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The word ketchup comes from the Chinese word “kôe-chiap” or “ke-tsiap,” meaning “brine of pickled fish or shellfish.” The original Chinese type of ketchup tasted more like soy or Worcestershire sauce, and did, of course, contain fish brine, plus herbs and spices. There were no tomatoes involved. The early recipe “traveled,” as good recipes do, to Malaysia and Indonesia. 17th century English sailors encountered the sauce in their journeys, and took the sauce and recipe concept home to England. (Another theory states that British explorers first discovered the condiment in Southeast Asia.) At any rate, instructions for making ketchups then spread to other parts of the Western world. The sauce was first mentioned in print in the English language in 1690. In 1748 in the Housekeeper's Pocketbook, Mrs. Harrison recommended that the homemaker never be without it.
The Chinese-type fishy ketchup evolved into various ketchup-type sauces: mushroom ketchup; walnut ketchup; eventually the tomato-style (more like what we eat now); and other different types. The older recipes usually call the sauce “catsup.” “Catchup” is yet another possible spelling.
In 1841 Sarah Josepha Hale, an American cookbook writer, offered recipes for walnut and tomato catsups, but she cast a disapproving eye at homemade mushroom catsup:
“Mushroom is most esteemed; but the difficulty in our country of obtaining the right kind of plant, (some are poisonous,) renders a receipt of little consequence. It is better to buy this catsup at the shops.
However, other cookbook writers were braver. In 1871 Marion Harland presented her instructions for making mushroom catsup.
This is an old English recipe brought to the United States.
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|Serving Size: 1 cups, approx. (519|
|Recipe Makes: 4 cups, appr|
|Calories from Fat: 11 (9%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 1.2g||2 %|
|Saturated Fat 0.2g||1 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 0g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 0.5g|
|Cholesterol 0mg||0 %|
|Sodium 25.9mg||1 %|
|Potassium 1237.8mg||33 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 15.5g||5 %|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||16 %|
|Sugars, other 11.6g|
|Protein 10.9g||16 %|
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Calories per serving: 119
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