Food for Thought: Ketchup Matchup | KNKX

Food for Thought: Ketchup Matchup

Feb 17, 2016

I first heard the term "condimentia" from Nancy Leson in this week's  "Food for Thought."   Nancy meant it as having to do with condiments.  Just for fun, I checked and it turns out it has a few other meanings. 

Condimentia is defined by the Urban Dictionary as "A medical condition in which the elderly lose their sense of taste and overstock their condiments to enhance every food item they prepare."  Condimentia is also the title of the comedy short about "... a sane and loving husband and father until his craving for condiments got out of control, and eventually landed him in prison."

Jeez.  And all I wanted was to have a little chat about ketchup.  Here's why:

While breakfasting at Olympia's The Spar, I glugged some Portland Ketchup onto my hashbrowns.  DeGroot and I agreed we liked it better than our lifetime choice, Heinz.  When I rushed to tell Nancy about this bold, exotic new condiment she ho-hummed "Oh yeah, Portland. I got three bottles at Costco.  I like it but they (husband Mac and son Nate) didn't love it."

Must be some of that artisan stuff we've heard so much about
Credit Nancy Leson

Next she told me about her adventure in home-made ketchup with a recipe from "Mastering Sauces" by Seattle chef and writer Susan Volland.

Homemade Honey-Sweetened Ketchup

(yield: about 2 cups)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil or grape seed oil

2 tablespoons minced yellow onion

1 tablespoon minced celery

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 cup diced ripe tomatoes

One 6-ounce can tomato paste

½ cup water

¼ cup honey, or substitute packed brown sugar or apple juice sweetener

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar

3 or 4 whole allspice berries

3 whole cloves

½ cinnamon stick (about 1 inch), cracked with the side of a knife

5 or 6 black peppercorns

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and cook until the vegetables are soft but not browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in the diced tomatoes, increase the heat to medium-high, cover, and cook until the tomatoes have softened and are juicy, 3 to 4 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste, water, honey, and vinegar, add the allspice, clove, cinnamon, peppercorns, and salt, and simmer, half-covered, over low heat until the sauce is thick and aromatic, 13 to 15 minutes. To prevent scorching, make sure the heat is low enough to maintain just a few simmering bubbles, and stir often. Cool slightly.

Press the ketchup through a sieve into a bowl until all that is left is dry tomato skins, seeds, and spices: discard the solids. [Note from Nance: my old-fashioned potato ricer worked better than my sieve!]

Variations: For chipotle ketchup, stir in 1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotles in adobo with the diced tomatoes.

curry ketchup, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons hot curry powder into the softened onion mixture. Cook for 15 seconds, then add the diced tomatoes.

-- from “Mastering Sauces” by Susan Volland

"It's time to embrace and celebrate ketchup, not be ashamed of it." – Jose Andres Puerta