Ketchup vs. Salsa

“You know salsa is the number one condiment in America right now” – George Costanza said it. The USDA said it. But there are still plenty of people disputing the results.

Here is some information that will help you decide for yourself. We compared a popular name-brand ketchup with Ortega’s Original Salsa.

1. Ingredients

Ketchup Salsa
Tomato concentrate from red ripe tomatoes, distilled vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, salt, spice, onion powder, natural flavoring Diced Tomatoes (Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Citric Acid), Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste), Onions, Red Bell Peppers, Green Bell Peppers, Chili Pepper Puree (Chili Peppers, Vinegar, Salt), Jalapeno Peppers, Salt, Garlic, Sugar, Cilantro, Citric Acid, Concentrated Lime Juice, Natural Flavor, Chipotle Pepper Puree (Chipotle Peppers, Water, Citric Acid), Spices.

Just looking at the table above, you infer that salsa has more flavor to it because more foods go into it. Plus, as an added bonus, there’s no high fructose syrup in salsa (not Ortega salsa, anyway).

2. Calories and Nutritional Info

These numbers are not too different, but they may still figure into your decision, so were comparing them for you. The amounts are based on one tablespoon of each product. 

  Ketchup Salsa
Calories 20 5
Fat, g 0 0
Sodium, mg 160 120
Sugar, g 4 0.5

3. Versatility

As one commenter replied to the Wall Street Journal article

Ketchup vs. Salsa: By the Numbers, “Which would I show up with in hand at a party? How often do you sit down with a pile of fries and ketchup vs how often do you sit down with chips and salsa?”

Good point.

Don’t get us wrong. Ketchup has its place. It’s the perfect condiment for french fries. It’s delicious on hamburgers too—but then, so is salsa. And salsa adds much more flavor to dishes because there are so many different ingredients in it. There is ketchup blended with jalapeno, but, really, it’s not the same as salsa.

4. Taste

In our eyes, salsa tastes best—it’s no contest. Every person has their own likes and dislikes, though, so this category is totally up to you.

Which one do you prefer—ketchup or salsa?