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Why does bottle of ketchup say tomato ketchup? Are there other kinds of ketchup they've been hiding from us?

Any thoughts?

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  1. Ketchup hasn't always been made out of tomatoes. It used to be a more general term for sauce, and I think the original "ketchup" was a brown sauce made from mushrooms and herbs and spices.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Andiereid

      Yeah ... this wiki article on ketchup has some details ....

      "It started out as a general term for sauce, typically made of mushrooms or fish brine with herbs and spices. Mushroom ketchup is still available in some countries, such as the UK. Some popular early main ingredients include blueberry, anchovy, oyster, lobster, walnut, kidney bean, cucumber, cranberry, lemon, and grape."


    2. In many Asian markets I've seen a condiment called banana ketchup from the Philippines. I've never tried it, but I'm curious about its taste.

      3 Replies
      1. re: redchile

        Also in your local supermarket if you go to the International section, you can usually find banana ketchup ... shudder ...

        I really think that banana ketchup is something you have to grow up with ... it was not a taste I was able to acquire ... hmmm ... there is some topic that says if you try a thing 15 times you aquire a taste tolerance for it.

        My experience with various bottles of banana ketchup disproves that.

        Imagine that you have a bunch of bananas and mash them up and then cook them and then throw red dye and a lot of chemicals in it .

        The result is something that sort of quivers and if you are lucky enough to get it out of the bottle it make a sort of glop sound and comes out in clot-like, shivering pieces.

        And yet I tried ... I tried hot, I tried regular. I tried it on eggs, I tried it on lumpia, I tried it on hot dogs, fries & burgers, thanks to someone's insane suggestion I tried it on ice cream ... vanilla ice cream and banana ice cream ... yeah, that last you think would work but whatever soul of banana that the ketchup started with had long left the bottle.

        And still two bottles sit in my fridge daring me to throw them out.

        Yeah ... there's other ketchup beside tomato ... I don't recommend the banana version

        1. re: redchile

          Banana ketchup is wonderful on sweet potato fries. The name is deceiving - it doesn't taste at all like bananas - just a bit sweet.

          1. re: redchile

            I use banana ketchup as a bar-b-que sauce on marinated grilled chicken. We marinade the chicken, preferably thighs, in soy sauce, garlic, onion, and white wine.
            When chicken has a crisp crust brush with banana ketchup that has been heated and mixed with olive oil. It is not overwhelming like tomatoe ketchup or bar-b-que sauce and lets the flavor of the seasoned chicken come through. This a method of preparation from the Phillipines

          2. That's not encouraging. The banana ketchup I've seen is usually less than $1 a bottle, and I've considered buying it on a lark, since it's so inexpensive. But, I don't like to throw away food that's not spoiled, regardless of price.

            Is the taste of banana ketchup sweet or savory? Does it taste like bananas? Is there anything specific about it that's not palatable?

            5 Replies
            1. re: redchile

              I dragged my bottles out and gave them a try to get this right ... and document why I don't want to every try them again ... ever ... should I forget.

              As this product description on Amazon says, it doesn't taste like banana ... or tomato catsup

              As far as both Jufran is concerned, the ingrediant list on both the hot version and the regular is identical ... Amazon doesn't include ALL the ingrediants on those bottles. Here's what is on the label for both bottles:

              Water, Sugar, Banana, Iodized Salt (Salt, Potassium Iodate), Modified Starch, Spices, 0.1% Sodium Benzoate (As Perservative), Acidulant, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Red #40, Titanium Dioxide, Banana Flavor.

              Now, IMO, the banana base is just a vehicle for the 'Spices' which they don't list because the hot and the regular taste totally different.


              First of all in neither version is the garlic powder/onion powder very evident. It is slighlty sweet, sort of like tomato catsup, without the tomato flavor ... and let us not forget a TOTALLY different texture. The other 'spices' are the most apparant flavor ... maybe something along the clove, allspice, nutmeg line. I looked up a recipe to see if I could identify the actual spice ... still don't know ... but here's a recipe ... actually the recipe looks appetizing ... maybe home-made is the way to go.

