Tomato ketchup is a worldwide staple. It’s a sauce that’s more often used as a condiment to enhance (some would say cover-up) greasy foods like French fries or hamburgers. Original recipes used egg whites, mushrooms, oysters, grapes, mussels, or walnuts, among other ingredients, but the unmodified modern recipe refers to tomato-based ketchup made from tomatoes, sugar, and vinegar with a few spices.
At least in the United States, you’ll find few convenience based restaurants without a bottle of the stuff ready to smother the daylights out of whatever unsuspecting food may be vulnerable. My grandson Henry uses French fries as scoops for ketchup until I encouraged him to be bold and just squirt the raw sauce straight into his mouth, much to the horror of his mother.
But ketchup doesn’t have to be mid-fi or lo-fi as it mostly is. At several fine restaurants at which we have dined in years past, we’d been treated to a high-end version of the Heinz crap. Mmmmmmmm. High-end ketchup is distinctly better than what passes today as the real deal.
How many people care about the quality of their ketchup? Not many. Perhaps as small a segment as those who love their high-end stereo systems.
But, for those who love the best of anything, whether ketchup or music, it’s always worth it to seek out the high-end.