Fried Chicken is a dish loved and eaten by Belizeans all over the country. And, without fail, it is served with that king of condiments, the dipping sauce supreme: ketchup. But there is something special about the ketchup that the Chinese serve with fried chicken in Belize.

It has a unique taste - which seems to fall somewhere between traditional ketchup, and maybe...Red Fanta? We investigated and found out that what we call ketchup is actually something else - kind of like a distant relative. Sahar Vasquez found out more:

Sahar Vasquez reporting
For many Belizeans, after a long hard day of work, there is nothing more satisfying to a hungry stomach than a hot plate of fried chicken from that favourite chicken joint.

Even though restaurants have different recipes and secrets that make their chicken unique the one thing they all have in common is ketchup.

Yes, we are talking about that sweet and smooth ketchup that is so artfully squirted on to your freshly fried chicken.

Many refer to it as "Chiny Ketchup" but the product is actually named "Salsa Dulce" which literally means sweet sauce - and for Belizeans, this is more than a guilty pleasure it is a necessity when it comes to our beloved fry chicken.

Sahar Vasquez, reporter
"Do you like the ketchup that is served with your food?"

Interviewee
"Yes ma'am."

Sahar Vasquez, reporter
"Do you know there are two different kind of ketchup right? They have the more sour lumpy kind and then they have this sweet smooth kind. Which do you prefer?"

Interviewee
"I prefer the smooth sweet kind."

Sahar Vasquez
"Compared to other kinds of ketchup that are lumpy and sour, what do you like more about this one?"

Interviewee 2
"It kinda sweet."

Sahar Vasquez
"Let me ask you a question, what do you think of the ketchup they served?"

Interviewee 3
"It tastes very good."

Sahar Vasquez
"Why do you think it's good?"

Interviewee 3
"It's sweet and it has all the flavors I need."

Sahar Vasquez
"What do you think of the ketchup they served with the chicken? Do you like it? Do you think it makes your chicken nicer?"

Interviewee 4
"I personally like it."

Sahar Vasquez
"Why though?"

Interviewee 4
"Just the taste and the flavor, it's sweetish...."

Sahar Vasquez
"You like the ketchup that comes with your chicken?"

Interviewee 5
"Yes ma'am. It doesn't smell wrenk and it tastes better."

But where does the sweet tasting ketchup actually come from? Well to our surprise we found out that it is not made in Belize.

Sahar Vasquez
"So the ketchup comes from Guatemala?"

Karina Levia, General Manager at Chon Saan
"This is imported from Guatemala."

Sahar Vasquez
"So you guys import it in the bag like this?"

Karina Levia, General Manager at Chon Saan
"No, we don't buy it from the import place. We get it through Belizean Wholesale."

Sahar Vasquez
"In terms of the price is it very expensive to get this ketchup?"

Karina Levia, General Manager at Chon Saan
"No no, it is not that expensive. Maybe in the bag, it would be $15 or less."

At Chon Saan, they serve the Salsa Dulce ketchup with takeout orders but in the restaurant the thicker, less sweet Del Monte ketchup is served. But for many customers, the Del Monte just can't do justice to their food.

General Manager Levia says that customers still ask for their favourite ketchup to compliment not just fry chicken but fry rice and even dumplings.

Karina Levia, General Manager at Chon Saan
"It is very sweet. As you know Belizean like their ketchup. A lot of ketchup. They always ask for the container ketchup instead of the packet ketchup because I think it is nicer than the packet one."

Sahar Vasquez
"So this doesn't go on the table right?"

Karina Levia
"No no. We prefer this other ketchup here."

Sahar Vasquez
"But then do people still go and request the other ketchup?"

Karina Levia
"Yes, they want the take-out ketchup, the sweeter one, the "Chiny" ketchup as people call it."

And, so, now, the mystery is unmasked - that ketchup you crave is not ketchup at all but "Salsa Dulce".

Salsa Dulce is only available for sale in the bag at some wholesale stores.

Channel 7