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» Ketchup
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Burgers, Cheeseburgers and stuff… Yes a website about Burgers.

Ketchup

By • Dec 14th, 2007 • Category: Burger Blog

Ketchup is enjoyed all over the world on almost any food. Burgers and ketchup have always gone hand in hand, this is our homage to ketchup.

KetchupAlthough we may rightly perceive the burger, with all its parts, as thoroughly American, it may come as a surprise to discover that at least one of its major components has distinctly exotic origins.

It is ironic indeed that this more exotic component is the one most commonly associated with America and American food – our beloved all purpose condiment, ketchup.

The slender bottle with its jaunty white cap, flaunting its rich crimson contents, is known and recognized all over the world, valued for what it represents, the proud scarlet standard of the American experience.
Ketchup
The use of ketchup on burgers was inevitable; by the time the hamburger made its first major appearance, at around the turn of the century, ketchup had already become entrenched as the primary and most popular of condiments.

For most of the world ketchup is defined by its American-ness which is in large part a characterization that is positive and attractive. For America at its best is a place that has something for everyone, and ketchup is a sauce that has something for everyone as well.

Ketchup has a complex heritage – the piquant spicy-sweet sauces and relishes of Asia, the tangy vinegars of Western Europe, an exotic, brilliantly colored New World fruit. But for all its complicated background, ketchup boils down to a sauce that is fairly simple and primal in its appeal.

Ketchups thick, smooth texture and rich red color are unprecedented in a world that has long and avidly pursued meaty, full-bodied, highly colored sauces as a vehicle for the enhancement of food. Its sweetness, though not necessarily attractive to everyone, is nonetheless a universally appealing taste, especially to the young, whose preferences historically have never been given much weight but whose culture is paramount in much of the contemporary world.

Ketchups spiciness and acidity are toned down to avoid dominating or overwhelming unaccustomed palates, particularly, again, for the young.

And this is in the end why we love ketchup so much and why the world has come to love it on our burgers. It represents what we value most in ourselves and what we have cultivated as the best in American character. Ketchup is a friendly, open, no-frills kind of sauce, innovative in a simple, home grown fashion, savvy without being sophisticated.

Ketchup is unabashedly democratic in its capacity to offer a little something to everyone.
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