History Of Ketchup And How It Became An Essential
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Ketchup is fully responsible for revolutionising the fast food industry in the United States of America. It is a trend then spread from the US as the epicentre to the rest of the world. Most people think of ketchup as an American product that was invented in America, and then later, the idea travelled to the rest of the world. But in fact, ketchup was invented in Southern China. Ketchup has been mentioned in Chinese texts from even 300 BC. Initially, ketchup was made from fermented fish sauce that was enjoyed with different types of dishes. 

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In the local language, it was called Koe Cheup. The widespread popularity of this fish sauce happened because it was travel-friendly and had a long shelf life. It was through trade and sea voyages that the concept of ketchup travelled to Britain in the 1700s. The Britishers liked the concept of making a sauce and modified the recipe in their own way.

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Widespread Popularity Of Ketchup

Ketchup became widespread in the 18th century, which can be called the golden age for ketchup. There was a disruption of this recipe in the market, and people were making ketchup from different ingredients like mushrooms, lemon, plums, peaches, and even oysters. The basic method was to first boil down these ingredients to make a syrup-like consistency and then sprinkle some salt over it. The result was a flavour, bomb, syrup or sauce-like condiment that could be stored for a very long time without worrying about its consistency and taste.

Oyster ketchup became very popular during the late 16th century and it was made by using some oysters, white wine and lemon peels. Mushroom ketchup and even clove ketchup were popular during that time, and one can find mention of these bizarre kinds of ketchup in a lot of popular texts from that time. Then, it was in 1812 that the concept of tomato ketchup was introduced to the world for the first time, and the rest is history. A person named James Mease Maid had tomato ketchup in Philadelphia, and it was an instant hit. During that time, tomatoes were called love apples, and James often said that the recipe for making the perfect tomato ketchup was hugely dependent on the best-quality tomatoes. 

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Invention Of Tomato Ketchup

Before the invention of tomato ketchup, nobody had dared to fathom that it was possible to make such a delicious sauce that was so versatile. With time, a lot of modifications were introduced to the recipe to extend its shelf life and preserve its taste. Vinegar was an important part of making the sauce as it helped in preserving the tomatoes for a long time. After adding vinegar, the taste of the tomatoes did not become bad in a short time.

It is said that a lot of British and Dutch merchants were responsible for bringing the tomato ketchup concept of America to Europe. Over the years, many cooks and culinary integrators. Try to modify the recipe. But it was still very far from the tomato ketchup as we know it today. The first printed recipe for tomato ketchup was published in 1727. During that time, the tomato ketchup that was being made in Britain relied heavily on different types of vegetables.

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In 1876, a new formulation of tomato ketchup was introduced in which salt, distilled vinegar, and some brown sugar were also added to the recipe. It was a company called Heinz that was responsible for pioneering the concept of selling tomato ketchup in glass bottles. The idea behind the introduction of this packaging was to help people see what was being sold to them. Tomato ketchup became an instant hit in the US and Europe. Heinz, which introduced the contemporary recipe for ketchup, is still one of the largest ketchup-selling brands, selling more than 650 million bottles of tomato ketchup each year. Earlier, people used to make tomato ketchup by themselves at home, but now the high level of accessibility has led to a decline in the prevalence of homemade ketchup.

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19th Century To Today

A lot of people will be surprised to know that in the early 19th century, many companies used to sell tomato ketchup in pharmacies as a medicine as well. It was believed that tomato ketchup had a lot of health benefits and was good for consumption as a medicine for treating many health-related problems. It is safe to say that the quality of tomato ketchup that was sold a couple of centuries ago was a lot better than what the people of today get in the market. These days, tomato ketchups are filled with preservatives.

 The popularity of tomato ketchup has been on the rise ever since its introduction. In different parts of the world, it is paired with a lot of regional and Western recipes as well. Tomato ketchup is widely consumed with sandwiches, burgers, French fries, nachos, and whatnot. The world would be certainly less flavourful if it wasn't for tomato ketchup.