History of Ketchup
Ketchup, a tangy, seasoned tomato sauce, is one of America’s favorite condiments. Although ketchup, also spelled catsup, is used primarily as a relish for hamburgers, hot dogs, and French fries, it is also a common ingredient for sauces, meatloaf, beans, and stews. During the mid-1990s the sales of ketchup exceeded $400 million annually. The tangy sauce originated in ancient China as a brine of pickled fish or shellfish called “ke-tsiap.” Neighboring countries adopted their own variations of “kechap” consisting of fish brine, herbs, and spices. In the late 1600s, English sailors visiting Malaysia and Singapore were so impressed with the sauce that they took samples home. English cooks attempted to duplicate the spicy sauce, but without access to some of the exotic Asian ingredients, they improvised with cucumbers, mushrooms, nuts, oysters, and other variants.
One hundred years later, New Englanders created the definitive tomato ketchup when Maine seamen returned from Mexico and the Spanish West Indies with seeds of an exotic New World fruit called tomato. The tangy tomato ketchup quickly became a popular sauce for codfish cakes, meat, and other foods. Making ketchup at home was a tedious, day-long process. The tomato mixture, cooked in heavy iron kettles at wood-burning stoves, required constant stirring to prevent it from burning. Scouring the preserving kettles meticulously was also no easy task. To the relief of many homemakers, ketchup became commercially available in the second half of the 1800s.
H.J. Heinz Co. developed one of the first leading brands of mass marketed ketchup. The classic narrow-neck design of the Heinz ketchup bottle established the norm for the industry. The narrow-neck bottle simplified pouring the ketchup and minimized contact with air, which could darken the sauce. Glass was an ideal container because it was inert and did not react with the ketchup, and the clear glass allowed the consumer to see the product. Initially, the bottles were sealed with cork, dipped by hand into wax to prevent aeration, and topped with foil to further protect it from contamination. By the turn of the century, screw caps provided a more convenient closure. In the 1980s, plastic squeezable containers revolutionized ketchup packaging and soon outsold glass containers. Plastic was not only more convenient than glass for pouring the thick sauce, but also safer. Ten years later, in response to environmental concerns, recyclable plastic containers were also developed.
By the 1920s, when this photo was taken, ketchup operations were highly mechanized. (From the collections of Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village)
The history of ketchup and the history of advertising are inextricably intertwined. This is especially true in the case of the H.J. Heinz Company, a firm that pioneered many elements of the prepared food business and the modern advertising industry.
Born in 1844, Henry John Heinz began helping his mother with her gardens along the Allegheny River, just east of Pittsburgh, when he was nine years old. He learned business practices while working as a bookkeeper for his father’s brickyard and at night school. By his teens he was employing three women to help process garden products and bottling his mother’s horseradish for distribution. Heinz distinguished his horseradish from his competitors by using clear glass bottles to emphasize the product’s purity.
Twenty years later, Heinz was operating another family food processing firm. Riding the New York elevator one day in 1892, he saw a sign advertising 21 varieties of shoes. He took the concept, came up with a figure of 57 because he thought it was a memorable number, and created the catch phrase “Heinz 57 Varieties.”
In 1893, seeking to bolster attendance at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Heinz distributed thousands of small tokens throughout the fair grounds. The tokens were redeemable for a free Heinz souvenir, a watch charm in the shape of a pickle, at the food pavilion, which was soon overrun with visitors. The “pickle pin” went on to become one of the best-known corporate souvenirs in history, with over 100 million distributed.
In 1898, Heinz bought the Iron Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey, renamed it the Heinz Ocean Pier, and operated it until 1945 as a free public attraction with antique displays, lectures, concerts, and motion pictures amid the displays of Heinz products and souvenirs. (William S. Pretzer)
II. THE PRODUCT
Banana ketchup or banana sauce is a popular Philippine condiment made from mashed banana, sugar, vinegar and spices. Its natural colour is brownish, so it is often dyed red to resemble tomato ketchup. Banana ketchup was made when there was a shortage of tomato ketchup during World War II, due to lack of tomatoes and a comparatively high production of bananas. Filipino food technologist Maria Y. Orosa (1893– 1945) is credited with inventing a banana ketchup recipe.
Tangy. The flavour of the sauce is usually tangy or there is a mixture of sweet and spicy taste.
Consistency. This refers to the ability of the ketchup to retain its liquid in suspension.
Colour. Traditionally, the color of the ketchup is red, where the basis for the color of the ketchup is the fruit used for making it, tomato.
pH. Acidity of ketchup preserves the sauce. Concentration. The amount of solids used in the production of the ketchup. They are recognized as Grades A through C with its specific concentration.
Uses and Application
Banana ketchup is a type of condiment used to enhance the flavour of the food. In Filipino households, this ubiquitous condiment is used usually on foods especially dry dishes like – omelettes (torta), hot dogs, burgers, fries, fish and other meats. But for some other applications, banana ketchup is also a vital and distinct ingredient in Filipino-style spaghetti (sweeter than the traditional Italian spaghetti). There is also a “hot” version made by the same company (Jufran). It still has a hint of sweetness, coupled with spicy-hot taste.
It is exported to countries where there is a considerable Filipino population (United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Sausi Arabia, Kuwait, Hong Kong, France, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand). Today, more and more food dishes were invented for the efficiency and satisfaction of the tastes of the Filipinos. Now, ketchups are one of the seasonings of the main dishes for its unique blend of sweetness and spice that is perfectly matched with these foods. For Filipino dishes, examples for them are Menudo, Caldereta, Meat balls with Sauce, Escabeche, etc.
Availability and Cost
In the Philippines, at the time of World War II, the demand for ketchup was very high where there were lacks of tomatoes and the availability of the production of bananas were comparatively high. With the help of the Filipino food technologist, Maria Y.Orosa (1893- 1945) found a way to overcome this crisis. She invented Banana Ketchup with the same flavour and taste of the Tomato Ketchup that traditionally used by the people at that time. Therefore, as time flows, more and more banana ketchup production and industries were developed. With great abundance of the availability of the bananas here in the Philippines having a tropic climate where bananas can grow well at this environment, plus the spices being used for making banana ketchup can help the manufacturing industry to lessen the cost of its product. For homemade banana ketchup, about 200 Php will be spent for 2.5 L of banana ketchup.