means they like you. Also comes in an organic version for suckers, which costs more for what probably tastes exactly the same.
This is a sauce made by New Zealand beer brewery Tui, and as the name suggests, has an aftertaste of Tui beer. Also suggested by the name, this sauce is aimed at males, taking a heartier home-style approach, with garlic and onion flavours, as if a man was cooking his woman something special by throwing a few things together that he found outside. However, just as it can get tiring being a man walking around with your chest puffed up all the time, I find that I quickly grow tiresome of the beer aftertaste. It tastes good on pies, and maybe good on mashed potatoes, but after a while, it becomes like having a beer with every meal. It’s like when you’re at a barbeque, and there’s a guy continuously pouring beer all over the steaks, as if it’ll make them manlier. That guy probably even waters his garden with beer. Actually, he probably doesn’t have a garden, because he thinks gardens are for girls, and that’s fair enough.
Whitlock’s Tomato Chutney
When you were younger, you might have tasted a special type of tomato sauce that had a bit more of a gluggy consistency to it, and a bit of a pink hue. Perhaps you tasted this mystery sauce at a sausage sizzle, or on fries at a school gala, and you thought to yourself, ‘I will not sleep until I find out what this stuff is, and where to buy it’. I know I did, and now I can happily and sleepily tell you that stuff is Whitlock’s Tomato Chutney, and it also comes in big bulk containers. This sauce has more of a sweet flavour to it, with notes of apple. To be honest, I don’t know what ‘notes of apple’ means, and I was just trying to sound classy, but it says on the back label that there’s more apple puree in this sauce than there is tomatoes. This stuff is the true home-style sauce for barbeques and fries. I don’t know who has been keeping the identity of this sauce secret for so long, but he probably should be tried for crimes against humanity. This is one of the greatest cover-ups of all time.
‘I Love Sauce’ Real Tomato Sauce
This all natural handmade tomato sauce from the makers of the ‘I Love Pies’ pie range costs around $7 for 300ml. Needless to say, I haven’t tried it yet, but am saving up my pocket money to buy it within the next ten years.