Ketchup—one of America’s most beloved condiments. It can be found on the table at a five-star steakhouse or in a squirt bottle at your favorite street cart, ready to douse your fries and dubious street meat even in your fridge at home. But is there a way to make this popular staple even better? That’s where Andy Blackman comes in. Have a spritz of NY Chup.
For the past few years, Blackman has been working to update and build a brand of ketchup that’s as unusual as it is delicious. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and veteran of 25 years in restaurant kitchens, he got the idea for NY Chup because he didn’t see a lot of other people making small-batch ketchup in New York “and there was no one making good flavors.”
He set out to stake a claim in the market with innovative flavor combinations and dedication to using local ingredients whenever possible, as well as skipping the high-fructose corn syrup found in the major brands.
He starts with a puréed tomato base then adds freshly toasted ground spices, along with a variety of chilies and herbs to make his untraditional variations. “It’s just what chefs do,” he says when asked about the inspiration for the unusual flavors. “I work with what’s in season and what’s available in the market.”
NY Chup sells four flavors: classic, bacon, cilantro lime, and spicy habanero, all of which are delicious additions to traditional ketchup-friendly foods. But Blackman says there’s so much more than just putting his ketchup on a burger: “You can use NY Chup like you would regular ketchup, and on a burger, it makes it sing. But I’m inspired to use them in unusual ways.” He recently made a corn-tomato salsa with a mix of his cilantro-lime and spicy habanero flavors, and he said it’s great to use for cooking brisket, making a stew or homemade BBQ sauce.
As for his location in the Bronx, Blackman is excited to work with a vast community of entrepreneurs, many of whom work out of the WHEDco space, who are trying to build a name for themselves. He’s excited to see his business grow each year; they’ve increased production and sales each year and have been receiving more store orders as well. He sells his products at the local farmers markets and loves chatting with people about his product. He’s also excited that a few local stores, namely Mrs. Green’s, have started to place larger orders for his products.
If you want to snag a bottle of NY Chup, you can find it in the Bronx at a variety of farmers markets and fine-food stores. Upcoming locations are posted at NYChup.com.