              Yeah ... one final taste ... that garlic powder is in the background. It sort of has a perfumy quality that I find unpleasant ... like the spicing in cheap tomato ketchup without the tomato flavor ... and with that awful, awful texture ... like if you left tomato ketchup on the counter for months and it congealed.

              HOT BANANA KETCHUP:

              Tastes like cayenne with a good quality of burn ... other perfumy spices less pronounced but still there.

              I guess it is the texture. This is popular in the Philippines and I have to say it does go best with lumpia.

              Retrieving the bottles from the fridge I forgot a few other asthetics.

              It separates. The thick glop sits in thin-watery liquid. Shake to combine ... I wish we could upload audio, cuz I'd take the time for this to do that ... shake ... glog, glog, glog

              Ok, this was a new bonus. On one bottle some stuck to the top and congeled. So when I opened the bottle a little ball of ketchup came out and ... I am not kidding here ... bounced ... bounced in the sink. AND still I tried it again.

              1. re: rworange

                Thanks for all the detailed information. I'm not as curious about trying banana ketchup now.

                1. re: redchile

                  Well, it is cheap ... maybe you don't have the same aversion to clove that I have ... I've decided it is the clove and taste-wise that is what is bothering me. You might love it and have a different experience. If not, you could always leave it in the fridge at work and maybe someone who likes it will use it. Or just skip the brand made by Heinz.

                2. re: rworange

                  Well, I disagree with you almost completely. I like those "ketchups" but I am familiar with several banana based and similarily spiced sauces with which to compare them. But, if the bottles are old, have been left in the heat, left in the fridge too long, etc. then they do separate and go bad tasting. That may be the case for you.

                  1. re: JMF

                    Nope. Not ketchup gone bad. Bottles bought in two different stores. They taste the same now as they did when I bought them ... BUT ...

                    ... doing the above searches about ketchup, I was reminded that I read some people use banana ketchup on spaghetti ... I could never bring myself to do that ... and others mixed it with mayo...

                    Huh !!! A light went on. I mixed some with some mayo. It eliminated the texture I hate and punched up the taste of the mayo ... rolling with the spaghetti inspiration, I mixed my bannana mayo mixture with elbow macaroni and it made one terrific macaroni salad. The mayo takes the edge off the taste as well as fixing the texture problem.

                    I went wild ... I made a tuna salad sandwich with the banana ketchup/mayo mixture ... yeah ... good.

                    Now, I'm inspired ... I look at the piri piri sauce and mix it with mayo ... not as good as banana ketchup, but interesting. in a good way ... maybe a sandwich spread ...
                    now onto sriracha sauce.

                    THEN ... the food gods struck ... as I walk by the counter, I accidently knock one bottle to the floor ... broken glass and clumps of banana ketchup all over the place ... it looks like a homicide scene ...

                    One bottle 'used up' one more to go ... I think I'll try potato salad next ... maybe cole slaw.

              2. I have tried several banana ketchups and liked them. You just have to realize that it isn't going to taste like tomato ketchup.

                1. Maybe so you don't end up with the lesser "Ketchup Type Sauce"? This stuff kills me.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: NovoCuisine

                    No ... that is it EXACTLY ... it tastes like lesser tomato ketchup that is gelantenous and has no taste of tomato ... or banana.

                  2. LOL - we bought banana ketchup in St. Lucia one year, and we still haven't tried it. I think it's been in the pantry 5 years.

                    1. Wow - who knew?

                      Thanks for the clarifications!

