“How did they make old-timey ketchup?”: A Caterpickles Investigative Report, Part Three

If you’re just joining us, recently The Five-Year-Old asked me how Americans used to make ketchup in those bleak days before Henry Heinz brought his ketchup to market in 1876. Monday we found and translated an old-timey recipe. Yesterday we cooked it. And today we’re putting it to the test.

First, we had to establish our test parameters.

Mommyo: “What foods do we want to test the catsup on?”

The Five-Year-Old: “Hot dogs, chicken nuggets, bread, and french fries. And I want some new-timey ketchup too.”

(That’s right. It’s another health food night at Caterpickles Central.)

Mommyo: “Do you want to do a blind taste test?”

The Five-Year-Old: “What’s that, Mommyo?”

Mommyo: “It’s where I put a blindfold on you so you don’t know which ketchup you’re eating.”

The Five-Year-Old, decisively: “No.”

Parameters set, I prepared The Five-Year-Old’s test plate.

Taste test prep complete. The watermelon is there to alleviate my guilt over the rest of the plate.

The Five-Year-Old: “Mommyo, you forgot the Heinz.”

Oh right.

Mommyo: “So, The Five-Year-Old, what did you think?”

The Five-Year-Old: “I don’t like it on chicken.”

The Five-Year-Old tries an oven fry and a hot dog.

Mommyo: “Well?”

The Five-Year-Old: “Delicious on nothing. Which means not delicious. Too spicy.”

(My take, in case you’re curious: Tastes like A1. I actually like it, although I’m not surprised that The Five-Year-Old doesn’t. There is a strong mustard flavor to it. While I didn’t like our catsup on the chicken or the oven fries, it was reasonably good on the hot dog. But what I really want to do is try this with steak, on a hamburger, or as a replacement for store-bought ketchup in my Mom’s meatloaf. Fortunately I have lots left.)

Mommyo: “So The Five-Year-Old, do you want me to find another ketchup recipe that’s more like Heinz?”

The Five-Year-Old, enthusiastically: “Find the recipe for Heinz, Mommyo!”

Mommyo: “Hmm, it would be a lot easier just to buy Heinz.”

The Five-Year-Old: “Mommyo, do you have a recipe for Victorian-times ice cream?”

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