Saturday, December 24, 2022

History of tomato ketchup

Though tomato plants were brought to England from South America in the 1500s, their fruits were not eaten for centuries since some people considered them poisonous. The plant normally relegated to the garden rather than the kitchen.

The term ketchup first appeared in 1682. The first known published tomato ketchup recipe appeared in 1812, written by scientist and horticulturalist living in Philadelphia, James Mease, who referred to tomatoes as “love apples” given its supposed aphrodisiac properties. His recipe contained tomato pulp, spices, and brandy but lacked vinegar and sugar. He wrote the recipe in his “Archives of Useful Knowledge, vol. 2.”

In 1824, a ketchup recipe using tomatoes appeared in “The Virginia Housewife” cookbook written by Mary Randolph.

Before vinegar became a standard ingredient, preservation of tomato-based sauces was an issue, as the fruits would quickly decompose. In 1866, the French cookbook author Pierre Blot took aim at ketchup warning that eating it would cause “debility and consumption.” He said it contained bacteria that made it “filthy, decomposed, and putrid.”
One American doctor, Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley partnered with a Pittsburgh man named Henry J. Heinz who had started producing ketchup in 1876. Heinz was also convinced American consumers did not want chemicals in their ketchup.

His big breakthrough was the incorporation of riper tomatoes, whose more plentiful quantities of natural pectin aided in preservation and improved quality, dramatically increased the amount of vinegar and to reduce risk of spoilage.

It was not until the late 19th century that sugar was added to tomato sauce, initially in small quantities. Tomato-based ketchup slowly became the ubiquitous form of the condiment in the U.S. and Europe.

In addition to its industrial recipes, Heinz also was instrumental in developing, perfecting, and promoting sanitary production methods, not only for its ketchup but for the dozens of products it manufactured.

One of the first recipes Henry Heinz used back in the day contained allspice, cloves, cayenne pepper, mace, and cinnamon. A second included pepper, ginger, mustard seed, celery salt, horseradish, and brown sugar.
History of tomato ketchup