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Ketchup: It’s Not Just for Kids Anymore

September 25, 2012 Emily Murray Dallas 0 Comments

Ketchup: It’s Not Just for Kids Anymore

Would you like some brine of pickled fish to go with those fries? No, that’s not some not-so-funny Texas culinary school’s idea of a joke. It’s actually ketchup, or at least the ancestor of ketchup.

What we call ketchup began as a salty, fermented mixture of spices and pickled fish in China in the 1600s. The name ketchup is a derivation of the Malay word kĕchap.

The History of Ketchup

British explorers learned to love kĕchap as they sailed to and from Southeast Asia in the 18th century. They brought it home, and it quickly became a staple in upper class British households. By now, however, they were calling it ketchup or catsup. Its briny flavor went well with roasted mutton and other game meats popular at that time.

It wasn’t until the early 1800s that the first tomato-based ketchup began appearing. And, no, despite what you may think, Henry Heinz didn’t invent tomato ketchup. The most famous name in ketchup didn’t start selling it until the 1870s. Today, however, the H.J. Heinz Company sells more than 650 million bottles of our favorite sweet and tangy condiment.  Since the turn of the 20th century tomato ketchup has been the only ketchup commercially available in the U.S.

Kids and Ketchup

No one’s quite sure why, but kids love ketchup. They put it on cold cut sandwiches, French fries, chicken nuggets, burgers, hot dogs, and just about all of their favorites foods. Heinz says that the biggest consumers of ketchup are children ages 6 to 12, followed by teens ages 13 to 18. Of course, some of their love for the red stuff may be that ketchup is very high in sugar, especially the commercial brands found on your grocer’s shelves.

Not Just Kid Stuff However …
Despite the number of kids eating ketchup, you are mistaken if you think that it just silly kid’s stuff. Plenty of adults love tomato ketchup. And with the artisan food movement catching on for nearly every conceivable food product, there are some ketchup that appeal nicely to the adult palette.

From organic ketchups made from heirloom varieties of tomatoes to those with unusual ingredients like balsamic vinegar, chipotle peppers, mangos, peaches, cherries, and even bananas. Impress a culinary school graduate by learning how to make some of these more exotic ketchup recipes. And if you’re not all that handy in the kitchen, find where to buy them on the Internet.

However your tastes run, there is a ketchup recipe out there for you. As for me, I’ll take a big plate of French fries and plain old tomato ketchup, just like when I was kid.

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Dallas. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Dallas offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in Dallas, Texas. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Dallas for more information. 
Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at www.chefs.edu/disclosures
Le Cordon Bleu® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation. Le Cordon Bleu cannot guarantee employment or salary. Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.


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