REVIEW: UFC’s Banana Hot Sauce
This is not a product of the huge martial arts company, it actually is a Philippines’ company owned by the one and only H. J. Heinz Company most popularly known for their US condiments, particularly the most popular Ketchup in the world. This particular banana hot sauce was found at an International grocery store, and it led to one weird review. Please do not do this at home. I am joined by the official cartoonist for ILoveItSpicy.com, Sean Boley. Enjoy…
14 thoughts on “REVIEW: UFC’s Banana Hot Sauce”
I hope y’all enjoy the review more than what me & Buddah enjoyed the sauce. lol!
I actually have this sauce on my shelf in Louisiana. Have not used it, but it’s there.
so many words come to mind…
You guys are brave. When it starts looking a bit gelatinous I tend to get kind of shy. You guys were generous.
UFC is the Universal Foods Corporation, a subsidiary of H.J. Heinz and a part of NutriAsia which the UFC Banana Catsup (regular version) is (by far and away) the leading selling catsup in the Philippines (90+ million population).
Constructive criticism: it would help if the reviewers of future products knew what the local culture use of the product (where the reviewed product is produced) to understand the past and current cultural uses or historical adaptations of local ingredients/products so that the reviewers actually know what the product is used for.
During the Japanese occupation, the Philippines, as an American colony since the Spanish-American War in 1898-9, became dependent on American-produced condiments and all of the largest companies, i.e., Kraft, Coca-Cola, Heinz, Dole, etc. have significant market-share of the Philippines manufactured grocery products. Since no foodstuffs could enter the Philippines, the Filipinos used whatever local ingredients was available to substitute as best as they could the American products, thus the production of banana catsup—not tomato ketchup as we know it, but as was adopted due to the austere and deplorable conditions during WWII. In the Philippines, many manufactured sauce condiments are quite sweet.
Filipinos use an incredible amount of sugar (a cheap filler ingredient that attracts the sweet tooth) in many products, of which I personally do not care for, but banana catsup is incredibly popular in that country. The use of sugar makes the catsup, along with the banana as thickener, very thick and gelatinous as described. One primary use is as a condiment on meats (grilled on skewers and dipped in the sauce) mixed with Worcestershire sauce (also mixed with soy sauce or vinegar). And Banana Catsup is used as the primary condiment for Pinoy spaghetti sauce, completely replacing tomato sauce (just like catsup) which tomato products were non-existent during the Japanese occupation and which the Filipinos adopted, and adapted, products that are passed down in families.
Of course nowadays any tomato sauces can be purchased in the grocery stores, but a couple of generations have grown up with their local products and this is a VERY family-oriented Catholic country. Interestingly, the reviewers commented that the sauce tasted like salad dressing, which, when Filipinos mix with mayonnaise, is used as a salad/meat dressing in the Philippines.
The spiciness noted is from a small amount of the Chili Labuyo, from the Capsicum frutescen family (bird’s-eye, tabasco, peri-peri). NutriAsia (Heinz is a partner) owns some of the largest Philippine-produced product condiment brands: UFC, Jufran (which also has banana catsups), Papa (another brand that makes banana catsup), Mang Thomas, Datu Puti, etc. which various companies make a variety of liquid condiments including various brands of: (sugary-aweet) hot sauces, banana catsups, tomato sauces, sweet chili sauces (used for cooking or dipping and different from the “hot” sauces), white and cane vinegars, fish sauces, etc.
In my research after the fact- and mind you it was more for fun to try a banana hot sauce than to take it on seriously- I found out that Heinz is no longer in business with NutriAsia. Their partnership dissolved in 2006, and now use the Getz Bros as their distributor.
Not familiar with the Getz Bros. distributorship which chain store distributors are changed when products are not being aggressively placed and marketed in stores, but the manufacturing knowledge gained in partnering with Heinz was worth its weight in gold, not to mention their marketing expertise which helped NutriAsia to grow tremendously, along with all of their acquisitions.
Thanks Bruce. Sometimes you have to take one for the team.
I like Filipino food, especially Pancit Guisado but after watching that review I feel rather nauseous! Yuck!
Thanks for the histroy lesson, Chuck. That was some cool info!
I have a bottle of this that i recently picked up from an asian food store in cleveland. It is NOT gelatinous like what your “poured” from your bottle. It’s smooth like ketchup. It’s pretty much just sweet spicy ketchup made from bananas instead of tomatoes.
So we just got an old bottle perhaps. Either way, I do not believe I will be exploring this again. Thanks Steve for the info.
I have just bought a bottle in New Zealand. Checking on the web i found this review(?). What a load of rubbish the review(?) is. They hadn’t even read the label and no concept of what they had. i stopped listening after 3mins 25secs. The sauce is very well balanced flavours similar to tomato sauce but with character and certainly hot and spicy. I am pleased I bought it.
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