The origin of ketchup is a fascinating story that has evolved over time. While ketchup’s earliest versions were not made from mushrooms, they did play a role in its development. Let’s explore its history.
ke-tsiap or kôe-chiap
Ketchup, as we know it today, has its roots in ancient Chinese cuisine. The precursor to ketchup was a condiment known as “ke-tsiap” or “kôe-chiap.” It was a savory sauce made from fermented fish, soybeans, and various spices. Chinese traders brought this sauce to Southeast Asia, where its popularity spread.
Ke-tsiap in Indonesia
In the 17th century, European traders encountered ke-tsiap in Indonesia, which was then a Dutch colony. They were intrigued by its taste and began importing it to Europe. However, as the sauce made its way to the West, it underwent significant transformations.
One significant change occurred in the 18th century when the British adapted the Indonesian ke-tsiap into a sauce known as “ketchup” or “catsup.” This early ketchup was a concoction of fermented ingredients such as anchovies, shallots, vinegar, and spices. It had a strong, pungent flavor and was often used as a seasoning or marinade rather than a standalone condiment.
Ketchup made from mushrooms
The association between ketchup and mushrooms emerged later in the 18th century. During this time, a version of ketchup made from mushrooms gained popularity in England. This mushroom ketchup was created by simmering mushrooms with salt and spices, then straining the resulting liquid. It was used as a flavor enhancer in soups, sauces, and various dishes. However, it’s important to note that mushroom ketchup was not the primary form of ketchup at that time.
In the 19th century, as the popularity of tomato-based products grew in America, tomato ketchup became increasingly common. Tomato ketchup was originally a thin sauce made by cooking down tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and spices. This version gained popularity due to the availability and affordability of tomatoes, and it quickly surpassed other types of ketchup in popularity.
Over time, tomato ketchup became the dominant form, and it evolved into the thick, sweet, and tangy condiment we know today. The addition of vinegar and sugar helped preserve the sauce and enhance its flavor. Today, tomato ketchup is the most widely recognized and consumed type of ketchup worldwide.
While mushroom ketchup is not the basis for modern ketchup, it played a role in the development of ketchup as a condiment, particularly in England during the 18th century.
Heinz Tomato ketchup
It was first marketed as “catsup” in 1876 In 1907, manufacturing reached 12 million bottles and it was exported internationally including Australia, South America, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, and the UK. In January 2009, the label was changed by replacing the picture of a gherkin pickle with a picture of a tomato.