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Today’s Ketchup/ Catsup Food Trivia

  1.  Ketchup (often spelled catsup in American English) is the dominant term in American English and Canadian English, with “catsup” being the prominent term in some southern US states.
  2. The spelling catsup first appeared in 1730 in a Jonathan Swift short story.
  3. The Webster’s Dictionary of 1913 defined ‘catchup’ as: “table sauce made from mushrooms, tomatoes, walnuts, etc
  4. Ketchup likely entered the English language from the Malay or Chinese word kicap (pron. “kichap”) meaning “fish sauce.”
  5. Some ketchup in the U.S. is labeled “Fancy”. This is a USDA grade, related to thickness. Fancy ketchup has a higher tomato solid concentration than other USDA grades.

An original early recipe for “Tomata Catsup” from 1817

  1. Gather a gallon of fine, red, and full ripe tomatas; mash them with one pound of salt.
  2. Let them rest for three days, press off the juice, and to each quart add a quarter of a pound of anchovies, two ounces of shallots, and an ounce of ground black pepper.
  3. Boil up together for half an hour, strain through a sieve, and put to it the following spices; a quarter of an ounce of mace, the same of allspice and ginger, half an ounce of nutmeg, a drachm of coriander seed, and half a drachm of cochineal.
  4. Pound all together; let them simmer gently for twenty minutes, and strain through a bag: when cold, bottle it, adding to each bottle a wineglass of brandy. It will keep for seven years.

(By the mid-1850s, the anchovies had been dropped)

Today’s Food History

  • 1718 Thomas Chippendale, famous furniture designer and maker was born
  • 1856 The first Vegetarian Community was established in Kansas.
  • 1876 Foil wrapped bananas are sold for a dime at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Bananas become a popular treat for the first time in the U.S. when word spread about how delicious they were.
  • 1877 New York taxed oleomargarine to protect the dairy industry.
  • 1883 Horlick’s developed the process to dehydrate milk, and patented it in 1883, calling it Malted Milk. Horlick’s originally produced a food for babies and invalid’s, that could be shipped without spoiling.
  • 1934 R.I.P. Charles Francis Jenkins. An inventor, Jenkins is best known as an early television pioneer. Among his many inventions was a cone-shaped drinking cup.
  • 1977 The Apple II, the first personal computer went on sale.
  • 1977 Alice Cooper’s pet boa constrictor died after its dinner of a rat bit it first.
  • 2007 Food scientist Edwin Traisman died at age 91. He helped develop Cheez Whiz for Kraft and later helped develop methods to standardize the French fries served at McDonald’s restaurants. He also worked on research into the risks of various strains of E. coli bacteria.