The Reason Kit Kats And Ketchup Work Unexpectedly Well Together

We'd never yuck someone else's yum, especially since even some of the strangest food combinations can have our taste buds singing. In a viral TikTok trend, people have been putting ketchup on Kit Kats. Though you may have made a face at the thought of this seemingly cursed combination, the pairing might actually not be such a bad idea. In fact, TikTok user @onebigpike was giddy over their newfound favorite snack. When dissecting the base flavors of ketchup and chocolate, this joyful reaction actually makes a lot of sense.

Ketchup is packed with umami, or savory flavor, which is one of the five basic tastes that we can detect in food. Umami can pair well with many flavors, which may be one reason ketchup has become a standard condiment. Chocolate consists of two other basic tastes: bitter and sweet. There are some pretty famous pairings between umami foods and those that have bitter and sweet qualities. Cheese and wine is a timeless example of this. Another of these mashups is pineapple on pizza, which more people love than you may think.

We don't see ketchup-covered Kit Kats becoming the next pineapple-on-pizza sensation. Granted, Japanese Kit Kat flavors have been known to lean into the unexpected. Considering the potential for greatness that their umami-and-sweet flavor combination has, we nominate a ketchup-inspired Kit Kat as the candy company's next rollout.

Chocolate and ketchup are a controversial pair

It's true that chocolate and ketchup have base flavors that have seen success when paired, but that does little to combat a first impression. That face you may have pulled when picturing a ketchup-coated Kit Kat seems semi-universal. Videos of the aforementioned TikTok trend are full of commenters expressing negative, visceral reactions to the idea. Some taste-testers agree the flavor combo isn't for them. However, we're willing to bet that quite a few commenters would be converts if they were to actually try the mashup. Check out @onebigpike's original video below, where their doubt is transformed to delight upon trying the controversial food combination:


Reply to @charles_tngtd so damn tasty. #weirdfoodcombo #yum

♬ original sound – Onebigpikey

As unexpected as the pairing is, there's nothing new about such unlikely combinations. Ketchup-flavored snacks have been around for a while, with brands having taken advantage of people's adoration for the condiment. We've seen potato chips and sunflower seeds with ketchup variations, and Heinz even released a special ketchup-flavored chocolate truffle. Oddly enough, those truffles had a similarly mixed reaction from tasters. This initial, strong adverse reaction to a combination that a lot of people end up really loving adds new weight to the old saying, "Don't knock it 'til you try it!"