Banana Ketchup

Cooking

Banana Ketchup! Say what? The husband is at it again. He shared with me another interesting topic. Banana Ketchup.

According to Wikipedia, Banana Ketchup is a Philippine fruit ketchup that is made from mashed bananas, sugar, vinegar, and spices. It is naturally brownish-yellow in color but is often colored red to resemble the tomatoe ketchup we are familiar with. Banana Ketchup was first produced during World War II in the Phillipines. Bananas were used instead of tomatoes because of their abundance in the Philippines.

As I am partial to bananas I decided to try making banana ketchup from scratch. Here is the recipe I used…

Pelago’s House-Made Banana Ketchup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 2 ounces tomato paste
  • 4 bananas (Saba if possible)
  • 2 ounces white vinegar
  • 2 ounces water
  • 4 ounces brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Sweat garlic, shallot and ginger for 5 minutes.
  2. Add tomato paste and cook for another minute.
  3. Deglaze with vinegar and water.
  4. Add brown sugar and bananas; cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Puree mixture until smooth, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Recipe from: http://www.foodrepublic.com/2015/09/02/banana-ketchup-the-philippines-answer-to-a-lack-of-tomatoes/

My take on banana ketchup…

I cut the above recipe in half and it made about 10.5 ounces of ketchup. This was more than enough! I served the banana ketchup with hamburgers. It was good but sweet. I think that the banana ketchup would go better not as a ketchup per say, but as a sauce. I can picture making beef ribs and using the banana ketchup as a kind of barbecue sauce on the ribs and serving it on top of rice. This sounds really good to me. As for on a hamburger, I would prefer mayo. On French fries…probably not. It is made with bananas so it does taste of banana. Having said this, anything that would taste good with fruit might be a good possibility. Chicken, pork, and shrimp could be good candidates. I think I will try some of the leftovers as a dip for fried shrimp…

Give banana ketchup a try; and be sure to let me know what recipe it was used with. As always, Happy cooking!

Catching up on Ketchup

Cooking

My husband brought an interesting fact about ketchup to the dinner table the other night. Did you know that one man is responsible for making sure Heinz ketchup always tastes the same? Really? Tell me more…

Apparently, Hector Osorno is the head “ketchup taster” at Kraft Heinz. Hector, who grew up in Mexico and has a background in engineering, has been working at the company for over twenty years. He is the man responsible for keeping the taste we have come to expect as Heinz ketchup the same over the years.

Hector works in Los Banos, California in a mini version of the factories in the mid-west, where the ketchup is processed. It is in Los Banos that the special varieties of tomatoes are grown. In the mini research lab, Hector and other Heinz employees test the tomato paste that is made from the tomatoes grown there to be sure that it meets the quality standards of Heinz. Eighteen batches are made and tested daily.

Another interesting fact is that Heinz has a different recipe for the ketchup they sell in European countries than that of the ketchup sold in America. The American ketchup is apparently a sweeter recipe than that of Europe. I find this fascinating!

Supposedly, ketchup is very difficult to replicate by the home cook. However, in times past, home cooks did make their own versions of ketchup. I must admit, I have never tried to make ketchup. Maybe giving it a go would be worth a try…

Recipe for ketchup can be found at: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/people-and-culture/food/the-plate/2014/04/21/how-was-ketchup-invented/ (or) From: The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You can Stop Buying & Start Making by Alana Chernila.

Source: Meet The Man Who Guards America’s Ketchup by: Dan Charles https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/09/02/754316710/meet-the-man-who-guards-americas-ketchup