Note: This post is my response to the famed tomato argument that Terry Mark wrote about in a blog post the other day.
Let’s stop offending the tomato.
By nature, the tomato is perfect. I love tomatoes. They are naturally sweet. I like to eat them as a snack. Sometimes I’ll eat a big beefsteak tomato almost like an apple, perhaps with a bit of salt. The juice drips down my chin and I don’t care. I love to eat cherry tomatoes fresh from my garden. The first few I pick go directly into my mouth.
I hate ketchup. I have never liked ketchup. I think adding sugar or corn syrup or any sweetener to tomatoes is just plain rude to the tomato. It’s like saying, “Hey, tomato! I don’t think you are sweet enough.” And I just don’t like the way it tastes.
I believe people overuse it as a way to cover up the taste of boring or distasteful food.
If it bothers you excessively that I dislike ketchup vehemently, be startled to find out I abhor tomato soup, sloppy joes, barbecue sauce and French dressing. Tomato soup thickened with milk will literally make me gag.
I have never liked tomatoes with added sweetener of any kind. Like I said, they naturally have the right amount of sugar. I also prefer my salsa and jerkey to be 100 percent sugar free.
There was a magical time in history when ketchup never had anything to do with tomatoes and even more alarming to some might be that when they did begin making tomato ketchup, it did not include any sugar at all. Read about it here from the blog the language of food. Below is a quote from the aforementioned link.
“Ketchup used to be made with something other than tomatoes. The recipe for ketchup has changed quite dramatically over time; tomatoes were only added to the recipe around 1800, and sugar even later, well after the Civil War.”
Yes, I put about a tablespoon of honey or sugar in a large pot of chili, but I’m not sure this is necessary. Is this contradictory? Maybe.
Mustard, on the other hand, I love.
How do you feel about ketchup?
Here’s another interesting little article about the history of ketchup that includes a recipe for mushroom ketchup that sounds pretty good.