When it comes to condiments, we all have a favorite, and, for many of us, ketchup ranks as the go-to condiment. Perfect for dipping, dolloping, and spreading, and ideal with so many different foods. There are just some dishes that require ketchup to give them that tangy, tomato-ey kick. There’s a good bet that, no matter what your culinary preferences are, you will have a bottle of ketchup in the kitchen cupboard.
But, you might not know that there are plenty of secrets, and things you probably didn’t know about ketchup. Tomato sauce had a long and complicated road to get to where it is today as one of the most beloved condiments in the world. These are some of the amazing things you definitely never knew about ketchup.
It has Asian roots
One of the things so many people don’t know about ketchup is that it is actually Asian in origin! In fact, when it first came on the scene in ancient Asia, it began as anything other than the rich, tomato sauce it became. In fact, we now know that the condiment began life as fermented fish paste! Discarded fish entrails were salted and left for around 50 days, making the first incarnation of what would go on to become ketchup. Fortunately, it has evolved quite considerably since then, and is a much more appetizing prospect these days!
Jane Austen was a fan
Believe it or not, ketchup had a literary fan in the form of famous novelist Jane Austen! It is documented that the Pride and Prejudice author used to be partial to walnut ketchup and kept some at her home in Chawton. In fact, Austen’s friend Martha Lloyd came to live with her and kept her own written recipe for making walnut ketchup. The two women used this regularly to make the delicious condiment, and Austen was known to be a huge fan.
Mushroom ketchup is a thing
Those who hate mushrooms, look away now – those who love them are in for a treat. Mushroom ketchup is still very much a thing these days, but you might have to go to Europe in order to find it. Mushroom ketchup was first a thing in the 1800s and remains popular today – originating from the European process of pickling mushrooms. The liquid was then eventually used as a form of ketchup, kicking off a delicious craze!
These are just a few of the cool things we’re willing to bet you never knew about ketchup and its history. There are a lot of things to love about this popular and delicious condiment, and it continues to be one of the most enjoyed sauces in the world. The next time you reach for the ketchup, you’ll know a little more about the awesome history behind it, and how it became such a key part of the household kitchen.