                      1. In 14 year in the Philippines, I never saw anyone eat banana ketchup. Never saw bottles on restaurant tables. Never saw a bottle in any filipinos' houses. It was available everywhere, however.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                          I wasn't in the Philippines, but the area I live in has a lot of Filipino people and quite a few restaurants. We lived upstairs from a Filipino family for years and had dinner a number of times and went to parties ... and yeah ... never saw evidence of banana ketchup. Heck, the entire nursing staff in the long-care facility where my mom stayed for a decade was Filipino and never saw or heard a mention of banana ketchup. Yet it gets mentioned for that area and the Carribean a lot on the web and posters on this board who are Filipino have written about it.

                          Also, this link on condiments says

                          "In the Philippines, banana ketchup, a takeoff on jufran and mafran, traditional Philippine hot and spicy banana-based condiments, is produced."

                          Hmm ... also found this article that links banana ketchup to WWII where it was difficult to get certain foods, so substitutes were used.

                          See ... that is why war is SO wrong ... it results in things like Spam and banana ketchup ... now that's a combo to contemplate.

                          Maybe it is the brand ... maybe Heinz just screwed this up.

                          As I was looking up to see the spices in banana ketchup ... maybe it is the hint of clove that is so off-putting to me ... I hate clove ... maybe it is more than the appearance that makes my stomach queasy ...

                          Anyway I stumbled accross other types of ketchup recipes.

                          Besides tomato, this like has ketchup recipes for lemon, blueberry, apple-horseradish, strawberry and ... yes ... banana

                          Wild plum ketchup

                          Roasted pepper ketchup

                          I just have such a problem throwing stuff out. Maybe I'll make a marinade out of the banana ketchup ... mixing it with the four bottles of piri-piri that have been keeping it company in the fridge.

                          Coffee Liqueur Barbeque Sauce (with banana ketchup ... and to use up that Starbucks liquor

                          Smoked Jerk Turkey Thighs with Banana Ketchup

                          Carribe Island Dressing

                          1. re: rworange

                            My grandmother not illogically pronounced "catsup" as "cat sup".

                            My filipina ex wife and my filipina ex SO never used banana ketchup. They both liked bagoong on green mango, however, but that's a different story.

                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                              The way to a man's heart is through the discreet use of banana ketchup. And the even more discreet use of bagoong :-)

                              I'm pretty sure DH doesn't know there's banana ketchup in the pantry--and in the pork barbecue. Unfortunately, he doesn't need to see the bagoong to know it's around.

                            2. re: rworange

                              I've never tried banana ketchup and now I never shall, and thank you. One less thing to clutter the pantry. I don't hate clove but I'm picky about the context. Does it remind you of the dentist?

                              1. re: Aromatherapy

                                Not that sweet. Same sweetness, so to speak, as the tomato based version or a chutney. The thing is, maybe there are better versions than that Jufran by Heinz.

                              2. re: rworange

                                Thanks for the laughs, rworange! And the courage to taste banana ketchup straight up. I remember tasting the stuff decades ago, as a child in Manila, in the mistaken belief that it might just be better than tomato ketchup--which I abhorred. To my horror, it was even worse. (And, yes, I believe that banana ketchup was created to mimic tomato ketchup which was not always available in the Philippines in the dark ages before McDo.)

                                But age has mellowed me, and I find myself with a bottle each of tomato and banana ketchup in my kitchen. I wouldn't use them in their (un)natural state, but they are great for sweet-and-sour sauce or marinade for Filipino-style barbecue. I remember my Home Economics teacher making a pork bbq marinade out of 7-Up, soy sauce, garlic, and banana ketchup. The pork turned out delicious and nicely glazed.

                            3. And what is "Catsup",yeras ago Del Monte labeled the red tomato condiment as catsup!!!

                              1. Mushroom catsup was once much more common than tomato catsup.

                                1. Don't forget good ol' walnut ketchup...or catsup, as the case may be. Apparently a well-known condiment in England a mere 150 years ago.

                                  I think the word itself is Dutch in origin, "ketjaap" or something like that, which would explain why a variation of that is used to mean "sauce" in Indonesia. Or maybe it was the Dutch who got it there? Hard tellin'...

