(WYTV) – Ketchup is a fun and happy condiment with a sweet and salty taste, but how did ketchup become linked with French fries?
Ketchup has been around for centuries but not as we know it today. The first ketchup recipe had no tomatoes! The Chinese made it from pickled fish.
Our red, tomato-based ketchup didn’t appear until the early 1900s and then it started making its way to everyone’s dinner tables (and refrigerators) when the Heinz family bottled and sold it.
Ketchup underwent another makeover in the 1970s with the rise of high-fructose corn syrup. Now to French fries, which did not come from France, they originated in Belgium and no one put ketchup on them because ketchup, as we now know it, had not been invented yet.
The British put out malt vinegar for dipping their fries. The French themselves tend to just eat the fries straight. Americans really started taking to French fries in the 1930’s, fried in beef tallow.
In their birthplace of Belgium, fries are served with mayonnaise, same as in Germany.
How did ketchup and fries get together? We just began to experiment, some dipping their fries in ketchup in the late 1800s, but the trend didn’t take off in America until the 1940s.
As the early fast food restaurants grew, so did the desire to dunk our fries in that tasty red sauce. The fast food restaurants were really responsible for serving French fries with a side of ketchup, and we were hooked!