Do you use ketchup or catsup? Either way, you aren’t alone

November 17, 2012

It’s whatever you want it to be, it’s one and the same, and both can be found at the supermarket, convenience stores and specialty stores.

You might find labels that read organic, natural, low sodium and low fat, but ketchup, or catsup, either one, it’s the most beloved condiment on the planet.

But why are there two names?

I honestly don’t know. However, I do know it’s used by millions across the globe, and we, Americans, can’t live without it.

I discovered that more ketchup/catsup is consumed in the U.S. than any other nation on earth. Actually, more than five other nations combined because we put it on billions of hamburgers, a zillion pounds of French fries, spread it on meatloaf and dozens of other assorted foods daily!

And why would I write about this? Well, I’m not making this up; there was an article in a newspaper recently telling the world that “fake ketchup” was found being sold as the real thing.

How can you fake ketchup? It’s nothing but tomatoes, sugar, spices and onion cooked up into a thick sauce, put in a bottle and distributed around the world. It’s one of the most coveted and loved of all food items, ever; and it is food, actually listed with the USDA as a good source of lycopene and protein, and full of Vitamin C. It’s good for you.

Why would anyone make fake ketchup? I’m not sure, but the newspaper reported there was millions of dollars to be made by making ordinary ketchup/catsup and putting it in bottles with a famous name label, a fake label, glued on the bottles. That’s insane; con men and scoundrels will resort to anything to make money; but messing with our national condiment should be a federal crime! I hope they catch those responsible for such a scam and put them in jail with not a bottle of ketchup available for their French fries or burgers the entire time they spend behind bars!

Anyhow, I did find out that the Chinese can be thanked for introducing ketchup in the form of a fermented tomato sauce, then the British made a type of catsup in the 17th century they would use on meat. But it was not until the 1800s that Americans cooked it up and began using it as a condiment, adding it to meat and sandwiches.

The rest is history.

Ninety-nine percent of teenagers across the U.S. could not eat a burger without ketchup. They also put it on French fries, hot dogs and eggs. Restaurants and diners across the country could not serve a meal without a bottle of ketchup sitting on the table or counter. Ketchup/catsup is an American staple.

God forbid if we ever ran out of ketchup in our house! I don’t think my children have ever eaten a meal without putting ketchup on their plate, or smeared it on whatever food they were eating, and neither did their friends. They put ketchup on baloney sandwiches, meatloaf sandwiches, of course their burgers, and once I found my child standing with the refrigerator door open, holding a bottle of ketchup, squirting it in her mouth as if were whipped cream.

The world knows that children will gradually cause your brain to become altered in such a way one can find herself writing about ketchup. But hey, the world loves ketchup.

Or is it catsup?

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