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                    I have heard speculation that it may be from the Indonesian kecap or ketjaap manis, which would explain the Dutch connection:

                                  2. Some time ago, when the NATURAL movement got to Ketchup and wanted to substitute HONEY for the 50% refined white sugar content, they had to call it IMITATION KETCHUP!

                                    The high sugar content is most likel;y why people are so addicted to ketchup and use so much of it on their fries!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: nutrition


                                      nutrition wrote: "The high sugar content is most likel;y why people are so addicted to ketchup and use so much of it on their fries!"

                                      I think salt is generally more addictive than sugar. Although everyone's "fixes" are somewhat different, I see both the salt shaker and the ketchup bottle going into excessive motion.


                                    2. this morning on Guy's BIg Bite, he mentions the fact of there being more than one ketchup....
                                      I thought it was odd he mentioned this so close to this post.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: bookwormchef

                                        It's just part of the global collective subconscious at work. Look at how often newspaper articles come out a few days after posts here on CH. Oh, wait... maybe that's just writers trolling for info.

                                      2. You use it on your shrimp scampi.

                                        1. -----

                                          Interesting thought...

                                          Anyone realized that Heinz Ketchup label that has "Tomato Ketchup" on the label can be made without that?


                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: RShea78

                                            What is Heinz thinking ... do people really give people customized bottles of ketchup and mustard as gifts ... I mean HEINZ ????

                                            I love the suggested message if you can't think of one.

                                            My favorite was "Great job"

                                            Now, if my boss gave be a bottle of ketchup or mustard with "great job" it would really screw with my mind.

                                            Who would DO that? It MIGHT be approriate at Chow ... but still.

                                            And the picture of the little kid with "happy birthday, amanda'. How touching. Mommy & daddy bought you your own bottle of Heinz for your birthday.

                                            Wedding ketchup??? Now there's a favor I've never seen ... and what does that mean too.

                                            Get well soon? Do you WANT to give someone a bottle of ketchup after surgery?

                                            "good luck" ... well, maybe for someone who didn't do a 'good job' and got fired. Here's your complementary starter bottle of 'tomato soup' ... add a box of saltines to complete the meal for the newly unemployed.

                                            "congratulations" for when you get that job back.

                                            "happy anniversary" What wife wouldn't be thrilled?

                                            "thinking of you" And what are you thinking that would compell you to send me a bottle of ketchup ... and what DOES that mean?

                                            "welcome new baby" Yep, no shower would be complete without customized condiments.

                                            I mean, the main page has pictures of graduates with bottles of ketchup saying "class of 2007" Who thinks like that?

                                            Now I can sort of see a tailgating party, but that seems a little anal for an event where you are eating out of the trunk of a car in a parking lot. I'd say Martha Stewart, but she makes her own ketchup and wouldn't buy Heinz.

                                            Come on ... is that a REAL web site? Do you get to the part where an order is submitted and get a response that says ... "gotcha ... it's a joke"

                                            I mean ... even the FAQ ...

                                            "Are the products offered safe to eat?
                                            Yes, all products ordered are edible and have at least a 6-month shelf life "

                                            Who would ask that? It is ketchup and mustard. Why would you ask if it was safe to eat?

                                            1. re: rworange

                                              I think its hilarious and am going to send some to friends with somewhat obscure lewd suggestions.

                                          2. hey you can make ketchup from almost anything,

                                            similar to chutney, it is more of a basic recipe or method-- it's just that tomato ketchup is so ubiquitous that people have forgotten grammy's mushroom ketchup.

                                            1. Actually, this is why ketchup in the US is labeled as such


                                              If not, there would be lots of bottles of red colored gunk being sold.

                                              I couldn't find the exact page & I'm too pooped to comb through the Federal Register, but I am sure there has to be a certain amount of tomatos to make it tomato ketchup vs. "ketchup"