SPILLING THE TRUTH: The real origin of ketchup
Everyone thinks that ketchup is as American as apple pie, Brad Pitt, and trying not to pay your taxes, but a report has actually traced the origins of ketchup back to Asia. The report comes as a surprise given how popular the condiment is in the United States. In fact, ketchup is so big in America that recent surveys have shown that it is found in 97 percent of homes. However, a Stanford University professor, Dan Jurafsky, claims that he has traced the roots of ketchup from Southeast Asia to China.
From there, the condiment made its way to Europe and then the United States. Ketchup's first iteration was known as kê-tsiap in Hokkien Chinese and it was in reference to a pickled fish sauce from the Fujian Province. It would make sense that ketchup started in Asia because as Jurafsky noted, "Fermented food products have a long tradition in Asia." Eventually in the region, these fermented products would be turned into pastes, and viola, ketchup! So the next time you enjoy a burger with a pile of ketchup you can definitely thank Asia.
Thank you Asia for making this taste soooo good!