Ketchup is a kind of thick, liquid sauce.
It is a sweet and tangy sauce now made from tomatoes, sugar, and vinegar, with seasonings and spices.
Tomato ketchup is most often used as a condiment to dishes that are usually served hot and may be fried or greasy: french fries, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken tenders, tater tots, hot sandwiches, meat pies, cooked eggs, and grilled or fried meat.
Ketchup is sometimes used as the basis for, or as one ingredient in, other sauces and dressings, and the flavor may be replicated as an additive flavoring for snacks, such as potato chips.
In the 17th century, the Chinese mixed pickled fish and spices and called it kôe-chiap or kê-chiap meaning the brine of pickled fish or shellfish.
From China, it traveled to Malaysia and Singapore. Here, 17th century English sailors discovered the delights of this Chinese seasoning and brought it west where cooks tried to replicate the dark sauce.
English cooks attempted to duplicate the spicy sauce, but without access to some of the exotic Asian ingredients, they improvised with cucumbers, mushrooms, nuts, oysters, and other variants.
The 18th century was a golden age for ketchup. Cookbooks featured recipes for ketchups made of oysters, mussels, mushrooms, walnuts, lemons, celery and even fruits like plums and peaches.
Finally, in 1812, the first recipe for tomato-based ketchup debuted. James Mease, a Philadelphia scientist, is credited with developing the recipe. His recipe contained tomato pulp, spices, and brandy but lacked vinegar and sugar.
Since tomato-growing season was short, makers of ketchup had to solve the problem of preserving tomato pulp year round. Some producers handled and stored the product so poorly that the resulting sauce contained contaminants like bacteria, spores, yeast, and mold.
H.J. Heinz Co. developed one of the first leading brands of mass-marketed ketchup in 1869. The classic narrow-neck design of the Heinz ketchup bottle established the norm for the industry. The narrow-neck bottle simplified pouring the ketchup and minimized contact with air, which could darken the sauce. Glass was an ideal container because it was inert and did not react with the ketchup, and the clear glass allowed the consumer to see the product.
Today, Heinz is the best-selling brand of ketchup in the United States, with more than 650 million bottles sold each year.
Heinz have about 60% market share in the United States and 82% in United Kingdom. Hunt’s has the second biggest share of the US market with less than 20%.
Ketchup can be found in 97% of American households.
Ketchup is the most popular sauce in the world, followed by mayo.
The various brands of ketchup have slightly different formulas, which vary primarily in the amounts of spices or flavorings.
The word “fancy” in “fancy ketchup” refers its higher specific gravity in comparison to “standard ketchup.”
Ketchup and catsup are the same thing. They simply have different spellings.
A bottle of Heinz Tomato Ketchup, which features Ed Sheeran’s infamous Heinz tattoo, sold for £1,500 at Christie’s Auction House London, setting what the company believes is a world record.
The World’s Largest Catsup Bottle® stands proudly next to Route 159, just south of downtown Collinsville, Illinois. This unique 52 meters (170 feet) tall water tower was built in 1949 by the W.E. Caldwell Company for the G.S. Suppiger catsup bottling plant – bottlers of Brooks old original rich & tangy catsup.
The fastest time to drink a bottle of ketchup is 17,53 seconds and was achieved by André Ortolf (Germany), in Augsburg, Germany, on 30 November 2017. To achieve the record, André had to drink at least 396 g of ketchup.
In the United States, June 5th is celebrated as National Ketchup Day.