Ketchup is a food product that can be found just about everywhere. It’s in most people’s homes, it can be found on most restaurant tables, and stores stock dozens upon dozens of different varieties of it. Most of what we can find is tomato ketchup, but there are certainly other types of ketchup as well including mushroom ketchup, walnut ketchup, and even mango and banana ketchup.
Despite ketchup being ubiquitous, we have to say that most people only use it to put on a couple of different foods. We’ve seen people put it on hot dogs and hamburgers, on French Fries and tater tots, and we’ve seen people put ketchup on their scrambled eggs. That limited use of this product is unfortunate because it has an even bigger potential than what most people give it credit for.
We wanted to explore some of the other ways that ketchup can be used. We knew that there had to be more than just a couple of uses for ketchup. After all, it was a product that was historically very widely used. So, after a little bit of research, we’ve found some creative uses for ketchup, so that everyone can put their best ketchup brands to good use. Before we do that, however, we’d like to make a pit stop and talk about the history of ketchup first. If you don’t mind, of course.
A Brief History Of Ketchup
Ketchup can trace its lineage back to 300 B.C. To a product that was made from fermented fish entrails, meat byproducts, and soybeans. This fish sauce was known as “Koe-Cheup” in the Southern Min dialect, and it was created because it was easy to store on long oceanic voyages.
This paste was extremely popular and was carried by trade routes through the Philippines and Indonesia. This is where the British developed a taste for this fishy and salty condiment during the early 18th century. However, even though they liked it, they couldn’t help but change it to more fit their tastes.
The British would go on to make ketchup products from everything from oysters and mussels to plums and peaches. There were walnut ketchup, lemon ketchup, and celery ketchup. They would boil down ingredients into a salty syrup-like consistency that was highly concentrated and could last for a very long time without spoiling.
It wouldn’t be until 1812 until tomato-based ketchup products were introduced. This is when a Philadelphia scientist names James Mease developed one of the first recipes. Unfortunately, early tomato-based ketchup products didn’t use vinegar, so they tended to go bad quickly. It wouldn’t be until 1876 until more modern ketchup was introduced.
In 1876, Heinz created a ketchup formulation that contained tomatoes, brown sugar, salt, various spices, and yes, vinegar. It also bottled this in glass bottles so that everyone could see its quality. This was innovative at the time since many of their competitors produced adulterated ketchup products that contained harmful ingredients such as lead.
Today, tomato ketchup has been the standard product that most Americans use. In fact, it’s estimated to be used in approximately 97% of all American homes. Although it’s mainly used for putting on French fries or hamburgers, it’s also got a few other great uses as well. Let’s take a look at some of them, shall we?
Some Of The Best Uses For Ketchup
Okay, as promised, this is the section where you can find out what other things that ketchup can be used for. So without further ado, let’s jump right into it.
Shining Silverware & Copper
The one thing that ketchup can be used for that doesn’t involve it being directly placed on food is using it as a metal polish. We’ve found out that placing a little bit of ketchup on copper pans or silverware can turn the metal from tarnished to new looking. All it takes is the ketchup, a polishing cloth, and a little bit of elbow grease.
Making Fake Blood For Halloween
Another way to use ketchup is to make fake blood for Halloween. There are some great fake blood recipes on the Internet and many of them use ketchup as their core ingredient. Just be careful using fake blood made from ketchup because it will stain clothing.
Using Ketchup Packs As Improvised Ice Packs
If you have a collection of Ketchup packs from your favorite fast-food restaurant, then you can put them to use really quickly by converting them into mini ice packs. Ketchup packets freeze quickly in the freezer, and they are just the right size for dealing with pot burns or paper cuts.
Using Ketchup As A Face Scrub
Although we understand that not everyone is going to like this use, it is worth mentioning. If you mix a tablespoon of ketchup with three packets of artificial sugar and one pack of salt, you can use the mixture to exfoliate your skin.
Using Ketchup To Sooth Insect Bites
Ketchup can also be used to soothe mosquito, bee, and spider bites. Although it won’t do much for the swelling of these bites, it will control the sting level and itchiness of the bit. It’s the salt in the ketchup that helps to control itching, and also happens to have antiseptic qualities as well.
Using Ketchup To Remove Rust On Cast Iron Cookware
Have you ever found a great cast iron skillet and felt that it was too rusted to be used? Well, if you have, then you’re not alone because we have to. However, thanks to our research, we now have a way to deal with it and that way is to coat it in ketchup!
Yes, if you coat the cast iron skillet in ketchup and allow it to sit for half an hour, it will be a lot easier to remove the rust using a wire brush. That’s because there are acids in ketchup that help dissolve the rust and salt that act as an abrasive to help the wire brush remove the rust. Just remember that the pan is going to need to be seasoned before it’s used again.