Everything old is new again

Messing with perfection is a tricky business at the best of times, but when you’re playing with people’s favourite brands you run the risk of ruining years of food magic. That, of course, doesn’t stop multinationals exploiting the heritage of brands by constantly introducing new variations.

Some are good and others not so, but I can’t resist trying them.

Heinz Tomato Ketchup with Indian spices

I am enthusiastically unapologetic about my love of Heinz Tomato Ketchup and have yet to find any tomato sauce that even comes close to the unctuous umami in a bottle that Heinz have managed to distil.

Until now, that is.

Some would argue it’s basically the same sauce and therefore will be no surprise that I would champion it. To those I say ‘piffle’ and ‘tosh’, because the addition of (magical) Indian spices, gold cap, foil trimmed orange label and reassuringly retro-sized glass bottle, makes the world of difference.

One dollop transports you to a time of Wodehouse and Wiff-Waff, of gentleman’s clubs and gentlemen’s gentlemen.

And whilst it won’t replace ‘regular’ TK in my affections it provides the nicest of condiment holidays, so buy in haste and sauce at your leisure.

Caramel [two-bar] KitKat

Since acquiring Rowntree Mackintosh, Nestlé have been busy ringing the changes with the UK’s favourite chocolate bars, and many flavours and varieties have come and gone.

Life has never really been the same since they ‘improved’ the Smarties tube, taking the rounded, sturdy, letter-topped tube and replacing it with a hexagonal shadow of its former self.

Despite the halcyon days of paper sleeves and foil-thumbnail-scoring disappearing from the four-bar Kit Kat, they live on in the two-bar (multipack) varieties – including the latest caramel incarnation.

Being a big fan of all things caramel but perennially disappointed with Kit Kat’s attempts at utilising it – I pounced on this multipack with some trepidation.

When it said caramel flavoured I foolishly presumed it was referring to the sweet tasting concoction created when sugar is cooked to a beautiful gold colour. What they have obviously done is scraped all the black, burnt bits from the bottom of the pan.

There is a wholly unpleasant bitterness, coupled with a weird aftertaste – possibly the worst Kit Kat I have ever tasted.