Ketchup is undoubtedly one of the most famous and widely used condiments in the world. This sweet and tangy sauce is not only used as a dipping sauce but also as a key ingredient in a wide range of recipes. The original recipe of ketchup was a mixture of oysters, egg whites, mushrooms and mussels. It was one form of ketchup sauce and there were several other types made with different ingredients that would overpower the flavor of the sauce.
The word ketchup originated from Ke-tsiap, a Chinese name for fish sauce. In the 1600s, the recipe travelled to Europe and after several experiments and modifications, the first tomato ketchup came into the market by James Mease in 1812. The ketchup we eat today is a sweeter version of the original recipe, which was modified in the 19th century by the Americans.
Types of Ketchup
It’s time to dive into the world of ketchup. You may be surprised to know that there are ketchup sauces with ingredients other than tomato. The oldest of all is walnut and mushroom ketchup while the list today includes mango and barons ketchup along with the signature tomato ketchup. Let’s take a look at these types one by one.
Mushroom ketchup is perhaps the oldest, originating from the United Kingdom. Its main ingredient is mushroom along with shallots and other spices. In the olden days, mushroom ketchup was used as an ingredient to make other sauces, especially quin sauce.
The mushroom sauce is a dark colored sauce. Whole mushrooms are seasoned with salt and stored in a container. When the container is filled with its own liquid, these mushrooms are boiled and spices such as black pepper, nutmeg and mace are added to enhance the flavour. The liquid is strained from the solid remains and the finished product is what you get as the mushroom sauce.
One of the leading brands of mushroom ketchup includes Geo Watkins Mushroom Ketchup, widely available all around the UK.
Walnut ketchup or walnut catsup is made with walnuts, salt, vinegar cloves, mace, ginger and spices. The walnuts used for walnut ketchup go through a pin test and slightly bruised. These walnuts are stored in a jar with salt and vinegar for almost eight days and stirred daily till the liquor separates. Later these ingredients are boiled to form the desired consistency. Some also like to add vinegar or wine at the last stage to add more flavor.
Walnut ketchup has a long shelf life but it needs a year to settle before it is ready to be served. It has a sharp taste of vinegar and some say it tastes much like steak sauce. Unfortunately, walnut ketchup isn’t used in today’s time as frequently as the famous regular ketchup therefore many people make it at home with an easier recipe.
Mango ketchup may sound unusual to you but yes, it is very much available in the market. It is pricey as compared to tomato ketchup for the fact that mangoes are seasonal and very expensive. Mango ketchup is thick in consistency, much like a puree and has a sweet taste due to vinegar as one of the key ingredients.
Mango ketchup isn’t used as a dipping sauce like tomato ketchup but most widely used as marinating or cooking sauce with seafood and poultry.
The king of all ketchup, the tomato sauce is nearly used in every second house. The first ever recipe of tomato ketchup had anchovies in it which was later removed. In countries like the UK, Australia and New Zealand tomato ketchup is also known as the red sauce or tomato sauce, an alternative to pasta sauce. There was also a time when the infusion of tomatoes with vinegar and spices was so famous that people started using more of tomato ketchup and less of fresh tomatoes.
Today, what we call tomato ketchup as ketchup which is made up of tomatoes, onions, garlic, cloves, sugar, vinegar and spices. The leading ketchup manufacturers include Heinz on number 1 and Hunts on number 2. Different brands have also created variations in tomato ketchup such as chilli tomato ketchup, garlic tomato ketchup and many others. Additionally, you will also find kosher free, GMO-free, low in sugar and sodium ketchup available in the market to cater to diabetic, vegan and keto people.
Ketchup is not just a sauce that adds flavour to your meals; in fact, it is very healthy as well and has a number of hidden benefits:
Prevention from cancer
Research says that including ketchup in your meals more than twice a week reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer.
Fights from cholesterol
Finnish research says that using ketchup daily in your meals as a dipping sauce or marinade helps in cutting down low-density lipoprotein, which is commonly known as bad cholesterol.
Increases sperm count
The compound Lycopene in ketchup which also produces the signature red colour is found to be helpful in enhancing male fertility, increase the number of sperms and reduces abnormal sperms in the male body.
Ketchup is enriched with Vitamin C and A, both help in improving the immune system and are a source of better eyesight.
Ketchup contains lycopene and carotenoid, which are antioxidants that prevent your body from heart diseases, and reduces ageing.
If you are experimental with your meals and as it is fond of ketchup, these interesting other types are certainly worth a dab on your next burger or fry. If you don’t find them in your nearest store, you can always try a home-made walnut or mushroom ketchup with easy recipes available on the internet.