Today when we hear the word "ketchup" we think of the tomato paste made famous by Heinz. But did you know that ketchup was originally made out of all kinds of things, not just tomatoes, and dates all the way back to ancient times?
Photo by: A.Minkowiski
CC BY-SA 3.0
Ketchup is a type of sauce that packs a lot of flavor-or at least salt-that can be easily stored and added to foods to increase the enjoyment of said foods. While ketchup is considered highly "American", it actually originated in southern China. Texts dating back as far as 300 B.C. contain references to pastes made from various things, particularly fermented fish entrails. They called this fish sauce "ge-thcup". It became popular because it could be made from various ingredients such as soybeans or meat by-products, and it stored well for long sea journeys. The popularity spread through the trade routes and eventually ended up in Britain.
The golden age for ketchup began in the 18th century. Cooks began experimenting with the genre of sauces and created all manner of recipes. Some used anchovies, others used mushrooms, or vinegar, cloves, horseradish...the list is pretty much endless. However none of them were made from tomatoes, since during those years many believed tomatoes to be poisonous.
Fun Fact: Reportedly, Jane Austen's favorite ketchup was mushroom based.
|Photo by: SunOfErat|
CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
In 1876, Heinz introduced his recipe of tomato ketchup to the market, but it took almost 30 years for them to rise to the top of the pack. Today, Heinz ketchup is the most popular brand of tomato ketchup sold in both the United States and Great Britain.
You'll find tomato ketchup in 97% of homes in the United States.
What is your favorite way to consume tomato ketchup?
She lives near the Ozarks in her "casita" with her prince charming. Between enjoying life as a new mom, and spinning stories out of soap bubbles, Amber loves to connect with readers and hang out on Goodreads with other bookish peoples.
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