What Is Ketchup Made Of

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Ketchup has that distinct red color mainly because of its most common ingredient which is tomato. However, you might be surprised to know that no matter how red some ketchup products are, they contain ingredients you would not expect in such a timeless condiment. This only proves that the world of ketchup-making does not only revolve around tomatoes. While typical ingredients are vinegar, sweeteners, spices and seasonings, prepare to get your mind blown with the these surprising options:

Cherry

That’s right; cherry can be the main ingredient of ketchup. Its tartness interestingly gets more delicious when simmered. The result is a savory-sweet goop – just like tomato ketchup. It can be used as barbecue sauce for different types of meat, especially chicken. The best part about cherry ketchup is you can make it on your own. The cherries do not even have to be fresh. Frozen cherries are good alternatives if you cannot find fresh ones easily.

Tomatillo

Green tomato is definitely not the same as tomatillo. In fact, green tomatoes are not ideal for sauces. On the other hand, many people like to use tomatillos as condiments. Unfortunately, it can be tricky to identify which is which. Both of these fruits are small and firm with a light green color. They also have a tart taste.

Green tomatoes and tomatillos are both nightshade fruits, but they are certainly not the same thing. Unripe tomatoes are green while tomatillos come from a different plant. As a matter of fact, tomatillos have to be peeled first from their paper-ish husks before you see their tomato-like appearance.

Focusing on tomatillos as ketchup, they taste even better with the smoky-spicy flavor of roasted green chile. The overall result is one spicy, tangy ketchup with a smooth texture. It can be served as sauce or a special burger topping. It can also provide flavor when you are simmering meat. Just a heads-up, tomatillo ketchup is definitely not red. However, it serves its purpose well.

Beet

One of the best features of beets when it comes to ketchup-making is their intense red color. You will be happy to see the result for it will look just like ordinary ketchup. What you need to do first is roast the beets. Roasting them leads to a mild earthy taste, great for turkey burgers. Then, cool the roasted beets before peeling and chopping them. After accomplishing these tasks, cook the chopped beets until they achieve the standard consistency of ketchup. To avoid staining your kitchen while cooking beet ketchup, use a splatter screen.

Blueberry

Sourness is an ideal taste for ketchup, but it should be paired with other flavors for balance. If not, you are just eating fruity puree. Now, blueberry has a tart flavor just like other ingredients for ketchup. However, with the smoky-spicy flavor of chipotle, you will have something great for grilled foods. Just like cherry ketchup, this one is an excellent barbecue sauce as well for chicken legs. It also pairs well with portobello mushrooms.

Apple

As soon as tart apples are peeled and cored to remove seeds, they can be made into ketchup. With vinegar, onions, sugar, salt, cinnamon, mustard and cloves, apple becomes a good condiment for pork and onion rings. To soften apples, you just need to simmer and turn them into pulp.

Grape

Now that we are on our sixth unusual ingredient, it is already safe to conclude that ketchup really needs a tart base component. Grape is another tart fruit that you can easily find in stores. However, compared to other fruits in this list, it is extremely easy to make puree out of grapes because of their size and softness. Grape ketchup is best with red meats as well as roast chicken and pork.

Lemon

This super-sour fruit is a common secondary ingredient for other types of ketchup. However, it can be surprising to use lemon as the main ingredient because of its intense taste. But, if you mix lemon with the right amount of salt, shallot, mace, clove, ginger and vinegar, the harsh citrus taste becomes more complex which is a good thing. Lemon ketchup is a great cocktail sauce for white fish and shrimp.

Mango

With the promising taste of mango ketchup, it is highly recommended for a lot of dishes. It is ideal for grilled foods such as pork loin, tuna, swordfish and red snapper. It is also best with barbecue Buffalo burgers and crab fritters. Mango’s simple sweetness matches with the complex flavors of olive oil, onion, garlic, cinnamon, allspice, clove, chili pepper, mustard, vinegar, and seasonings.

Papaya

This is a tropical take on ketchup. Papaya has a very mild flavor, almost tasteless sometimes. But, it has an aftertaste that stays in your mouth for quite some time. To bring out the refreshing taste of papaya, mix it with butter, onion, ginger, vinegar, sugar, clove and allspice. Papaya ketchup is unexpectedly good with processed meats like hot dogs. Meanwhile, it only makes sense for other dishes such as crab fritters, palm hearts, shrimp, and spring rolls.

Strawberry

Strawberries also have a strong taste, so making strawberry ketchup is a little bit more complicated than other types. Strawberry ketchup needs extra ingredients such as bell pepper, brown sugar, mace, bay leaf and paprika. Even if you cannot imagine right now how the strawberry tastes with paprika, many people are actually using this type of ketchup for fries, pineapple dishes, pork chops, and sandwiches with ham, turkey or chicken.

Walnut

Can you imagine eating nutty ketchup? Really, imagine walnut as the star ingredient for a condiment. While you are still probably wrapping your head around the thought of nuts as the base component of ketchup, foodies are actually eating the walnut sauce with pasta, boiled potatoes, steaks, cheese souffle, cheeses, cold meats, deli meat and cheese sandwiches, and anchovies.

What Is Ketchup Made of?

This is answerable with only a few words: tomatoes, seasonings, spices, sweeteners, vinegar, and more tomatoes. However, tomato ketchup is just one type. Ninety percent of the world may have been using this condiment for several generations already, but there are actually a lot of unusual yet effective versions. As long as a base ingredient helps in making a sweet-tangy sauce, feel free to experiment your own take on ketchup.

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