Playing Catch Up

Ben Drum struck culinary gold with Spiceitup!, the jalapeño ketchup he dreamed up after a pepper landed in a puddle of its plain-Jane cousin. It won awards, including a nod for Best New Condiment from D Magazine in 1995. The spice-loving Dallas crowd couldn’t get enough of it. But after problems with the IRS forced Drum to stop production a couple of years ago, the fiery ketchup stopped showing up on grocery store shelves. Before production ceased, however, Jack Keller heard the company was in trouble and stockpiled batches of the specialty ketchup. As a result, Keller’s Hamburgers is now the only place that carries Spiceitup! Keller says his customers gobble up the jalapeño version as much as the traditional, but there’s only about a three-month supply left. “I guess when it’s gone I could try to make something similar,” he says. “But I’m never gonna be able to duplicate what he’s got.”

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