Where did the word ketchup come from?

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question, “Where did the word ketchup come from?”

Where did the word ketchup come from?

The Hokkien Chinese phrase kê-tsiap, which refers to a sauce made from fermented fish, is where the name “ketchup” originates from. It is said that traders from Vietnam carried fish sauce to southern China.

In Southeast Asia, the British may have experienced ketchup, went home, and attempted to reproduce the black fermented sauce. As demonstrated by a recipe published in 1732 for “Ketchup in Paste,” by Richard Bradley, which referred to “Benvoulin in the East-Indies” as its origin, this presumably took place in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

However, that wasn’t the ketchup we are used to. Most British recipes asked for items like mushroom, walnut, oyster, or anchovies in an attempt to replicate the savory flavors that were first tasted in Asian cuisine. 

Even Jane Austen was said to enjoy mushroom ketchup. Most of these ancient ketchups were thin and black in color, and they were frequently used as a condiment in dishes like meat and fish soup. Kettle ketchup was missing one crucial element at this point in time

The tomato, of course. James Mease, a chemist and horticulturist, wrote the earliest known published recipe for tomato ketchup in 1812, referring to tomatoes as “love apples.” Tomatoes puree, spices, and brandy made up the bulk of his recipe; vinegar and sugar were conspicuously absent.

The fact that ketchup could be stored for almost a year contributed to its popularity. Tomato ketchups, on the other hand, were difficult to preserve. 

Manufacturers of ketchup had to come up with a way to preserve tomato pulp year-round since the tomato growing season was so short. In 1866, French cookbook writer Pierre Blot referred to commercial ketchup as “filthy, rotten, and putrid” because of poor handling and storage practices by some manufacturers.

Can you make ketchup at home?

Yes, you can make ketchup at home. Below is the list of ingredients you need and step by step process.


Crushed tomatoes are used in this ketchup recipe instead of tomato paste, which is often the first ingredient. With this substitution, you’ll be able to replicate the taste and texture of packaged ketchup in your own home kitchen.


In order to give ketchup its distinctive tang, purified white vinegar is a need. It also extends the product’s shelf life.


In addition to providing a little sweetness, white sugar reduces the acidity of tomatoes and vinegar.


Onion powder, garlic powder, salt, celery and powdered black pepper are some of the seasonings in this ketchup recipe.


Medium-high heat is ideal for olive oil, which should be heated in a big, heavy-bottom saucepan. Add onions and sauté for about 3 minutes until it is transparent. For a minute, mix in the garlic and continue to simmer.

Salt, paprika cinnamon, cloves celery salt cumin dry mustard chili powder ground pepper are added to the tomatoes and simmered for 20 minutes covered, stirring regularly.

Add all ingredients to the bowl of an upright blender and process in two batches until well-combined. Put the mixture in the pan if it has been moved.

Add brown sugar, honey, and vinegars. Cook the ketchup for about 30 minutes, stirring often, over medium heat, uncovered. Taste and adjust the amount of salt, pepper, and chili powder.

Does ketchup exacerbate allergies?

Toxic to tomatoes, ketchup should be avoided by those with such an allergy. Ketchup can cause allergic reactions in people with other allergies, such as a latex allergy or even an allergy to some grasses. 

The mouth, cheek, lips, tongue, and throat might be itchy or swollen as a result of oral allergies. Sufficiency of air or trouble swallowing are symptoms of more severe instances.

What are the nutrients you get from ketchup?

The USDA has given the following nutritional information for a 15-gram serving.

  • Calories in per serving are 15
  • Fat content is 0.02%
  • 136 milligrams of sodium
  • 4.1 grams of carbohydrates
  • 0.05g of fiber
  • Weight in carbohydrates is 3.2 grams
  • 0.16 grams of protein

Average serving of ketchup comprises approximately 15 calories and 4 grams of carbs. Carbohydrates are almost all sugar, with fiber making up less than a single gram of the total. You’ll have fewer calories, carbohydrates, and sugar if you eat a regular package of ketchup, which is only 10 grams.

Ketchup is a poor source of micronutrients since it is ingested in such little amounts. Among the many nutrients tomatoes provide are vitamins C and A, as well as potassium, manganese, and the B vitamins. Ketchup is a great source of vitamins and minerals, but you’re not willing to have enough of it to meet your daily quotas.


In this brief article, we answered the question, “Where did the word ketchup come from?”




Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.