Dietribes: Let's Ketchup Over Lunch

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"¢Â The origins of ketchup were apparently not tomato-based at all. And the origins of "catsup"? A derivation of the spelling "catchup" (which seems to make "ketchup" the more correct term ... maybe?")

"¢Â If you're like me and can't ever seem to get your ketchup fast enough out of the bottle, it's meant to be that way: ketchup exits the iconic glass bottle at .028 miles per hour. If the viscosity of the ketchup is greater than this speed, the ketchup is rejected for sale. (Actually it's been awhile since I've seen a glass bottle anywhere ... remember the trick of putting the butter knife in there to aid things along?)

"¢Â For a more even distribution of ketchup, we should all thank squeeze bottle inventor Stanley I. Mason, who also gave us the peel-open Band-Aid, granola bar, plastic-underwire bra, microwave cookware or wrap and contoured disposable diapers (find a common link and win my respect).
 
"¢ Still, other methods of adding ketchup to your food could stand some improvement, like those tiny, messy packets found at fast food restaurants. Fear not! New packets are on the way - the new design has a base that is like a cup for dipping as well as a tear-off end for squeezing.

"¢Â From the town whose water tower is known as "the world's largest ketchup bottle," Collinsville, Illinois, later partnered with the H.J. Heinz Co. to fill an 8-foot-tall, 4-foot-wide plastic pouch with 1,500 pounds of the tomato goop for a school fundraiser.

"¢Â Speaking of Heinz: although ketchup is the most famous Heinz product today, when Henry Heinz started the Company in 1869, his first product was bottled horseradish made from his mother's own recipe.  Ketchup didn't come along until seven years later in 1876.

"¢Â Ketchup is good for much more than just making your burger and fries tastier - it's also rich in lycopene, which some studies have shown to reduce the risk of cancer. Ketchup can also be used to clean copper.

"¢Â Seymour, WI, claims to be the home of the hamburger, and their annual festival includes a ketchup slide. Ok, it kind of looks like they're sliding through blood ...!

"¢Â Ketchup masterpieces by toddler fools the art world. I actually have a large abstract painting hanging in my house that my summer camp kids collaborated on - everyone always thinks it's a really expensive piece of modern art! Hmmm ...
 
"¢Â Some ketchup combinations are strange, like ketchup and cottage cheese (a favorite of President Nixon's), or ketchup-flavored chips. Flossers, what are some of the more unusual things you pair your tomato-based condiment with? I've known people to put it on eggs and grits, but as much as I love ketchup I just can't get behind that!

Hungry for more? Venture into the Dietribes archive.

"˜Dietribes' appears every other Wednesday. Food photos taken by Johanna Beyenbach. You might remember that name from our post about her colorful diet.

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February 24, 2010 - 7:12am
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