You can learn a lot about the condiments in your refrigerator and at your typical ballpark by talking with Abe Kamarck, the founder of True Made Foods, the official condiment supplier to our Washington Nationals. True Made supplies ketchup, mustards, and BBQ sauces for the Nats, plus they have other condiments like sriracha that is not at the ballpark. What we discovered on reading labels with Kamarck is that most of his competitors load their condiments with sugars which are kind of unknown to those who load up their burgers and hot dogs with the big brand condiments.
Each of the popular brands of ketchup have more sugar per ounce than ice cream, and most BBQ sauces have more sugar per serving than a glazed donut! This poses a huge problem for many families, and True Made adds no sugars to their products. Upon my own taste test with spoons of different brands, you get a good idea about the products on the market. I put True Made’s ketchup on a burger, and was pleased with the taste and wouldn’t even know it that I substituted out my regular brand. Into the trash can went the old, and in with True Made in my refrigerator.
Sure, there was a big ketchup controversy on Twitter with Troy Chewning, a popular Nats fan, who we follow on social media. The hubbub was focused on the ketchup at Nats Park from the popular brand from years past to the new True Made ketchup. What Kamarck admitted, an early season batch, wasn’t as tasty as it should have been that was at the ballpark, and they have tightened up their quality controls, and since that point, Kamarck said the feedback has been good.
“I’m a dad of four kids and I’m trying to feed my kids healthy, and that was the inspiration to get True Made going,” Kamarck said. “Cut the sugar out and eat more veggies.”
Being a local company in the D.C. area, and veteran owned, it was interesting to learn that Kamarck served in the U.S. Navy as a helicopter pilot until 2008 and spent the next seven years as an entrepreneur in emerging markets, living across the globe before he moved back to the D.C. area and started his family and the company.
“I learned to cook at a very young age helping out in the kitchen with my Italian mother,” Kamarck said. “My mom always said only lazy Italians use sugar.”
It was his mother who inspired this ketchup from her pasta sauces that were tomato and veggie based and no added sugar, just natural sweetness from the vegetable ingredients. The company is just over six years old and the early days of True Made Foods was working on the recipes before they went to production four years ago. Today, the condiments are used in stadiums, schools and sold in about 5,000 stores nationwide including Whole Foods Market, Giant Food, Kroger, Safeway and Wegmans. The brand has a chance to expand to other products too, but salsa is not in the immediate plans Kamarck told me. They will be adding barbecue rubs to their product line.
“I have used my own young children as taste testers because they are the most honest about taste,” Kamarck said. “I felt nobody was trying to help families with healthier foods at parts of Americana at backyard barbecues and at the ballpark.”
True Made Foods is the official condiment supplier for the Red Sox in Fenway Park too. At Nationals Park, they integrated new, no-touch technology in their pumps, dishing out their veggie-sweetened condiments, ready for your burgers, hot dogs, fries, and chicken tenders!
If you want to shop online direct, here is their link!