Homemade green ketchup, and the gone-but-not-forgotten version from Heinz. Top photo courtesy This Mama Cooks, bottom photo courtesy The Kraft Heinz Company.
Ketchup is one of the most familiar condiments in America. Even in our big melting pot, is there a demographic group that hasn’t tried it?
Ketchup has many uses beyond eating, including polishing silverware and removing the green tinge in bleached blonde hair (no kidding—check out these non-food uses for ketchup).
But given all its food uses, why not make a big batch of green ketchup for St. Patrick’s Day meals and gifting?
THE RECENT HISTORY OF GREEN KETCHUP
Housewives have been making green tomato sauce since…well, probably since there were green tomatoes.
But back in 2000, ketchup giant H.J. Heinz decided to bring red ketchup flavor to green ketchup*. Targeted to kids, their Blastin’ Green ketchup, created as a promotion in tandem with the first Shrek movie, was a smash. It engendered additional colors for the E-Z Squirt line: Awesome Orange, Funky Purple, Passion Pink, Stellar Blue and Totally Teal.
Alas for its fans, although 25 million units were sold, the novelty lost steam and the colors were discontinued in 2006.
There was a brief revival in 2012. Heinz created green ketchup packets for a Burger King St. Patrick’s Day promotion; but that idea didn’t fly past 2012. [Source]
Don’t be daunted by the lack of green ketchup on store shelves. You can make your own green ketchup with green tomatoes. There are many recipes online, from sweet to spicy.
This green ketchup recipe from ThisMamaCooks.com is made with the low glycemic, better-than-sugar sweetener, agave nectar (a.k.a. agave syrup).
It’s easy to flavor your homemade ketchup, with variations such as Cranberry, Curry, Horseradish and Hot Chile (Chipotle, Jalapeño, Sriracha, etc.)
USES FOR GREEN KETCHUP
Green ketchup has the same uses as red ketchup, of course. And if you only use ketchup with burgers and fries, or with breakfast eggs, you’re not giving it its full props.
Use your green ketchup to make green condiments for St. Patrick’s Day.
Add mayo, sour cream or yogurt to create a dipping sauce.
Use it as the base fr green barbecue sauce.
Combine it with mayonnaise to make Russian Dressing.
Add some pickle relish to Russian Dressing for Thousand Island Dressing.
THE ORIGINAL KETCHUP WAS NEITHER RED NOR TOMATO-BASED
In fact, it was brown and the precursor of modern Worcestershire sauce.
The first known recipe for ketchup in English was published in 1727 by one Eliza Smith (you can still buy it). Part of a volume entitled Compleat Housewife; or, Accomplished Gentlewoman’s Companion, the condiment was spelled as “kachop,” a transliteration of the Asian fish sauce after which it was fashioned.
Ingredients included anchovies, shallots, white wine vinegar, two types of white wine, mace, ginger, cloves, whole peppers, a whole nutmeg, lemon peel and horseradish.
Check out the history of ketchup.
*Making ketchup in colors required re-engineering of the ketchup product. The red color had to be stripped out and food coloring was added. The flavor was tweaked to taste like the original. [Source]