Ketchup – History & Origin

Ketchup – Both the Word and the Sauce, Originated in China

Ketchup is a condiment thought to be a staple of America. Few would taste it and think it has anything to do with Asia, yet most people don’t know its interesting history.

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The word for ketchup originates from the Chinese word “ke-chiap,” which means, “brine of pickled fish or shellfish.”

Ketchup was originally composed of fish brine and various herbs and spices and tasted much more like Worcestershire sauce than modern day ketchup.

Ketchup (1)

The recipe for the sauce began to spread around Asia and eventually made it to Indonesia and Malaysia, where the British discovered it in the 17th century. The English sailors liked it so much they took it back to England, where they added tomatoes that had been brought over in the previous century from the New World, creating the first version of recognizable modern day ketchup.

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