Monday, July 11, 2011

Word of the Week - Ketchup

'Tis the season for cookouts and barbecues, and I'll use that as my excuse for talking about ketchup, LOL. Really, it's because I recently discovered its history, and it's just too bizarre to our modern minds not to share. =)

When we Americans think of ketchup, we think of tomato ketchup. I'd really never even heard of any other kind, until reading a book about the Revolution, wherein was mentioned mushroom ketchup. The very thought of this made my nose wrinkle up--I'm not a fan of mushrooms. And for that matter, it made my mother's nose wrinkle up, probably because she imagine it in with tomato ketchup, LOL.

But the original definition of ketchup was "a kind of pickle, made of mushrooms," which was used solely as a sauce for fish. The word itself comes from the Chinese word for "brine of fish." Variants also included walnuts, cucumbers, and oysters.

Let's all thank those American seaman for introducing the tomato to it, leaving out the other stuff, and so introducing a new staple to the world!

On another note, my series on Grammar is wrapping up over at Go Teen Writers today, so swing by for some chatting about capitalization, quotations, etc.


  1. Love learning weird and wonderful history like that. My nose scrunched up too, and i LIKE mushrooms!

  2. Wow, just the other week I was thinking to myself: "I wonder where Ketchup comes from."

    I've forgotten that thought by the time I was online again - but you caught it and have given me an answer ;-) Thanks.

    And I'm curious now: What does "a kind of pickle, made of mushrooms" taste like???

  3. How bizarre! I would have never guess that. Thanks for the fun facts.