Saturday, September 17, 2011

Meddle not in the affairs of the dragon; for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

Ketchup . . . Catsup . . . confused?

Ketchup is a condiment . . . that we all know.  Except did you know that it wasn’t originally tomato based?  That and the word ketchup has its roots in Chinese . . . I’ll bet you didn’t know that!  From as far back as the 1700’s, it was found in the Far East.  Except there it was originally a spicy pickled fish sauce or a soy sauce called ke-tsiap or kecap.  Kecap . . . morphed . . . ketchup.

Catsup (or catchup) is an Anglicized version of the word ketchup . . . same stuff, different word.  Mystery solved.

Early ketchups were all dipping sauces.  Most included mushrooms, walnuts or anchovies as a base instead of tomatoes . . . plus other spices.  Not quite what most of us have in our refrigerators today.  That wasn’t introduced until about 100 years later in America by none other than crafty New Englanders.  And even then it wasn’t the popular condiment it is today.  It took a while to gain popularity. 

You wonder why you can’t find ketchup in most European dining establishments?  That’s because it’s an American thing.  So if you travel abroad . . . bring your own.

It wasn’t until Henry J. Heinz began making ketchup in the late 19th century that it started to catch up.  He had to compete with a whole slew of others to make ketchup one of the most common condiments in American kitchens today.

Heinz Ketchup vied for tomato-ee domination against Del Monte & Hunts Catsup.   In wasn’t until the 1980's when ketchup was declared a vegetable by the government for school lunch menus that ketchup won out over catsup.   Catsup, because of its spelling, was not on the approved list.  Heinz won! 

I know people who put ketchup on everything they eat . . . and I mean everything . . . it’s really a bit much and I’m sure it’s insulting to whoever does the cooking for them.

Ketchup goes well with lots of foods.  Just not every food.  

Make sure to shake your ketchup bottle before using to avoid the inevitable flow of liquid that settles on the top.

Did you know there’s a whole phychology around who eats ketchup and how? There’re dippers and squirters, to sprinklers and smotherers.  Really . . . you can’t make this stuff up!

The sauciology is as follows:

1. Those who dunk into a well of ketchup are methodical and trustworthy. But they may also be control freaks who are afraid of change.

2. Ambitious people splodge their sauce in the middle of their food.

3. Creative types squirt and swirl their sauce in thin lines. But deep down they are impatient and do not tolerate fools or timewasting.

4. Those who dot their ketchup are friendly, but live conservatively and dream of adventure holidays.

5. Smotherers are the life and soul of the party.

6. Artists who draw faces and words on their food have an easy-going approach to life.

7. Gourmets who keep ketchup in a cruet appear charming but, deep down, may be snobbish social charmers.

1 comment:

  1. Lenny ... I watched the video...1:39 of my life I will never get back. Also I am one of those people that can put Ketchup on everything and I am a smotherer....Bet you knew that already....LOL!!!

    Virginia ... love the sauciology . I'm all but the smotherer or gourmet, depending on what I'm eating and if (and what kind) of utensils I have. Maybe that makes me an 'analytical sauciologist'? or just anal.