mermaidcamp

mermaidcamp

Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water

You can scroll the shelf using and keys

Ketchup in the Kitchen

March 1, 2016 , , ,

homemade and store bought

homemade and store bought

When I was a child I visited the Heinz factory in Pittsburgh with my Brownie troop several times. One never forgets the vinegar floor of that factory, ever so olfactory. They gave us little plastic pickle pins as souvenirs of our visits. Although we lived in a big industrial city, most of us would not see the inside of any other factories.  I did not know until I was an adult that ketchup had a strange history long before it became the sauce we put on french fries today.

The original sauce was made of fermented fish and was used in China.  When the English adopted the word they attempted to replicate the Asian version using mushrooms, nuts, anchovies, beer, and spices, creating a thin sauce that did not resemble the Chinese condiment very much.  The recipe evolved and the anchovies were dropped in favor of walnut based or mushroom based sauces.  The tomato was not added to the mix for a couple of centuries.  Tomatoes came from the new world and were considered to be poison for a long time.

tomatoes

tomatoes

When tomato ketchup was made in factories in America the first recipes were toxic, not because of the tomato, but because of the processing and ingredients used.  They used coal-tar to make the color bright red, and used other very harmful preservatives.  Henry J Heinz was a reformer who treated his workers and the environment in a new way.  Eventually he met G F Mason, who helped him develop the food science he needed to drop the coal-tar and dangerous ingredients.  In 1904 he produced the first preservative free Heinz ketchup. The company was later bought by Del Monte and the old brick factory on the Allegheny is now a fancy condo.  I wonder how that got the vinegar smell out of the building.

Although I am grateful to Henry for his progressive ideas, which included food purity, today I buy organic brands.  Better yet, I enjoy making my own to create both a pure product and a custom flavor.  I have made ketchup from cranberries and green tomatoes in the past with success. This week I scored a large batch of beautifully ripe tomatoes so I was inspired to make some house brand tomato ketchup for our kitchen. I used date balsamic vinegar and maple syrup, a little honey, shallots, onions, and red peppers.  After I took out a couple of jars of this delicious mix I added extra spices to create a different flavor profile for the last batch.  Still on simmer in the crock pot, the thicker spicier version will be ready in the morning.  Have you tired making your own, gentle reader?  It is an easy project, and the results will give you a healthy, sugar-free product that is worthy of sharing with friends.

tomatoes

tomatoes

What do you think?

Please keep your comments polite and on-topic.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

comments

I frankly admit that the only Ketchup I like is Heinz. I did not know about its history. But what you say about the fermented fish reminds me to that fish sauce the ancient Romans enjoyed apparently a lot.

Liked by 1 person

Brigitte Kobi

March 1, 2016

The Asians might have gotten the recipe from the Romans..

Like

Pamela Morse

March 1, 2016

Here, we make a great rosehip ketchup. It’s really lovely. I like the idea of a cranberry one too. And, I am really fascinated by your story of Heinz

Liked by 1 person

London-Unattached.com

March 3, 2016

rose hip sounds really good, Fiona…thanks for the tip

Like

Pamela Morse

March 3, 2016

I knew that ketchup came from China but had no idea when. I would love to see your recipes for cranberry ketchup . I would love to know what spices you usewd i the thicker spicier version. Had I known it could be done in a crock pot, I would have tried this already. Thanks for the inspiration!

Like

Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

March 5, 2016

%d bloggers like this: