Ketchup – the white trash condiment
A condiment is supposed to compliment not mask the taste of food. Ketchup is a condiment that completely masks the taste of pretty much any food that it is placed on. What’s the point in having food if you can’t even taste it?
Ketchup’s origins are as bizarre as its use. Originally, in the 1690s in China it was a mixture of pickled fish and spices. It was called “koe-chiap” or “ke-chiap” in Amoy dialect which means “the brine of pickled fish”. Eventually it made its way down to the Malaysian peninsula where British explorers discovered it and adapted the name to ketchup.
In 1801, a tomato based ketchup recipe was printed in an American cookbook. Initially, these early versions were salty and were not widely accepted by Americans many of whom confused the tomato with the fruits of the deadly nightshade plant. Shortly after though ketchup began to become popular and started to be sweetened by American cooks. Over the course of the 1800s it became much more popular even though people still avoided eating raw tomatoes. Today, besides salt and pepper it has become the primary condiment found at most American restaurants.
I can’t tell you how befuddled I become when I watch a person drench perfectly good French fries or scrambled eggs with this gelatinous goo. After you place ketchup on either of these all that you can taste is the ketchup. If the food is even remotely decent, I don’t understand why you’d not want to actually taste it. You don’t often find ketchup on the table at high end restaurants because you’re paying to taste the food they cook and not some cheap condiment.
It isn’t that I dislike the taste of ketchup; it’s just that I prefer the taste of whatever it is I’m eating. When I bite into a hamburger I want to experience the full symphony of flavors from the bun, patty, lettuce, tomatoes, and mustard. I don’t want ketchup’s overbearing nature to overwhelm this experience with its slightly sweet taste.
Admittingly on occasion, I do use ketchup, but only when I don’t really like the food that I’m eating because of taste or it being too dry. In these cases, ketchup actually does serve a purpose because it allows me stomach the food that I’m eating. Ultimately, I think that ketchup is a low class condiment that overwhelms and ruins the food that you’re eating.
Understandability Rating – 3