So here’s the thing; I seem to collect obscure information.
For example, did you know carrots were originally purple, red or yellow? It wasn’t until the 1600’s that orange cultivars started to be pulled up. (Get it because you pull up carrots?)
See, obscure, some (the Parsnip) would say, useless information.
But it’s not so useless when you know that the reason people preferred the orange to the purple, red or yellow, was because they had tougher roots that held up well for shipping and long storage. If you grow white, purple or red carrot today, you can attest that these varieties are much more tender than their titian brothers.
Today, I am not talking about carrots.
Today, I am talking about ketchup.
Did you know that ketchup came from China (they get all the cool stuff: pasta, gunpowder, and now, ketchup)?
It was used as a sauce to go with pickled fish (they can keep their pickled fish). It was called ke-tsiap and the British sailors grew fond of it and brought it back with them to England.
However, it would be hundreds of years before it would be made with tomatoes, and longer than that until it would be made in the form that we identify as ketchup.
As recently as 1847 The Carolina Housewife, Sarah Rutledge offered four different preparations, ranging from a version made with home-pressed walnut oil to a tomato concoction that gets its tang from port wine instead of vinegar.
It was 1876 when Henry J. Heinz introduced his tomato-based wonder sauce billed as a “Blessed Relief for Mother and Other Women of the Household”. Why don’t they still use that slogan? I know plenty of mother’s of three year olds that find that is just that!
After the Heinz introduction, all of the other ketchup forms receded until they are all but non-existent today.
The home-pressed walnut oil seems a little time consuming to me, but some of the other variations seem amazing and definitely worth a try.
Here’s the catch (up). I wouldn’t call them ketchup. I agree that they are a condiment that could be served with burgers, hot dogs and fries, but are they ketchup? I dunno. If you call something ketchup and then serve soaked, chopped, minced mushrooms, you’re going to have puzzled consumers. In my opinion.
So, what’s in a name? Quite a bit when you have an entire population that has a standard idea of what will be presented if a certain product is requested.
I realize that some things are different regionally. If you ask for tea in California, chances are pretty good you’ll be served a hot beverage with a tea bag and lemon. If you ask for tea in Texas, you’ll be getting an iced beverage with sugar, which may or may not have lemon. In this way, it pays to know what the local inhabitants consider to be tea.
I am unaware of any United States community that would serve anything other than a tomato based recipe of some sort, should you request Ketchup. (However you may get odd looks if you ask for Ketchup with your order of scrambled eggs in some places)
So, while I am giving you the recipes for what some people, at one time, called ketchup, because I think they are really awesome recipes that would be great with several dishes. I dunno if they really should be given the moniker of ketchup, you decide what you want to call them.
However, I am also giving you a recipe or two for some “different” ketchup that is tomato based and would probably be enjoyed by even the pickiest ketchup connoisseur (that three year old we talked about from before) even though it may or may not be red.
I have 60 tomato plants growing at the moment, so finding recipes for tomatoes is firmly in the front of my mind at the moment, as you might imagine. I love to give ketchup as a gift at Christmas, it is always so appreciated and since homemade ketchup differs so drastically from store bought, I have even had people give subtle (and not so subtle) hints that they hope to be getting it, which is always nice. It’s such a great way to use and enjoy your summer bounty of heirloom tomatoes, herbs and even some of your peppers.
So without further ado, here are some great ketchup ideas for you.
- 2 lbs. Ripe Green Tomatoes (roughly chopped)
- 1 Large Red onion (peeled and roughly chopped)
- 1 stick celery (roughly chopped)
- 1 healthy bunch fresh basil leaves and stalks, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- Chunk of ginger (peeled and chopped thin) About grape size is good
- 2 cloves garlic (peeled and pressed)
- 1 Tablespoon coriander seed
- 2 cloves
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Sea Salt
- ⅓ cup Brown Sugar
- ¾ cup plus 2 Tablespoons vinegar (at least 5% acidity)
- Optional: 1 inch section of cinnamon stick per jar
- Place all onion, celery, ginger, garlic in a heavy saucepan with olive oil cook gently 5 minutes
- Add coriander, sea salt, cracked pepper, cloves cook an additional 10 minutes stirring occasionally
- Add tomatoes and 1½ cups cold water
- Bring to a slow boil and let simmer until reduced by half approximately 30 minutes
- Remove from heat and add the basil
- Transfer to blender and blend until smooth
- Pass through a sieve if desired to have extra smooth (I do not do this but most of the recipes say to, I don’t mind a full bodied consistency)
- In a clean heavy saucepan put your blended tomato mix and add the Brown Sugar and vinegar. Simmer until it it is the consistency you desire also, now is when you taste it to see if you want to tweak it with tabasco, mint, fennel, go crazy if you want.
- If desired put one, one inch cinnamon stick in each of your sterilized jars.
- Using proper sterilizing and sealing techniques, use a sterilized funnel, transfer your ketchup to your sterilized containers seal in a water bath canning pot for 10 minutes.
- This recipe is for one pint. (When making larger batches, be sure to process your jars longer, I process for 15 minutes for my quart jars) I usually give the pint size jars as gifts but I make quart jars for at home.
This post will have to be continued. Due to some plugin problems, and other things, I only have time for this if I want to get it posted today, and I do. So, I hope you enjoy this recipe, and stay tuned for some more recipes for ketchup.
Have a paisley day!~KeriAnne