According to Wikipedia a condiment is: is sauce or seasoning added to food to impart a particular flavor or, in some cultures, to complement the dish. They may also be dry, such as a mixture of herbs and seasonings. Many condiments are available packaged in single-serving packets (sachets), like mustard or ketchup, particularly when supplied with take-out or fast food meals.

Love it or hate it, Ketchup is the dominant condiment in the United States. It began as a pickled fish sauce called kôe-chiap or kê-chiap in the 1690s in China. A far cry from the generally high fructose sweetened sauce we eat now. According to Wikipedia tomatoes were not introduced to this sauce until about a century later, the early 1800s. One of the first recipes appeared in 1801 in the Sugar House Book.

Ketchup has largely stayed the same over the years. There are very few fancy ketchup brands on the market. Go to almost any grocery store and there are no less than 10 kinds of mustard. All different flavors and varieties and price points. Not Ketchup. Everyone probably has a ketchup food memory from their childhood and it was likely Heinz.

So tell me, do you love or hate ketchup? What’s your favorite thing to put ketchup on? My secret favorite way to have ketchup – A fresh off the griddle American grilled cheese sandwich dipped in the viscous red sauce.

Want to experience more condiments? Join us for the Riverplains Farm to Table Condiment Dinner July 23. Tickets here.